Jump to main content.

Fact Sheet

July 2012

EPA Announces the Public Comment Period and Public Meeting on the Proposed Plan for Operable Unit (OU-5), Madison County Mines Superfund Site, Fredericktown, Missouri


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 has released the Proposed Plan for the Madison County Mines Superfund Site (OU-5), which describes the Agency’s preferred alternative for addressing mine waste, contaminated soil, surface water, and groundwater, resulting from past mining and milling practices. In addition, this Proposed Plan includes summaries of other alternatives evaluated for use at OU-5.

EPA will hold a 30-day public comment period and encourages the public to review the Proposed Plan and make comments. Following the comment period, EPA, in consultation with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources will select a final remedy for OU-5.


The 30-day public comment period for the Proposed Plan is July 19 – August 19, 2012.

The public may submit their comments to EPA before the close of the comment period by telephone, mail or email to Debbie Kring, Office of Public Affairs, EPA Region 7, 901 N. 5th Street, Kansas City, Kansas 66101, 1-800-223-0425, or kring.debbie@epa.gov.


EPA will hold a public meeting to present
cleanup options and take public comments
at the following time and location:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Black River Electric Cooperative, Inc.
County Rd. 517
North of U.S. 67/72 Intersection
Fredericktown, Missouri


EPA Region 7 provides reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in the public meeting, please contact  Jonathan Cooper at 1-800-223-0425 or by email at cooper.jonathan@epa.gov at least seven days prior to the meeting. Speech or hearing impaired individuals should email or call using the local relay service. 


The Madison County Mines Superfund Site is part of the Old Lead Belt in southeastern Missouri, where mining has occurred since the 1700s. Past mining operations have left mine waste deposits throughout the county, prompting the need for EPA’s presence. EPA has been working in the local community since 1995, after initially detecting elevated heavy metal levels (lead) in mine waste, soil, groundwater and sediment.
In recognition of the multi-media contamination and geographic areas, EPA divided the Madison County Mines Superfund Site into the following seven OUs:

OU1:  Mine La Motte
OU2:  Anschutz Tailings
OU3:  Residential Mine Waste
OU4:  Conrad and Ruth Mine Tailings
OU5:  Catherine and Skaggs Tailings
OU6:  Silver Mines
OU7:  St. Francis River Watershed (pending)

OU-5 includes the Catherine Mines and Skaggs Tailings (Catherine and Skaggs subsites), both of which contain chat and tailings from former lead mining operations that were operated from the early to mid 1990s. Surface soils, surface water, groundwater, and sediments have all been affected by the mine waste. The OU-5 site is located approximately two miles northwest of Fredericktown, immediately west of Highway 67 and south of Hwy H. The subsites generally consist of poorly vegetated chat and tailings piles ranging in particle size from cobble to fine, sandy tailings. Erosion of this material has resulted in downstream impacts to a tributary and creek which join the Little St. Francis River.

The Catherine subsite was used as a residential soil repository during the Time Critical Removal Actions initiated by the EPA in 2003, with approximately 205,000 cubic yards of soils transported to it through 2005. One major chat pile exists on the subsite covering approximately 11 acres and is estimated to be 44,000 cubic yards.  A 3.5 acre sediment pond is located on its north side.  Storage of aggregate is a current land use. The Skaggs subsite consists of three tailings piles covering approximately 13 acres, and is estimated to be 65,000 cubic yards in volume.


Catherine Subsite:

Skaggs Subsite:

Each of these alternatives is described in detail in the Proposed Plan.


Threshold Criteria:

Balancing Criteria:

Modifying Criteria:


EPA’s Preferred Alternatives for OU-5 are:

Catherine Subsite: Alternative 3 - Low Permeable Cap, Sediment Excavation and Onsite Disposal, Monitored Natural Recovery

Skaggs Subsite: Alternative 4 - Low Permeable Cap, Excavation and Onsite Disposal, Monitored Natural Recovery

Details of these preferred alternatives are fully explained in the Proposed Plan, and will be discussed at the Public Meeting.


For additional details, EPA’s Proposed Plan and the supporting documents for the Madison County Mines Superfund Site (OU-5) can be found at either of the following repositories:

Fredericktown Branch, Ozark Regional Library
115 South Main Street
Fredericktown, MO 63645
(573) 783-2120


U.S. EPA – Region 7
Records Center
901 N. 5th Street
Kansas City, KS 66101


If you have questions about this fact sheet, want additional information about the site, or want to submit a comment, please contact:

Debbie Kring
Community Involvement Coordinator
Office of Public Affairs
EPA Region 7
901 N. 5th Street
Kansas City, KS 66101
Phone: (913) 551-7725
Toll-free: 1-800-223-0425
Email: kring.debbie@epa.gov

Local Navigation

Jump to main content.