Doe Run | St. Louis Public Radio

Doe Run

The Doe Run Company operates several lead mines in the Ozarks, including the West Fork Mine in Reynolds County. A dispute over the value of Doe Run's mines resulted in a large drop in property tax revenue for area schools.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

In a single phone call on an afternoon in June, Superintendent Kent Sherrow learned that his Iron County C-4 School District would lose nearly a quarter of its budget. Doe Run Mining Company had contested its property tax assessment, lopping off more than $1 million from the Ozark school district’s revenue.

“It’s not the same district it was a year ago,” Sherrow said. “Right now, our whole district is in a situation where we’ve got to catch our breath and get our feet back under us.”

The Bunker School District has cut its budget to educate about 240 kids in Reynolds County to $2.6 million from $3.6 million because of a lengthy property tax dispute between the Doe Run mining company and county assessor.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

A school district in the northeastern Missouri Ozarks that’s relied on property taxes from nearby lead mining for years is struggling to make do with significantly less funding. And it’s starting to show.

The classroom walls and hallways of the Bunker School District could all use a new coat of paint, yet Bunker only has enough money to paint five rooms over the summer break.

Lead blocks produced by the Doe Run Company.
The Doe Run Company

In a settlement announced Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Justice, Environmental Protection Agency and the state of Missouri ordered metal and mining company Doe Run Resources Corporation to clean up lead contamination in more than 4,000 residential properties in St. Francois County.

The work is estimated to cost a total of $111 million. Of that, the Environmental Protection Agency will contribute about $31 million. The company will remove lead contamination in the Big River Mine Tailings Superfund Site, an area added to the EPA's National Priorities List in 1992. It's part of Missouri's "Old Lead Belt," one of the largest lead mining districts in the world.

Incumbent State Rep. Penny Hubbard is appealing a judge's order for a special election to be held next week. The judge ruled in favor of Bruce Franks, Hubbard's opponent, who filed a lawsuit against the St. Louis election board after the August primary.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

For state Rep. Penny Hubbard, the disputed 78th District House race is unlike anything she’s experienced in politics.

The three-term Democratic lawmaker has faced challenging elections — and criticism for how she voted in the Missouri General Assembly. But the scrutiny has increased since St. Louis Democrat narrowly won her primary bid against Bruce Franks. That includes a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article that brought up questions about whether her campaign misused the absentee ballot process.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 20, 2013 - For Missouri Rep. Genise Montecillo, her decision to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a bill limiting court-ordered damages against the Doe Run Co. came down to one thing: organized labor.

Montecillo, D-St. Louis County, had initially voted against the bill, HB650, last spring -- along with most of the Missouri House’s Democrats.

Following Legislative Success, Lead Company Doe Run Settles Liability Cases

Sep 17, 2013
The Doe Run Company

Arguably the most consequential veto that was overridden last week pertained to southeast Missouri's the Doe Run Company. And just two days after the override, attorneys suing the lead giant reached a settlement.

On Friday, Doe Run settled lawsuits by several families alleging their children suffered health problems from lead contamination in eastern Missouri's St. Francois County.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 13, 2013 - If this past veto session were judged by the sheer amount of legislative activity, it was an unqualified success.

Whether it met expectations, however, is a completely different story.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 11, 2013: The Missouri tax-cut bill died Wednesday when the House fell 15 votes short of the number needed to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto.

The final vote was 94-67 in favor of an override; 109 supportive votes were needed. The tally came after more than an hour of heated debate.

File photo | Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri lawmakers will convene Wednesday for their annual veto session. Governor Jay Nixon vetoed 29 bills this year, including at least two bills that have been the subject of much campaigning and debate. Add in a Republican-led General Assembly, and this year's veto session has the potential to be of greater consequence than most.

St. Louis Public Radio's Marshall Griffin and Chris McDaniel have been covering the veto session, and gave host Don Marsh an overview of what to expect this year.

The Doe Run Company

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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 8, 2013 - State Rep. Jeff Roorda is a marked man.

Roorda, D-Barnhart, is among three Democrats in the Missouri House who had voted for the tax-cut package, HB253, that’s now at the center of a partisan tug of war between the Democratic governor who vetoed it and the Republican legislative leaders seeking to override said veto.

(UPI)

One of two bills that would limit punitive damages in lead contamination cases is on its way to Governor Jay Nixon (D).

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.

Courtesy Tim Campion

Updated 1:20 p.m. August 1 with reopening of smelter

The Doe Run Peru smelter in La Oroya, which had been clsoed due to financial and environmental compliance issues since 2009, resumed zinc processing operations over the weekend.

Peru's Minister of Energy and Mines, Jorge Merino Tafur, is reported to have said that lead smelting would also resume in the not too distant future. Restarting copper production would likely take longer, since that would require building a plant to control sulfuric acid emissions.

Doe Run Peru is owned by the Renco Group, which also owns the St. Louis-based Doe Run Resources Corporation. The metal smelting companies in Missouri and Peru have operated independently since 2007.

Doe Run: no new plant to replace Herculaneum lead smelter

Jun 29, 2012

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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.

Attorney General Chris Koster has filed a consent decree to address environmental violations at Doe Run’s Sweetwater Mine and Mill in Reynolds County.

Here's a map detailing the approximate location of the mine near Ellington, Mo.:

Production to halt for weeks at fire-damaged Doe Run smelter

Mar 29, 2012

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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.

Doe Run assessing damage after early morning fire

Mar 20, 2012

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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.

Plan seeks new uses for Doe Run site in Herculaneum

Mar 16, 2012

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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.

Morning headlines: Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May 17, 2011

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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 18, 2010 - When the $787 billion federal stimulus bill won approval in Congress in February of last year, Rep. Todd Akin, R-Town and Country, said that the "whopping price" was too much, and he talked of an "ethical question" about participating in a process he considers wasteful of taxpayer money.

But as federal officials began to decide where the money should go, Akin swallowed his opposition. He wrote a letter to Laurence E. Strickling, an assistant secretary in the Commerce Department, urging that some of the funds should go to a business in his 2nd District, as part of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).