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EPA Issues Unilateral Order to Four Parties for Cleanup at the National Mine Tailings Site, Park Hills, Mo.

Release Date: 07/17/2006
Contact Information: Debbie Kring, (913) 551-7003,

Environmental News

    (Kansas City, Kan., July 17, 2006) – EPA has issued a unilateral order to the Doe Run Co. of St. Louis; NL Industries; Park Hills, Mo.; and the Park Hills Chamber of Commerce, compelling them to perform cleanup activities at the National Mine Tailings Site in Park Hills, St. Francois County, Mo.

    NL is the successor to a former operator at the site, while the remaining parties are current owners of the site who have failed to restrict access to the site and spread the mine waste or allowed the spread of mine waste to other locations.

    Contaminated mine waste, commonly referred to as tailings or chat, has been carried off-site by wind and storm-water runoff for many years, resulting in lead and zinc contamination of many surrounding residential properties and the Flat River.

    The order requires stabilization of 150 acres of lead-contaminated mine waste at the site to prevent wind and water erosion. Stabilization will be achieved through re-grading, rock covering, soil and vegetation, and property use restrictions at an estimated cost of $17 million.

    The order requires that the majority of work be completed within three years of EPA’s work plan approval. Region 7 made the decision to issue an order for work to be performed after negotiations toward an agreement could not be reached.
    Exposure of young children to lead can cause irreversible damage to the brain and central nervous system, resulting in impaired growth development, lower IQ levels, and behavioral problems.

    Missouri has issued fish consumption warnings because of elevated lead levels found in several species in the Flat River.

    All information pertaining to this site can be found at the following information repositories, and at EPA in Kansas City, Kan.

    ● St. Francois County Health Dept., 1025 W. Main, Park Hills, Mo.
    ● Desloge Public Library, 209 N. Desloge Drive, Desloge, Mo.
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