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Natural Resource Damage Assessment
Tri-State Mining District - 2011 Accomplishments
Columbia Missouri Ecological Services Field Office Report
The Tri-State Mining Districut site is made up of two National Priorities List sites in Missouri and two additional bordering sites in Kansas and Oklahoma. The Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) completed a study on the threatened Ozark Cavefish, synthesized phytotoxic effects impact on migratory bird habitat, and completed a report that characterizes soil contamination around mining sites.
Service Environmental Contaminants biologists oversaw the completion of assessment reports on the impact of mining derived heavy metals on freshwater crayfish, an integral component of aquatic-dependent migratory bird prey bases. Additionally, we oversaw the completion of an assessment report on potential habitat for the federally threatened Neosho madtom. Assessment activities ultimately contribute to the recovery of funds to restore thousands of acres of land and thirty miles of contaminated stream.
Service Environmental Contaminants biologists engaged in two different negotiations with responsible parties within the Tri-State Mining District. The Trustees began negotiations with Blue Tee, a responsible party in Newton County. The Trustees estimate of damages for hundreds of acres of mine waste and impacted streams was nearly $10 million.
The Trustees reached an agreement in principle with Eagle Picher Technologies through bankruptcy proceedings for approximately $833,000. Releases of heavy metals from the facility impacted two stream reaches totaling approximately 5 miles. Recovered settlement funds will target Ozark stream restoration. This settlement will be part of regional restoration efforts captured in the Springfield Plateau Regional Restoration Plan described below.
Finally, Service Environmental Contaminants biologists completed a draft final Springfield Plateau Regional Restoration Plan. The plan is a novel approach to Natural Resource Damage Assessment Restoration planning that will allow the Missouri Trustee Council to utilize an umbrella restoration plan to combine multiple settlements under a single document. The plan is written to cover an entire ecoregional subsection, in this case the Springfield Plateau of southwest Missouri. Future and existing settlements will be covered under this single plan, thereby expediting the process of getting restoration dollars on the ground. The Trustees for Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration in Missouri will use this plan to restore at least $20 million in the Springfield Plateau with the possibility of future recoveries in the millions of dollars to be covered by this plan as well.
Additionally, the Trustees will use the plan as a framework for other ecoregions around the state, further expediting the restoration process and decreasing the length of time for the recovery of injured natural resources.