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Natural Resource Damage Assessment

Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District (SEMOLMD) - 2011 Accomplishments

Columbia Missouri Ecological Services Field Office Report


Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District (SEMOLMD)
This site encompasses eight National Priorities List sites and several other Superfund sites that may or may not be placed on the National Priorities List .  The Columbia Missouri ES field Office (CMFO) Environmental Contaminants (EC) biologists have been extensively engaged in assessment activities that could result in restoration of large areas of land and approximately one hundred miles of contaminated stream. 


Assessments either conducted by CMFO staff or under CMFO staff oversight include mussel population monitoring, habitat evaluation for the threatened Hines emerald dragonfly, completion of a pilot study evaluating the effectiveness of several potential contaminated sediment removal technologies, evaluation of the stability of metals contaminated riverbanks in the lower Big River, evaluation of metal toxicity to plants that could affect thousands of acres of migratory bird habitat, a migratory bird lead exposure study, and evaluation of restoration pilot project on sediment transport designed to better estimate damages.  A draft final Report of Assessment on Hines emerald dragonfly habitat has been released for co-trustee review.  The document discusses results of CMFO’s sampling activities in fens around the mining district and evaluates metals concentrations relative to toxicity reference values.


CMFO EC staff has been involved in negotiations with responsible parties on a number of different fronts.  The Trustees are continuing discussions with responsible parties on cooperative assessments at two of the major subdistricts within SEMOLMD: the Big River Mine Tailings site and the Viburnum Trend.  In addition, settlement negotiations have continued for the Magmont Mine/Mill Complex, a mine site within the Viburnum Trend.  All of these sites contain contaminated migratory bird habitat and the Big River site has impacts to endangered mussels.  Negotiations at the Magmont site could result in a settlement early next year worth millions of dollars to be used for habitat restoration.  The cooperative assessment negotiations are a longer term strategy that should facilitate successful negotiations in the future.


A Consent Decree between the U.S., the State of Missouri, and the Doe Run Resources Company was submitted for public review that included stream mitigation of lead contaminated sediment in the Viburnum Trend.  CMFO EC staff designed the Scope of Work with EPA, US Department of Justice, and MDNR.  The Trustees had evaluated the stream (Bee Fork Creek) as part of the NRDA and had developed restoration techniques to address contaminated sediments.  The Trustees applied stream assessment and restoration methods to the formulation of the SOW.  


CMFO biologists have begun work on a regional restoration plan that will cover the entire SEMO lead mining district.  The regional restoration plan will be complete in CY2012 and will allow the Trustees for NRDAR in Missouri to efficiently spend restoration dollars to restore injured natural resources.  To complement this effort, the CMFO EC biologists have been actively participating in monthly public meetings to discuss potential restoration projects in the Big River watershed. 




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Last updated: May 11, 2015