Natural Resource Damages Program
When our natural resources are injured or destroyed, our quality of life, environment and economy suffer. That is why the Missouri Department of Natural Resources has dedicated its mission to protect our air, land and water; preserve our unique natural and historic places; and provide recreational and learning opportunities for everyone.
Our rivers, lakes, prairies and the aquatic life swimming in those waters; the air we breathe; the deer and other wildlife thriving in the woods; the water we drink; and those beautiful wildflowers are the natural resources that we cherish. If these resources are affected by a release of oil or a hazardous waste substance, the department looks for ways to fix that damage.
Final Restoration in the Big River at Calico Creek Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment – September 2020
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, serving as Trustees for Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration, have completed a restoration plan and environmental assessment for several restoration projects in the Big River at Calico Creek.
The project is 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. This restoration project provides stream bank and floodplain revegetation, soil stabilization, and upland timber stand improvement covering nearly 600 acres.
The 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 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. To access a copy of the final restoration plan and environmental assessment click the link below.
Viburnum Trend and the former Herculaneum Smelter in Jefferson County
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service, acting as Trustees for Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (Trustees), have recently completed two restoration plans for projects upcoming in the Viburnum Trend and one at the site of the former Herculaneum smelter in Jefferson County. Click on the title links below to access copies of the plans.
Final Natural Resource Restoration in the Viburnum Trend: Stream, Riparian, and Floodplain Habitat Restoration within Crooked and Huzzah Creeks Restoration Plan – February 2020
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service, acting as Trustees for Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (Trustees) will implement conservation practices, streambank stabilization and stream corridor restoration projects along sections of Crooked and Huzzah creeks, within the Meramec Watershed. These restoration projects will reduce soil loss due to erosion, establish trees along streams, and assist producers in enhancing habitat for wildlife and fish.
Funding for the restoration projects comes from a settlement with Cyprus Amax Minerals Company for natural resource damages associated with the Buick Mine, Mill, and Smelter facilities located within the Meramec Watershed.
A copy of the final Stream, Riparian, and Floodplain Habitat Restoration within Crooked and Huzzah Creeks Restoration Plan is available online.
Final Restoration Plan for St. Francois County – June 2020
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, serving as Trustees for Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration, have completed a restoration plan for two restoration projects in St. Francois County, the St. Francois County “Bonehole” Park Expansion and Restoration and Borehole Closure and Restoration Program.
The Bonehole Park Expansion project will implement glade and woodland restoration, invasive species control, native vegetation establishment and expansion, and perpetual protection of the existing Bonehole County Park. The Borehole Closure and Restoration Program project will create a restoration program through the Soil and Water Conservation District to close and restore prospecting boreholes in priority areas of St. Francois County. Both projects will benefit surface water, stream sediments, floodplain soils, benthic organisms, migratory birds, and their supporting ecosystems.
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. Click on the link below to access a copy of the final restoration plan.
Natural Resource Restoration in the Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District: St. Francois County “Bonehole” Park Expansion and Restoration and Borehole Closure and Restoration Program Restoration Plan
St. Louis Riverfront-Meramec Basin Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study with Integrated Environmental Assessment
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources serves as the state trustee for the assessment and restoration of natural resources injured by the release of hazardous substances. The department and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have partnered to study the Meramec and Big Rivers in St. Louis and Jefferson County to find cost effective methods and projects to restore the Big River system degraded by land use practices and releases of heavy metals from historic mining operations. An online copy of the feasibility study is available from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers by clicking on the link below.
About the Natural Resource Damages Program
In 1998, the department established a Natural Resource Damages program. The director of the department is designated by the governor as the state natural resource trustee. In addition to state trustees, there are five federal trustees including the secretaries of the departments of Defense, Energy, Commerce, Interior and Agriculture. American Indian tribes are also designated trustees, but there are no state or federally recognized tribes within Missouri.
The core philosophy encompassing natural resource damages is that a state’s public lands, waters and living resources are held in “trust” for the benefit of the citizens of the state. Citizens have the right to use and enjoy natural resources and as a natural resource trustee, the department has the duty and responsibility to protect these resources. Natural resource trustees are tasked with determining the type and extent of injuries to natural resources and with restoring injured natural resources for public use.
There are several approaches to assessing and restoring injured natural resources. One approach is the cooperative-based restoration approach. This approach focuses on restoration with the trustees and responsible parties working together through cooperative assessment agreements. A second approach is settlement negotiations. Settlements should include the cost of restoring the natural resources; the cost of the lost use of the resources; and the cost incurred by the trustees to assess the injuries. If a settlement cannot be reached, the trustees can conduct a formal Natural Resource Damages assessment and proceed with litigation. Learn more about specific areas of the state with natural resource damages.
Agencies Release Draft Plan to Restore the Little St. Francis River Pile at the Madison County Mines Site, Madison County
The department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, acting as trustees for natural resources, held an informational meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016, to discuss the trustees’ proposal to restore natural resources at the Little St. Francis River Pile site in Fredericktown. The trustees propose to use American Smelting and Refining Company restoration funds to restore native floodplain forest at the former Little St. Francis River Pile mine site and adjacent area, a part of the larger Madison County Mines site. The draft proposal discusses how the city owned site will be restored to forest and protected following the completion of planned cleanup activities by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Planned restoration activities include tree planting, spraying for invasive species, monitoring the success of plantings and long-term protection of the site by the city of Fredericktown.
Springfield and Kansas City Request for Proposal Projects
RFP Projects Awarded March 13, 2017: The Department of Natural Resources has awarded three projects in the Springfield and Kansas City areas. The department awarded $400,000 to the City of Springfield, $100,000 to the Ozark Regional Land Trust and $500,000 to the Heartland Conservation Alliance and the City of Kansas City, MO. The groundwater restoration projects will benefit the James and Sac river watersheds as well as the Blue River or its tributaries.
- City of Springfield Award Letter
- Ozark Regional Land Trust Award Letter
- Heartland Conservation Alliance and City of Kansas City, MO Award Letter
Background: The department, as the Natural Resource Damages trustee, released two requests for proposal in September 2016 to fund groundwater restoration in the Kansas City and Springfield areas. The first RFP would fund applicants up to $500,000 toward implementation of successful compensatory groundwater restoration projects in the Springfield area that would benefit the James and Sac River watersheds. The second RFP would fund applicants up to $500,000 toward implementation of successful compensatory groundwater restoration projects in the Kansas City region that would benefit the Blue River or its tributaries. The targeted programs and projects will compensate for groundwater resources injured by the release of hazardous substances associated with the former Kerr McGee facility in Springfield and Kansas City. These Requests for Proposals for compensatory groundwater restoration projects relate from recovered natural resource monetary damages through the former Kerr-McGee Corporation (Anadarko Petroleum Corporation) facilities in Missouri.
Springfield Request for Groundwater Restoration Proposals
- Anadarko Funds Springfield RFP Presentation
- Request for Proposals - Natural Resource Damage Groundwater Restoration Projects in Portions of the Springfield Missouri Area
- Scoring Matrix for Springfield
Kansas City Request for Groundwater Restoration Proposals
- Anadarko Funds Kansas City RFP Presentation
- Request for Proposals - Natural Resource Damage Groundwater Restoration Projects in Portions of the Kansas City Missouri Area
- Scoring Matrix for Kansas City
Missouri State Groundwater Restoration Plan
Southeast Missouri Natural Resource Damages
Southwest Missouri Natural Resources Damages
Natural Resource Damages Agreements and Quality Assurance
- Statewide Memorandum of Understanding
- Memorandum of Agreement Between the Department and Department of Conservation
- Designation of lead administrative trustee for the Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District
- Tri-State Mining District Partnership Agreement
- Quality Assurance Project Plan for Natural Resources Damages