Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster recently reached a $7.3 million settlement with Cyprus Amax Mineral Company and Missouri Lead Smelting Company for environmental damages from pollution from a lead mine, mill and smelter.
Cyprus Amax and Missouri Lead Smelting owned the Buick mine, mill and smelter from 1968 to 1986, when the mine was allegedly producing excessive lead contamination, which affected more than 9,000 acres of land in Iron County. The contamination allegedly caused severe damage to air, soil and water, as well as injuries to wildlife. Doe Run is the current owner of the mine.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service also entered into a settlement with the Cyprus Amax and Missouri Lead Smelting. The funds obtained during the settlement, totaling $7,284,677, will go toward the restoration of forests and wetlands, and to improving water quality in the Iron County region. The improvements made to the environment will allow for new growth and wildlife in the area.
"The state's natural resources are held in the public trust to be preserved and protected," Koster said. "All of us benefit when polluters pay for harming the environment. My office is committed to protecting Missouri resources for future generations."