Herculaneum

As KBIA's Jacob Fenston reports, for 25 years, a Herculaneum, Mo. smelter didn't meet federal air standards for lead. Now, after decades of battling government regulators and angry parents, Doe Run is leaving town at the end of next year. Check out Fenston's story via the link below.

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Doe Run announced today that it will not build a new lead processing plant in Herculaneum.

In 2010, the largest lead producer in North America announced it would close its existing lead smelter in Herculaneum by the end of 2013.

The company had proposed to build a new facility there that would use new technology to reduce emissions of air pollutants including lead and sulfur dioxide.

But now Doe Run says that won’t happen.

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The Doe Run Co. says production of primary lead at its smelter in the eastern Missouri town of Herculaneum will be suspended for four to six weeks following a fire.

The fire on March 20 occurred at the smelter's electric substation. Doe Run Primary Smelting Division general manager Gary Hughes says damage to the substation is significant.

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Several Jefferson County fire departments responded to a blaze early Tuesday morning at the Doe Run Company’s primary smelter in Herculaneum.

Company officials say there were no injuries and they are now assessing damage.

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An eastern Missouri lead smelter scheduled to close next year could eventually make way for commercial and industrial uses.

Doe Run Co. operates the smelter in Herculaneum. It will close in 2013 after years of wrangling over environmental concerns.

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A St. Louis jury has awarded $320 million in punitive damages in the lawsuit against the former owners of a lead smelter in the eastern Missouri town of Herculaneum.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the jury awarded the punitive damages on Friday, a day after awarding $38.5 million in compensatory damages for health problems and lost lifetime income.

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A St. Louis jury has awarded $38.5 million to 16 residents of Herculaneum who alleged negligence by the former owners of a lead smelter in the eastern Missouri town.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the verdict on Thursday was only for compensatory damages. The trial that began three months ago continues Friday with a hearing about punitive damages against Texas-based Fluor Corp., Virginia-based A.T. Massey Coal and Doe Run Investment Holding Co.

Akin Expected to Announce Challenge to McCaskill Today

Missouri Congressman Todd Akin may soon be joining the Republican race to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill next year. Akin is expected to announce his Senate candidacy today at a news conference in Creve Coeur.