Ecological Services: Environmental Contaminants
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Natural Resources Damage Assessment 

Missouri Portion of the Tri-State Mining District

 

Hisotric photo of miners at an Eagle Picher Mine.

Miners at an Eagle Picher Mining and Smelting Company mine in Missouri.

The Missouri Field Office manages two very large mining sites the Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District and Tri-State Mining District that encompass multiple Superfund sites, thousands of acres of impacted land, and hundreds of miles of contaminated streams.  The two mining districts make up the number one historic lead and zinc production areas in the nation, respectively.  Managing these cases requires extensive coordination and collaboration with state partners, Department of the Interior Office of the Solicitor, U.S. EPA and the Department of Justice. 

 

Request for Proposals

The Springfield Plateau Regional Restoration Plan has now been finalized and published in the Federal Register. This is a document written by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to guide the process of restoring natural resources injured by the release of hazardous substances. We are now at a stage where we are disbursing funds for restoration. We advertise for projects using a Request For Proposal format.

 

The application period for the three 2013 Requests For Proposals (below) has ended. We will be advertising more Requests For Proposals in 2014.

 

Eagle-Picher I Request for Proposals

The Eagle-Picher I Request for Proposals was seeking projects that can ameliorate injuries to migratory birds and endangered species resulting from mining and smelting activities around Joplin, Missouri. We are currently in negotiations for awarding this Request for Proposals.

 

Eagle Picher I Request for Proposal (12-page PDF Adobe PDF icon)

 

 

Upland Compensatory Request for Proposals

The Upland Compensatory Request for Proposals was seeking applicants that can implement successful programs of prairie acquisition and restoration projects in and around Jasper and Newton counties. We are happy to announce that the Missouri Prairie Foundation will be receiving these funds.  See their website at: http://www.moprairie.org/


Upland Compensatory Request for Proposals (7-page PDF Adobe PDF icon)

 

 

Primary Jasper Restoration Acquisition Request for Proposals

The Primary Jasper Restoration Acquisition Request for Proposals was seeking applicants that can acquire land that has been most  impacted by mine waste, and manage that land for wildlife habitat.  Lands that are prioritized under this Request for Proposals are areas that have been subject to the EPA remedial clean-up process, or will be in the near future. We are currently in negotiations for awarding this Request for Proposals.

 

Primary Jasper Restoration Acquisition  Request for Proposals (6-page PDF Adobe PDF icon)

 

Springfield Plateau Regional Restoration Plan

The Restoration Plan describes and explains options for restoring natural resources that were harmed by mining operations in the Springfield Plateau of southwest Missouri.

 

FINAL - Springfield Plateau Regional Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment

FINAL Regional Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment; May 2012  (60-page PDF Adobe PDF icon)

 

Appendices: FINAL Springfield Plateau Regional Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment (54-page PDF Adobe PDF icon)

 

Springfield Plateau Regional Restoration Plan - - Finding of No Significant Impact (2-page PDF Adobe PDF icon)

 

DRAFT - Springfield Plateau Regional Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment

 

DRAFT Regional Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment; Jan. 11, 2012 (58-page PDF Adobe PDF icon)

 

Appendices: DRAFT Springfield Plateau Regional Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment; Jan. 11, 2012 (60-page PDF Adobe PDF icon)

 

History

Commercial mining began about 1848 in Newton County, Missouri and moved westward into Kansas and southward into Oklahoma.  Commercial smelters were used in all three states.  At first, lead was of primary interest; however, the ore was rich in zinc deposits and zinc production became increasingly important over time. 

 

The Tri-State Mining District (Tri-State) spans portions of the states of Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.  The Missouri portion includes Barry, Christian, Greene, Lawrence, Jasper, and Newton Counties. 

 

Tri-State is the fourth largest historic producer of lead and the number one historic producer of zinc within the United States. 

 

As a result of these mining and related activities, large amounts of metals, inlcuding cadmium, lead, and zinc, were released released into Missouri's environment, and these metals continue to be released.  Cadmium, lead, zinc, and other metals associated with mining are potentially toxic to a wide variety of plants and animals.

 

Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, the Director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) and the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) are Trustees for natural resources in the Missouri portion of the Tri-State Mining District.  Natural resources over which MDNR and DOI exercise trusteeship include surface waters (rivers, lakes, streams, etc.), ground water, soils, air, plants, and animals. 

 

As Trustees, the State of Missouri and DOI serve as stewards for these resources and have the authority to assess whether the resources and their services have been injured as a result of release(s) of hazardous substances.  Injuries to natural resources can occur if the resources are exposed to concentrations of hazardous substances that are high enough to cause specific adverse effects.  For example, injuries can occur if lead and/or zinc concentrations in surface waters are so high that relevant water quality criteria are exceeded. Plants and animals are injured if they die, cannot reproduce normally, become sick or are otherwise negatively affected as defined under relevant laws and regulations.

 

The process through which the Trustees evaluate injuries to natural resources associated with the release(s) of hazardous substances and determine appropriate compensation for those injuries is called natural resource damage assessment and restoration (NRDAR).  DOI promulgated and published NRDAR regulations in the Federal Register (43 CFR Part 11.).  These regulations provide procedures by which trustees can identify natural resource injuries, quantify those injuries, determine appropriate compensation (damages) for the injured resources and the services they provide, and restore those injured resources.  The NRDAR process includes a number of different steps, specifically:

 

1) Pre-assessment

2) Assessment planning

3) Assessment

4) Post-Assessment Planning and Implementation

 

DOI and the State of Missouri have begun a NRDAR for portions of Tri-State.  The Trustees have completed the pre-assessment phase for both the Jasper County and the Newton County Mine Tailings Superfund Site.  In the PASs, in accordance with applicable regulations, the Trustees concluded that further investigation and assessment of natural resource injury and damages was warranted at the Sites described above. 43 C.F.R §§11.24 and 11.25.

 

In addition to this website, you can learn more about the Tri-State NRDA by visiting the Missouri Department of Natural Resources at: http://www.dnr.mo.gov/env/hwp/sfund/nrda.htm

 

Natural Resource Damage Assessment Contacts and Reports

During the NRDAR process, the Trustees create a number of key documents which are released to the public for review and comment.  If you have any questions concerning information found in any of these reports or any other comments related to the Tri-State NRDA, contact us by email.

 

Contacts

Dave Mosby, Case Manager, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 

Mr. Tim Rielly, Case Manager, Missouri Department of Natural Resources

 

Reports and Study Plans

Tri-State Transition Zone Assessment Study (March 2013) 53-page PDF

 

2011 Accomplishment Report

 

Field Sampling Plan for a Pilot Study to Assess the Volume of Mine Wastes and Concentration of Selected Metals in Stream and Floodplain Sediments within the Tri-State Mining District in Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma (41-page PDF; 1.7MB)

 

Notices of Intent to Conduct Assessments

 

Notice of Intent to Conduct Assessment for Newton County (119KB; .pdf)

 

Notice of Intent to Conduct Assessment for Jasper County (106KB; .pdf)

 

Preassessment Screens

 

Preassessment Screen for Newton County (743KB; .pdf)

 

Preassessment Screen for Jasper County (915KB; .pdf)

 

Study Plans

 

Study Plan for Migratory Birds (25KB .pdf)

 

Study Plan for Ozark Cavefish Distribution and Life History (404 KB)

 

 


 

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Last updated: November 5, 2013
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