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Natural Resource Damage Assessment
Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District
In the News
The Trustees are releasing an amendment to our restoration plan for the Herculaneum Lead Smelter site. The amendment calls for funding Land Learning Foundation to manage and maintain 105 acres of forest land along Joachim Creek for public benefit and Ozark Land Trust to administer and monitor a conservation easement for the property. Details on the project can be found in the restoration plan amendment.
Natural resource trustee agencies seek public comment on proposed restoration project
in southeast Missouri
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, acting as trustees for Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration, are seeking public input on a draft plan to restore resources in injured by impacts from lead mining in Jefferson County in southeast Missouri.
Trustees invite the public to review the plan, available beginning June 17, 2020, on the Service’s website for Natural Resource Damage Assessment activities in southeast Missouri. Agency representatives will be available by phone or email to discuss the proposed restoration project described in the draft restoration plan for Jefferson County. The proposed project includes a coordinated effort with a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Corps of Engineers’ pilot project designed to stabilize areas of eroding banks along the Big River near the confluence of Calico Creek. The proposed restoration project provides stream bank and floodplain revegetation, soil stabilization, and upland timber stand improvement covering nearly 600 acres.
The proposed restoration work will be supported through funded conservation easements and management funds to ensure long-term sustainability of the restoration. These projects will benefit fish and wildlife resources in and near the Big River. Funding for the proposed restoration projects comes from a settlement with ASARCO, LLC for natural resource damages associated with the release of hazardous substances at the Federal Mine and Mill Complex in St. Francois County.
Southwest Jefferson County is part of the larger Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District. The Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District spans multiple counties from 40 to 90 miles south-southwest of St. Louis, Missouri and is located in the Big River, Black River and St. Francis River watersheds. It is one of the largest lead-producing regions of the world.
Public participation is an important part of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration process. The health and safety of members of the public, employees, volunteers and partners is our number one priority while we work with federal, state and local partners to slow the spread of the novel Corona virus (COVID-19). In lieu of a public meeting, the trustees will post information about the
proposed natural resource project in Jefferson County. We encourage comments and input from the public on the draft restoration plan and will accept them beginning June 17, 2020, through July 16, 2020
Members of the public should submit their comments to:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
101 Park DeVille Dr. Suite A
Columbia, MO 65203 email@example.com
or call (573) 476-9552.
Viburnum Trend and Herculaneum Lead Smelter Site Final Restoration Plans and Environmental Assessments
Federal and state natural resource agencies are releasing two final restoration plans and environmental assessments that select restoration projects to restore natural resources and their supporting habitat lost as a result of exposure to high concentrations of lead released from the various lead and zinc mining, milling, and smelting facilities located in Viburnum Trend and Herculaneum. Draft restoration plans were made available to the public by the natural resource trustees (the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources) in March and public information sessions were held on March 2, 2020 in Viburnum, Missouri, and March 3, 2020 in Herculaneum, Missouri followed by a 45 day public comment period in which no comments were received.
Natural Resource Trustees Seek Public Comment on proposed Restoration Projects in Southeast Missouri - February 2020
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, acting as trustees for Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration, are seeking public input on a draft restoration plan. Trustees invite the public to an information meeting on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, to learn about the trustees’ proposed natural resource restoration projects in St. Francois County Missouri. The meeting will be from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Desloge City Hall, 300 N. Lincoln St., Desloge, Missouri.
Agency representatives will be on hand to discuss two proposed restoration projects described in the draft Restoration Plan for St. Francois County “Bonehole” Park Expansion and Restoration and Borehole Closure and Restoration Program, which will be available below beginning February 10, 2020. The first proposed project includes glade and woodland restoration, invasive species control, native vegetation establishment, and the expansion and protection of the existing Bonehole County Park. The second proposed project will create a program of restoration through the Soil and Water Conservation Program to close and restore prospecting boreholes in priority areas of St. Francois County. These projects will benefit surface water, stream sediments, floodplain soils, benthic organisms, migratory birds and their supporting ecosystems.
Natural Resource Trustees Seek Public Comment on proposed Restoration Projects in Southeast Missouri - December 2019
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service, acting as Trustees for Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (Trustees), are seeking public input on a draft restoration plan, and invite the public to an information meeting on Thursday, December 12, 2019, to learn about proposed natural resource restoration projects in southeast Missouri. The meeting will be from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Steelville City Library, 210 S. 4th Street, Steelville, Missouri.
Agency representatives will be on hand to present information on proposed restoration projects described in the draft Stream, Riparian, and Floodplain Habitat Restoration within Crooked and Huzzah Creeks Restoration Plan, which will be available beginning December 2, 2019 at the Service's website for Natural Resources Damage Assessment activities in southeast Missouri. The proposed projects include conservation agricultural practices, stream bank stabilization and riparian (near stream) restoration projects in portions of Crooked Creek and Huzzah Creek to benefit surface water, stream sediments, floodplain soils, benthic organisms, migratory birds and their supporting ecosystems.
The draft Crooked and Huzzah Creek Restoration Plan will be available for review and public comment from December 2-31st.
Archive: Prior Announcements
Mining and smelting sites within St. Francois, Reynolds, Jefferson and Iron Counties in Missouri are located within the Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District, an area that was mined extensively for lead and zinc for more than a century. As a result of this mining and related activities, large amounts of metals including cadmium, lead, zinc, and nickel were released and are continuing to be released into Missouri's environment. 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, and implementing regulations, the Director of the Department of Natural Resources (Missouri DNR) and the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) are Trustees for natural resources in the Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District . Natural resources over which Missouri DNR 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 within the Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District 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.
Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Process
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 the Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District. In June 2008, the Trustees completed the pre-assessment phase for the Big River Mine Tailings Superfund Site and Surrounding Area in the St. Francois County portion of Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District and three sites within the Viburnum Trend portion of the Lead Mining District: Sweetwater Mine and Mill Complex, West Fork Mine and Mill Complex, and Glover Smelter, which culminated in two Preassessment Screens and Determinations (Missouri DNR and DOI 2008). In the Preassessment Screens, 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 Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District NRDA by visiting the Missouri Department of Natural Resources at (leave this website):http://www.dnr.mo.gov/env/hwp/sfund/nrda.htm
Natural Resource Damage Assessment Contacts
During the NRDAR process, the Trustees create a number of key documents which are released to the public for review and comment. Below are links to Trustee reports for the Southeast Missouri Natural Resource Damage Assessment. If you have any questions concerning information found in any of these reports or any other comments related to the Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District NRDA, contact us via email.
Dave Mosby, Case Manager, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Eric Gramlich, Case Manager, Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Previously Funded Restoration Projects
Taum Sauk Mountain and Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Parks: Parcel Acquisitions (Sept 2016) 21-page PDF
Onondaga Cave State Park: Horvat Tract (Sept 2016) 12-page PDF
Prier Tract (April 2016) 15-page PDF
Finding of No Significant Impact: Property Acquisitions and Supplemental Environmental Assessment (Jan. 7, 2016) 4-page PDF
Natural Resource Restoration: Property Acquisitions and Supplemental Assessment (Dec. 2015) 31-page PDF
Buildings for Babies Foundation Property (Dec. 2015) 20-page PDF
Frederick Creek Ranch Proposal (Dec. 2015) 18-page PDF
Native Plant Diversity Restoration (Dec. 23, 2015) 15-page PDF
West Fork Black River Bottomland Restoration Project (Dec. 22, 2015) 13-page PDF
Wilderness Connection and Watershed Protection for the East Fork of the Black River (Dec. 23, 2015) 27-page PDF
Decision Memo SEMO RFP 1 8-page PDF
Environmental Action Statement for SEMO RFP1 2-page PDF (May 2015)
Soil and Water Conservation Program Response to SEMO RFP (Dec. 15, 2014) 32-page PDF
SEMO Riparian Corridor RFP (Oct. 15, 2014) 8-page PDF
Current Restoration Proposals
Prior Restoration Proposals
SEMO TSMD Return of Parks Funds (May 2019) 4-page PDF
Public Meeting Presentation Natural Resource Restoration in the Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District: Property Acquisition and Supplemental Environmental Assessment (Sept. 2, 2015) 46-page PDF
DRAFT Natural Resource Restoration in the Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District: Proposal for Property Acquisitions and Supplemental Environmental Assessment (Sept. 2, 2015) 12-page PDF
Proposed Native Plant Diversity Restoration: Non-Native Invasive Species Treatments and Planting on Mark Twain National Forest (Sept. 4, 2015) 9-Page PDF
Proposed West Fork Black River Bottomland Restoration Project (Sept. 4, 2015) 6-Page PDF
Herculaneum Lead Smelter Site Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment (July 16, 2019; 29-page PDF; 1.6MB)
Viburnum Trend LEad Mining District Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment (July 2019; 39-page PDF; 1.1MB)
Crooked and Huzzah Creeks Draft Restoration Plan (November 2019; 13-page PDF ; 6.8MB)
Southeast Missouri Ozarks Regional Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment (June 2014; errata April 25, 2016) 179-page PDF; 3.6MB
Finding of No Significant Impact - Southeast Missouri Ozarks Regional Restoration Plan (June 11, 2014) PDF; 2 pages
Phosphate Treatment of Lead-Contaminated Soil: Effects on Water Quality, Plant Uptake, and Lead Speciation July 10, 2015 (10-page PDF)
Environmental Implications of Phosphate-Based Amendments in Heavy Metal Contaminated Alluvial Soil November 6, 2014 (79-page PDF; 1MB)
Quantitative Survey of Freshwater Mussels (Unionoidea) and Assessment of Sediment Contamination in the Big River, Missouri November 7, 2016 (69-page PDF )
Viburnum Trend Lead Mining District Transition Zone Assessment Study Report August 2014 (88-page PDF; 2.8MB)
Associating Soil Lead with Adverse Effects on Songbirds in the Southeast Missouri Mining District July 28, 2014 (39-page PDF; 1.3MB)
Toxic Exposure of Songbirds to Lead in the Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District (08-06-13) 367KB PDF
Effects of mining-associated lead and zinc soil contamination on native floristic quality by Struckhoff et al. Published (9-page PDF )
Big River: Assessment of Mussels and Heavy Metals in Sediment (Roberts et al. 2009) (Final 12-09) 6.6 MB PDF
Big River Borrow Pit Monitoring Project by Owens et al. 2012 (3MB PDF ; 82-pages)
Distribution, Geochemistry, and Storage of Mining Sediment in Channel and Floodplain Deposits of the Big River System in St. Francois, Washington, and Jefferson Counties, Missouri. Final Report (June 18, 2010) 4MB PDF; 141 pages
Effects of Metals on Crayfish in Big River, Missouri 2010 (Allert et al.) Final (2010) 526KB PDF
Floristic Quality Assessment USGS Final Report (2009) 5.2MB PDF
Sediment Toxicity Report (Besser et al. 2009) USGS Final Report (2009) 1MB PDF
Histology Scopes of Work
Madison County Mines Crayfish Sampling and Analysis Plan (June 2, 2015) 5MB PDF
Proposed Survey of Freshwater Mussels, Mussel Habitat, and Sediment Contamination on the Big River, Missouri (August 2013) 526KB PDF; 6-pages
Spatial distribution, geochemistry, and storage of mining sediment in channel and floodplain deposits of streams draining the Viburnum Trend Mining District of Southeast Missouri (Aug. 16, 2012) 217KB PDF ; 17-pages
Work Plan to Assist the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in identification of the depth of mine tailings contamination of streambed sediments in the Viburnum Trend mining district of southeastern Missouri (2012) 127KB PDF ; 12 pages
Sampling and Analysis Plan for the Viburnum Trend Lead Mining District Transition Zone Assessment Study (July 2012) 933KB PDF ; 43-pages
Statement of Work: Channel Instability and Sediment Contamination Risk to Lower Big River Mussel Beds October 7, 2010 (168KB PDF ; 12-pages)
Big River Long Term Monitoring Methods (July 2010) 28KB PDF
Study Plan for Crayfish (January 2009) 2.2MB PDF
Study Plan for Floristic Quality Index (January 2009) 92KB PDF
Study Plan for Riffle Studies (January 2009) 46KB PDF
Study Plan for Bird Injury (Spring 2009) 58KB PDF
Map of potential bird collection sites (Spring 2009) 1.4 MB PDF
SOP for passerine capture (Spring 2009) 192KB PDF
SOP for collection ...blood ... small birds (Spring 2009) 460KB PDF
SOP for removal of liver tissue (Spring 2009) 250KB PDF
Big River Mine Sediment Assessment Project (2008-2009) prepared Nov. 7, 2008 - - 14-page PDF
Study Plan for Sediment Metal Toxicity (September 2008) 53KB PDF
Sediment and Mussel Sampling Plan (August 2008) 113KB PDF
Phase I final (January 2009) 2.2MB PDF
Response to comments on Phase I Assessment Plan January 2009 (506KB PDF )
Preassessment Screen and Determination; Madison County Mines Site, Madison County, Missouri (June 2014) 2.1MB PDF ; 25 pages
Viburnum Trend (Fletcher et al.) Preassessment Screen (March 2009) 588KB PDF
Addendum to Preassessment Screen for Big River Mine Tailings Site (BRMT) (January 2009) 340KB PDF
Viburnum Trend (Sweetwater et al.) Preassessment Screen (June 2008) 108KB PDF
Big River Mine Tailings Site Preassessment Screen (June 2008) 220KB PDF