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Fact Sheet

July 2011

EPA Opens the Public Comment Period and Announces a Public Meeting on the Proposed Plan for Operable Unit 4 of the Madison County Mines Superfund Site, Fredericktown, Missouri


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 has released the Proposed Plan (PDF) (30 pp, 216K About PDF) for the Madison County Mines Superfund Site (OU-4), which describes the Agency's preferred alternative for addressing the contaminated soil, surface water, and ground water, resulting from past mining and milling practices. In addition, this Proposed Plan includes summaries of other alternatives evaluated for use at OU-4.

The Proposed Plan is now available for public review and comment. The EPA is issuing this Plan as part of its public participation responsibilities under Section 117(a) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, as amended, (CERCLA), and Section 300.430(f)(2) of the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP). Following the comment period, EPA, in consultation with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) will select a final remedy for OU-4, after reviewing and considering all information submitted during the 30-day public comment period.

EPA will accept comments on this Proposed Plan during the Public Comment Period, which is July 20 through August 20, 2011.


EPA will hold a public meeting to present
cleanup options and take public comments
at the following time and location:

Monday, July 25, 2011
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Black River Electric Cooperative, Inc.
County Road 517
North of U.S. 67/72 Intersection
Fredericktown, Missouri


The Madison County Mines Superfund Site is part of the Old Lead Belt in southeastern Missouri, where mining has occurred since the 1700s. Past mining operations have left mine waste deposits throughout the county, prompting the need for EPA's presence. EPA has been working in the local community since 1995, after initially detecting elevated heavy metal levels (lead) in mine waste, soil, ground water and sediment.

The Madison County Mines Site was historically defined by six OUs. In 2006, EPA redesignated the former OU-3 (Ruth and Park City Site, now commonly referred to as the Conrad subsite), as OU-4. OU-4 includes the entire Conrad subsite with its mine waste, as well as the adjoining Ruth mine and mill complex; surface water and sediments affected by the mine waste; and eroded materials to the Little St. Francis River. The Conrad subsite is located about two miles south of Fredericktown, east of Highway 67. The property adjoins the Madison Mine (Anschutz) property to the east. The Conrad tailings, produced during operation of the Ruth mine and mill, is presently owned by the Conrad family. The subsite consists of an un-vegetated pile of fine sandy tailings, partially vegetated tailings that have been eroded from the pile and transported to an unnamed tributary of Mill Creek, a collapsed shaft, and the foundations and ruins of a flotation plant, mill, and other support buildings.

The area of tailings impoundment is estimated to be approximately 14.55 acres. The western area of the mine waste at the Ruth mine and mill is estimated to be approximately 10.5 acres. Based on the limited number of borings installed at the Conrad subsite, it is estimated that approximately 282,600 cubic yards of tailings are present in the tailings impound and 8,400 cubic yards of mine waste are present at the Ruth mine and mill area. Additionally, the subsite has been used as a repository for soils contaminated with lead removed from residential properties since 2009 where approximately 191,275 cubic yards have been transported and graded onto the tailings pile.

In recognition of the multi-media areas of contamination and geographic areas, EPA divided the Madison County Mines Superfund Site into the following six (6) OUs:

OU-1:  Mine La Motte
OU-2:  Anschuz Tailings
OU-3:  Residential Mine Waste
OU-4:  Conrad and Ruth Mine Tailings
OU-5:  Catherine and Skaggs Tailings
OU-6:  Silver Mines


Each of these alternatives is described in detail in the Proposed Plan.


Threshold Criteria:

Balancing Criteria:

Modifying Criteria:


EPA's Preferred Alternative for OU-4 of the Madison County Mines Superfund Site is Alternative No. 5A – Low Permeability Cap w/ Monitoring. Details of this preferred alternative are fully explained in the Proposed Plan, and will be discussed at the Public Meeting.


EPA encourages public participation and will not make any final decisions on a cleanup alternative until thoroughly reviewing all comments received from the public. The 30-day public comment period will begin July 20, 2011 and end on August 20, 2011. Upon completion of the public comment period, all comments will be reviewed and compiled into a Responsiveness Summary, which will become a part of EPA's Record of Decision for the Site.

Comments may be made at the public meeting or sent to EPA at the address below:

Debbie Kring
Community Involvement Coordinator
U.S. EPA – Region 7
Office of Public Affairs
901 North 5th Street
Kansas City, KS  66101
(913) 551-7725
Toll-free: 1-800-223-0425
Email: kring.debbie@epa.gov


For additional details, EPA's Proposed Plan and the supporting documents for the Madison County Superfund Site (OU-4) can be found at either of the following repositories:

Fredericktown Branch of the Ozark Regional Library
115 South Main Street
Fredericktown, MO 63645


U.S. EPA – Region 7
Records Center
901 North 5th Street
Kansas City, KS  66101


EPA Region 7 is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate in the public meeting, please notify the EPA Reasonable Accommodations Coordinator, Jonathan Cooper at 1-800-223-0425 or by email at cooper.jonathan@epa.gov at least seven days prior to the meeting.

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