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A controversial company wants to expand mining in Missouri. The public can comment

doerun.jpg
Bureau of Land Management
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The location of the proposed increase of the mining lease area by Doe Run. The public can comment until Oct. 24.

A controversial mining company is looking to expand its operation underneath the Mark Twain National Forest. The public can comment on the petition but must limit comments to the proposed expansion.

The Doe Run Company currently operates 3,800 acres of mineral mines in Reynolds and Shannon counties and wants to expand its lease to add another 1,500 acres.

The Bureau of Land Management prepared an environmental assessment and is taking public comment on the expansion proposal until Oct. 24.

“This analysis is about adding these additional acres to the current leases,” said Stephanie Carman, district manager for BLM Eastern States’ Northeastern States District. “Because of that, we are not looking at the leasing as a whole, that was done previously and will be done again under our regular 10-year review period.”

Doe Run has been under fire from environmentalists for decades, and has also been involved in tax disputes with local school districts in recent years.

Carman said the agency will read and take all public comments seriously, but the most useful and relevant comments will specifically address the technical aspects of the lease expansion proposal.

“We appreciate any additional information. We don’t know everything, so this is an opportunity for the public, additional partners, to identify things that we may not have been aware of or may not have considered,” Carman said.

“For example, if there is a bird species present in this area that has been documented that we are not aware of, that kind of information would be very important.”

The 30-day comment period is now open. The public can comment online and has the option to upload supporting documentation. The site also includes directions on how to file comments by mail.

Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @JonathanAhl

Jonathan is the Rolla correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.

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