Brian Kelly

PARK HILLS, Mo (KMOX)-One of Missouri’s largest, most-popular and most contaminated state parks is about to get cleaned up.

Doe Run Resources and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources have agreed to remove lead contamination from St. Joe State Park in St. Francois County.

EPA spokesman Chris Whitley tells KMOX Doe Run and DNR have 60 days to tell the EPA how they plan to do the job, “Every site is a little bit different, but I think what you’ll probably be seeing in terms of St. Joe State Park is some combination of soil removal and replacement and in some areas probably what we refer to as containment or capping.”

The work will focus on a 1,240-acre portion of the 8,238 acre park, which is popular for off-road vehicle riding, camping, picnicking, hiking, horseback riding, swimming and fishing.  According to the EPA, soil samples collected during recent inspections have been found to contain up to 20,000 parts per million of lead, left over from decades of mining.

The site is known to EPA as the Federal Tailings Pile Superfund Site, which is on the Agency’s National Priorities List for cleanup of hazardous lead.

Whitley says the $7 million cleanup costs will be paid out of a $1.79 billion bankruptcy settlement involving American Smelting and Refining Company LLC.  The work’s expected to take 18 months.

Copyright KMOX Radio

  1. vicki dunn says:

    This is really upsetting to parents. Why would they take possession of a piece of property and turn it into a state park. My kids and i rode that state park for years
    and i alway questioned that fact that the tailing had lead but never got a response. I believe this may become a class action lawsuit

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