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Natural Resources Damage Assessment
Missouri Portion of the Tri-State Mining District
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.
Joplin Parks Project Proposal
The Trustees for the State of Missouri will use restoration funds to convert mowed fescue parkland into native prairie habitat within several Joplin parks. A public meeting was held at Joplin City Hall on July 1st, and the City Council unanimously voted to implement the project with the Trustees.
Return of Funds
In February 2018, the Trustee for the State of Missouri decided to return funds ($106,787.64) for restoration in Roaring River State Park in order to use these funds for restoration closer to the location of ASARCO's former operations.
SWMO Return of Funds - May 2019
Cardinal Valley Natural Habitat Restoration Project Proposal and
Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have finalized a plan to restore mined areas using compost produced by the Webb City Wastewater Treatment Plant. An Environmental Assessment of this project has been completed.
Springfield Plateau Regional Restoration Plan Amendment
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have amended the Springfield Plateau Regional Restoration Plan in order to streamline the development and implementation of primary restoration projects intended to restore injured natural resources. The Trustees now have an additional method by which primary restoration projects may be submitted by the Trustees in conjunction with robust public review and comment. Although this new method for project development will not utilize a Request For Proposal process, the Trustees will continue to use a process of advertising and requesting bids for professional services and materials needed to implement these projects. Please click here for the full text of the amendment .
A public meeting was held to present this draft amendment and accept comments. No comments were received.
Request for Proposals
At this time, there are no open requests for proposals.
Request For Proposal Awards
Upland Habitat within the Springfield Plateau
The Trustees were seeking to restore wildlife habitat and other natural resources in areas outside of the historic mining districts, but within the same ecoregion, the Springfield Plateau. We are pleased to announce that Missouri State Parks, the City of Webb City, and the Missouri Prairie Foundation were all awarded funds for their proposals.
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 happy to announce that the Missouri Prairie Foundation has received these funds.
Eagle Picher I Request for Proposal (12-page PDF )
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 has received these funds. See their website at: http://www.moprairie.org/
Upland Compensatory Request for Proposals (7-page PDF )
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 happy to announce that the city of Webb City has received these funds.
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
Springfield Plateau Regional Restoration Plan - - Finding of No Significant Impact (2-page PDF )
Draft - Springfield Plateau Regional Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment
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:
2) Assessment planning
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.
Trustee Resolutions: Trustee resolutions are decision documents relating to how the funds from our NRDA claims are spent.
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.
Dave Mosby, Case Manager, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Eric Gramlich, Case Manager, Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Reports and Study Plans
Tri-State Transition Zone Assessment Study (March 2013) 2.3MB PDF ; 53-pages
Assessment of Potential Neosho Madtom (Noturus placidus) Habitat in Tributaries of the Spring River of Kansas and Missouri, USA (March 12, 2013) 425KB PDF ; 72 pages
Effects of mining-derived metals on riffle-dwelling crayfish in southwestern Missouri and southeastern Kansas of the Tri-State Mining District, USA (August 11, 2012) 1.5MB PDF ; 117 pages
Notices of Intent to Conduct Assessments
Notice of Intent to Conduct Assessment for Newton County (January 2008) 119KB PDF
Notice of Intent to Conduct Assessment for Jasper County (November 2002) 106KB PDF
Preassessment Screen for Newton County (January 2008) 743KB PDF
Preassessment Screen for Jasper County (August 2002) 915KB PDF
Damage Assessment Plan for Jasper and Newton Counties, Missouri 2.5 MB 117 pages
Addendum to the Cherokee County, KS; Jasper and Newton Counties, MO; and Tar Creek, OK, Natural Resource Damages Assessment Plans: Evaluating injury to mussels by metals in the Tri-State Mining District
Study Plan: Pilot Study to Assess Volume of Mine Waste and Concentration of Selected Metals in Stream and Floodplain Sediments (May 11, 2011) 2MB PDF; 40 pages
Migratory Bird Study Plan 2009 (29kb PDF): Screening Level Migratory Bird Exposure Study for the Missouri Portion of the Tri-State Mining District, Jasper and Newton Counties
Study Plan for Migratory Birds: Migratory Bird Injury Confirmation (Nov. 21, 2008) 25KB PDF
Study Plan for Crayfish: Effects of lead-zinc mining on crayfish density in the Spring River watershed in southwest Missouri, Tn-State Mining District, USA (Oct. 27, 2008) 775KB PDF; 23 pages
Study Plan for Ozark Cavefish: Ozark Cavefish Distribution and Life History Related to Mining in Jasper and NewtonCounties (404 KB)