Ecological Services: Environmental Contaminants
Midwest Region

 

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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. 

 

New

Cardinal Valley Natural Habitat Restoration Project Proposal and Draft Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are proposing a project to restore mined areas using compost produced by the Webb City Wastewater Treatment Plant. An Environmental Assessment of this project has also been completed and is currently in the Federal Register for a 30-day comment period. Comments must be received by June 6, 2018.

 

Cardinal Valley Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment Adobe PDF Icon

 

Federal Register Notice Adobe PDF Icon


 

New

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.

Decision Memo: Request for Proposals, Natural Resource Damage Compensatory Restoration Projects for Upland Habitat within the Springfield Plateau (4-page PDF Adobe PDF Icon )

 

Request for Proposal - Projects for Upland Habitat within the Springfield Plateau Region (6-page PDF Adobe PDF Icon)

 

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 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 has received 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 happy to announce that the city of Webb City has received these funds.

 

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.

 

Trustee Resolutions: Trustee resolutions are decision documents relating to how the funds from our NRDA claims are spent.

 

You can learn more about the Tri-State NRDA by visiting the Missouri Department of Natural Resources website.

 

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 

Eric Gramlich, Case Manager, Missouri Department of Natural Resources

 

Reports and Study Plans

 

Final Reports

Effects of Composted Biosolids and Manure Applications for Prairie and Wetland Restoration on Remediated Mine Lands Nov. 2017; 3MBAdobe PDF Icon

 

Tri-State Transition Zone Assessment Study (March 2013) 2.3MB PDF Adobe PDF Icon; 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 Adobe PDF Icon; 72 pages

 

Ozark Cavefish Distribution Related to Mining and Water Quality in the Tri-State Mining District of Jasper and Newton Counties, Missouri (July 2012) 2MB PDF Adobe PDF Icon; 57 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 Adobe PDF Icon; 117 pages

 

Adverse health effects in Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) associated with waste from zinc and lead mines in the Tri-State Mining District 1.2MB PDF Adobe PDF Icon; 57 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 Screens

Preassessment Screen for Newton County (January 2008) 743KB PDF

 

Preassessment Screen for Jasper County (August 2002) 915KB PDF

 

Study Plans

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 Adobe PDF icon

 

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)


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Last updated: May 10, 2018