"High Lead Levels Return Near Doe Run Smelter"

"HERCULANEUM — More than 100 properties near the Doe Run Co.'s smelter have been recontaminated with dangerous levels of lead, a finding that comes less than a decade after regulators ordered the company to remove and replace polluted soil on the properties, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Monday.

Tests of 372 properties within a mile of the lead smelter found 129 properties contained lead at levels beyond the EPA's allowable limit of 400 parts per million. Of those, 104 properties had already undergone soil EPA-ordered soil remediation within the last nine years.

'While Doe Run has taken some steps in recent years to reduce lead emissions, those efforts clearly fall short of what was necessary,' William Rice, the EPA's acting regional administrator, said in a prepared statement. 'The recontamination we are seeing in Herculaneum is unacceptable.'

The agency also said it is considering a 'range of enforcement actions' against the company, although no details were given."

Greg Jonsson and  Leah Thorsen report for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch October 27, 2009.

See Also:

"Missouri Smelter Downplays EPA Concerns About Lead" (AP)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009