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Seven Superfund Sites in EPA Region 7 to Receive Funds from Nation's Largest Environmental Bankruptcy Settlement

Release Date: 12/10/2009
Contact Information: Chris Whitley, 913-551-7394, whitley.christopher@epa.gov

Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Kansas City, Kan., December 10, 2009) - At least seven Superfund sites in EPA Region 7, including five in Missouri and one each in Kansas and Nebraska, will receive a total of $282 million, plus interest, to fund environmental cleanup and restoration work as a result of a legal settlement in the largest environmental bankruptcy case in U.S. history.

The seven sites in Region 7 are among more than 80 Superfund sites in 19 states receiving portions of a $1.79 billion settlement from the reorganization of the American Smelting and Refining Company LLC (ASARCO). The funds will be used to pay for past and future costs incurred by federal and state agencies to address environmental contamination caused by ASARCO's operations around the country.

Region 7's affected sites and their respective funding amounts include Big River Mine Tailings/St. Joe Minerals Corporation ($17,072,427), Federal Mine Tailings ($7,743,418), Madison County Mines ($12,684,155), all in southeast Missouri; Jasper County/Oronogo-Duenweg Mining Belt ($21,402,000) and Newton County Mine Tailings ($11,484,000), both in southwest Missouri; Cherokee County ($25,114,000) in southeast Kansas; and Nebraska's Omaha Lead Site ($186,500,000). These amounts do not include interest payments, as required by the settlement.

ASARCO, an Arizona-based mining company that is responsible for multiple sites around the country that are contaminated with hazardous waste, filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy code on August 9, 2005. Funds paid to the United States from the reorganization settlement will be placed into special Superfund accounts to pay for cleanup work. Funds will also be placed into accounts at the Department of Interior and the Department of Agriculture to pay for natural resource restoration at the sites.

Nationwide, the settlement will encompass the cleanup of 10.5 million cubic yards of soil, or enough to cover nearly 2,000 football fields three feet deep. The funding will also address the cleanup of 5 million cubic yards of contaminated water at the various sites, or enough to fill more than 1,500 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

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Learn more about the ASARCO bankruptcy settlement:
http://www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/cases/cleanup/cercla/asarco/index.htm