Natural Resource Damage Assessment
Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District
State Natural Resource Trustee Proposes Plan to Identify Ecosystem Restoration Opportunities in Southeast Missouri - Meramec River Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources proposes to utilize ASARCO restoration funds to partially fund a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Feasibility Study in the Lower Meramec River Basin in cooperation with its co-trustee, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The department would use the requested restoration planning funding as state matching funds for the Feasibility Study. The Feasibility Study is designed to identify ecosystem restoration opportunities in the Meramec River Basin, with a focus on the Big River watershed in Jefferson County. The study will identify potential restoration projects and provide project designs for the trustees to consider for future implementation.
The public is invited to submit comments for a thirty day time period, from August 17, 2016, through September 17, 2016 on the Meramec River Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study.
Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Planning Proposal for the Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District: Meramec River Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study Submitted by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources – August 2016 (PDF)
Three Proposals from Missouri DNR
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service supports the further exploration and full development of preliminary proposals submitted by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for on-site restoration in southeast Missouri. The preliminary proposals submitted by Missouri DNR describe early ideas for restoration at three sites in Madison and St. Francois counties, Missouri. We encourage the Missouri DNR to work cooperatively with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ensure that restoration and site clean-up activities proceed compatibly.
The encouragement to develop full restoration proposals is part of an ongoing Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration process conducted by co-trustees, including the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in the Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced its support for further exploration so the public can be informed of the status of the restoration proposals.
Letter from Missouri DNR to the Service Introducing Proposals (dated April 6, 2016)
Missouri DNR Proposals (dated April 6, 2016)
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Response to Missouri DNR Proposals (dated June 7, 2016)
News Release (March 18, 2016): Agencies Release Draft Plan to Study Movement of Heavy Metals in the Lead Mining Area of Southeast Missouri
The Missouri Trustee Council, which includes the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, is announcing that a draft study plan, “Damages Assessment Plan Addendum for Transition Zone Assessment at the Madison County Mines Site,” is available for public review and comment.
News Release (Jan. 8, 2016): University Researchers and Agencies Release Draft Assessment Plan Addendum to Study Lead Effects on Songbirds: Study is part of Natural Resource Damage Assessment in Southeast Missouri
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it is launching a study to assess the effects of lead exposure on songbirds breeding within the Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District. The study is being led by researchers at Southeast Missouri State University, University of Missouri-Columbia and the U.S. Geological Survey.
The study is part of an ongoing Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration process conducted by co-trustees, including the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in the Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act. The co-trustees are making the Draft Songbird Assessment Plan available for public review and comment.
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:
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.
Currently Funded Restoration Projects
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
Prier Tract 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
Previously Funded Restoration Projects
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
There are no current proposals at this time.
Prior Restoration Proposals
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
Strategic Restoration Implementation Plan (April 2016) 1-Page PDF
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)
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
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
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
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