Herculaneum Lead Contamination Buyout Agreement

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The final settlement agreement between the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Attorney General's Office, Department of Health and Senior Services and the Doe Run Company was signed April 26, 2002. The written agreement formalized the agreement in principle reached March 21, 2002.

The agreement resolved the September 25 order issued by the Department of Natural Resources and several notices of violation issued to the company. It did not relieve Doe Run from compliance with the Administrative Order on Consent issued May 2001, subsequent orders issued by EPA, or any future compliance with any applicable federal or state law or rule. It also did not affect any other ongoing or planned activities at the site to address air quality or contamination problems.

The centerpiece of the agreement was the voluntary property purchase. This part of the agreement required Doe Run to offer to purchase homes within a defined area. The defined area contains approximately 160 homes for which Doe Run was required to make a purchase offer by Dec. 31, 2004. Offers were made in phases, priority was based on health risks. The company made the first set of offers to homeowners with children less than 72 months of age that resided in the home. The company made the rest of the offers over a period of time ending Dec. 31, 2004. All offers remained open until that date. The Doe Run Company may not condition any property acquisition on the homeowner providing a release from liability.

To ensure homeowners received a fair offer for their home, offers were based on a combination of "fair market value" and a "Replacement Housing Payment." Fair market value was based on an appraisal of the home by an independent appraiser using the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. The Replacement Housing Payment was a differential payment which was computed by subtracting the fair market value from the value of a suitable replacement home currently for sale on the market of similar size, function/purpose and location (including no known adverse environmental conditions.) This process was designed to ensure homeowners were not penalized by any decrease in property value resulting from contamination.

Upkeep of the acquired properties is the responsibility of the Doe Run Company. Homes left standing must remain vacant until such time as either the company demolishes the residence or re-deposition studies of lead contamination are complete and the Department of Health and Senior Services, the Department of Natural Resources, the city of Herculaneum and the company agree re-occupancy of a residence will not risk human health. If the Doe Run Company fails to comply with the provisions related to the voluntary property acquisition, they will be required to pay a civil penalty of $1 million.

The agreement also addresses transportation and materials handling through the Transportation and Materials Handling Plan currently being reviewed by Doe Run and EPA. The final plan is due from Doe Run by

For more information on the buyout agreement, contact the Missouri Department of Natural Resources at 800-361-4827.

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