Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced on Wednesday that he has joined with other Missouri organizations in a settlement agreement against U.S. Steel for damages to natural resources from a Jasper County mining site.
U.S. Steel will be responsible for $266,000 in fines to be used to clean up the mine site originally run by its predecessor in the 1920s. The settlement was reached between the organization, Koster and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the Department of the Interior and the Department of Justice.
Koster states that the Gascho Mine, which spans 10 acres near Highway KK, is part of a 270-square mile Oronogo-Duenweg Mining Belt Superfund site that borders Kansas and Oklahoma. Allegedly, lead, cadmium and zinc were released from the mine, causing damage to water and wildlife, with no effort was made to prevent harm to the environment.
An ongoing cleanup effort is being lead by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The funds from the settlement will be used to rebuild habitats and improve the water quality of streams in the surrounding areas.
"The State's natural resources are held in the public trust to be preserved and protected for the public's benefit," Koster said. "My office will work to ensure polluters pay for harm to the environment, so we can protect Missouri resources for future generations."