A lead mining company is heading to trial next month, but this week, they’re hoping to hedge their bet.
The Missouri legislature passed a bill earlier this year that would limit the amount of damages the Doe Run Company would have to pay if a jury found the company guilty of negligence. Governor Jay Nixon vetoed the bill, but Republican lawmakers are aiming for an override this week.
Updated 9/13/13 10:33 AM
Doe Run is the largest lead mining company in the western hemisphere, and they operate in southeast Missouri.
Hundreds of miners from across the country protested outside of St. Louis-based Peabody Energy on Tuesday.
The miners are accusing Peabody of orchestrating a bankruptcy in order to skip out on pension and healthcare benefits owed to some 10,000 retirees and their dependents.
At the heart of the dispute is Patriot Coal Corp., which was created by Peabody as a stand-alone company in 2007. In creating Patriot, Peabody also transferred a hefty chunk of Peabody’s outstanding pension obligations onto Patriot’s books.
The Madison County Mines Superfund site is part of the Old Lead Belt, where the mining of heavy metals began in the 1700s. The nearly 500-square-mile area is contaminated by lead, a highly-toxic metal that can wreak havoc on organs and tissues in the human body.
In addition to the story about mining you may have heard on NPR's All Things Considered this evening, a St. Louis-based coal company, Arch Coal, is in some trouble for one of their mines in West Virginia.