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Southeast Missouri Natural Resource Damages

The Missouri Trustee Council, which includes the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and for some projects, the U.S. Forest Service, has announced its decision to fund a number of restoration activities in southeast Missouri. The trustees previously discussed proposals for the selected and approved projects at a public meeting on Sept. 2, 2015.  The presentation was followed by a 40-day public comment period, which provided interested members of the public an opportunity to review the proposed projects and provide feedback.

The trustees have evaluated the public comments received on the proposed acquisitions and restoration projects. The trustees have elected to fund and implement restoration projects involving acquisition of more than 5,400 acres and restoration of upland, wetland and bottomland habitats, which will benefit migratory birds and other species as well as improve water quality. The restoration projects also include a cessation of cattle grazing on certain acquired properties, non-native species control and introduction of prescribed burns. The projects will occur in Dent, Iron, Oregon and Reynolds counties. The total amount for the six approved restoration projects is approximately $10.98 million.

These restoration activities are part of the ongoing Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration process under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) in the Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District. The Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District spans multiple counties from 40 to 90 miles southwest of St. Louis and is located in the Big River, Black River and St. Francois River watersheds. It is one of the largest lead-producing regions of the world. Funding for these selected projects comes from legal settlements with ASARCO, LLC and Freeport McMoRan for natural resources that were harmed by releases of lead and zinc from mining and smelting at sites in the Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District.

The purchase and restoration of high-quality habitats enable the trustees to compensate the public for the loss of natural resources as a result of lead and zinc contamination. Natural resources injured by the releases of mining-related contaminants include surface water, stream sediments, fish, aquatic invertebrates, migratory birds and their supporting habitats, such as streams, riparian corridors, forests and savannas. The property purchases will include additional lands for the U.S. Forest Service in the Black River watershed, add to the Bell Mountain Wilderness area in Iron County and infill other areas within their proclamation boundaries in Dent County. The property purchases in Iron, Oregon and Reynolds counties will be owned and managed by Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Habitat restoration projects, such as eradication of non-native invasive plant species, will be conducted on some of the newly acquired properties in addition to other areas already owned by the Forest Service in Washington, Crawford and Shannon Counties. Additionally, the Forest Service will conduct wetland restoration on the Mark Twain National Forest property on the upper West Fork of the Black River in Reynolds County.

More information is available on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Natural Resource Damage Assessment Southeast Missouri Lead Mining Distrct webpage.

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 study is part of an ongoing Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration process conducted by co-trustees, including the department, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in the Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District under CERCLA. The co-trustees are making the Draft Songbird Assessment Plan available for public review and comment.

View the Plan on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife NRDAR Website

Addendum to Damage Assessment Plan for the Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District to include the Madison County Mine Site

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the department, acting as trustees for natural resources, invited the public to an informational meeting in May 2015 to learn about the trustees’ draft Madison County Mines Site Addendum to the Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District Damage Assessment Plan. The addendum is a keystone document in the natural resource damage assessment and restoration process at the site. The meeting was held at the Black River Electric Cooperative in Fredricktown.

View the Addendum Plan

The draft Madison County Mines plan is intended to ensure the natural resource damages assessment for the site is performed in a planned and systematic manner and that the methodologies selected for the future Injury Determination, Quantification and Damages Determination Phases can be conducted at a reasonable cost. Also available for public review and comment was the draft study plan for the crayfish population and in-situ toxicity, the first injury study to be conducted under the addendum.

View the Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District Damage Assessment Plan

Southeast Missouri Ozarks Regional Restoration Plan

The department, the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service have developed a regional restoration plan to restore southeast Missouri’s natural resources injured by hazardous substances released from current and historic mining operations.

Southeast Missouri Ozarks Regional Restoration Plan Supporting Documents


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