News Release 480

Missouri allotted $70 million to clean up lead sites

Money to go towards making the state's lead-mining regions cleaner

Volume 37-480 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Judd Slivka

JEFFERSON CITY, MO., DEC. 11, 2009 -- More than $70 million of funds from the nation's largest environmental bankruptcy case in U.S. history will go towards helping remediate environmental damage in the state's historical lead mining areas.

Missouri will receive at least $70 million of the $1.79 billion settlement due to environmental damage in the following locations:

The money comes from a settlement between, states, the federal government and the American Smelting and Refining Company, LLC, or ASARCO, an Arizona-based mining company that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in Aug. 2005.

Because it is money from a bankruptcy settlement, the funds must go to remediate environmental damage caused by mining activities. They will be placed in special Superfund-program bank accounts.

"We are gratified to have this money," said Missouri Department of Natural Resources Director Mark N. Templeton. "It will go towards addressing the severe environmental damage from lead mining and help make a cleaner, healthier Missouri."

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Missouri Attorney General's Office all worked together to advocate the state's case for damages.