A Path Forward

2010 Sustainability Report | Posted in Environment, Social

In October, Doe Run announced a comprehensive agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The announcement marked the conclusion of a year of negotiations with the EPA, the U.S. Department of Justice and the State of Missouri. The agreement has been signed by all parties and is awaiting approval by a federal District Court. It provides a clear path forward for the company well into the future.

“We thought long and hard about how to approach the settlement,” said Bruce Neil, Doe Run’s president and chief operating officer. “In the end, we believe we made the best decisions for the company and our communities.”

The impetus for the settlement was driven largely by differing views between the EPA and Doe Run. After looking at Doe Run’s sulfuric acid plant and sintering machine and more than 30 years of data shared by the company, the EPA concluded that repairs to the sintering machine in the 1980s and changes to the acid plant in the 1990s required permits. Doe Run had complied with State Implementation Plans for both lead and sulfur dioxide all along. As a result, Doe Run was left with the option to either build a new acid plant or cease primary smelting.

FAST FACTS: Doe Run’s high lead-bearing concentrates are made into pure lead metal and specialized alloys for its customers. The high-purity lead metal is specifically requested by customers in the lead-acid battery industry.

“Doe Run is on the cusp of bringing a cleaner process to fruition, so building a new acid plant — a temporary fix costing tens of millions of dollars — just wasn’t the right option,” said Jerry Pyatt, vice president of North American operations and chief operating officer.

In addition to concerns over the 42-year-old acid plant, the EPA raised issues in areas related to air, water and soil. While the company adamantly disputed many allegations, in the end, Doe Run and the EPA began working on a detailed agreement. During the negotiations, Doe Run was restricted from proactively sharing any news under a confidentiality agreement.

“This agreement is a step forward,” said Pyatt. “Many of the actions outlined in the agreement — such as soil sampling and our transportation program — have been underway for years. In other areas, we agreed we need to do better. In its most basic form, the agreement serves as a contract that outlines every way that we have and will continue to ensure our environmental impact is mitigated. It also gives our employees and communities the confidence that there won’t be any surprises in the future. We are setting aside money for expenses we know may come.”

The agreement, signed in the fall of 2010, is presently awaiting approval by a U.S. District Court, expected in fall 2011. The effective date of the agreement is yet to be determined, but work outlined in the agreement is well underway.

“This industry is important — not only for us, but also the people of Missouri,” added Neil. “We’re committed to a bright and sustainable future and are constantly evolving to make sure we get there.”

In Missouri, Doe Run’s operations contribute nearly $1 billion to the economy(including direct spending and employee compensation).

The 2010 Agreement
Settlement funds will be allocated as follows, once an effective date for the agreement has been set:

  • $3.5 million will be paid to fund Missouri school districts:
  • $3.5 million will be paid to the U.S. government.
  • $3 million to $5.8 million will be devoted to remediation within an 8.5-mile stretch of Bee Fork Creek near Fletcher Mill.
  • $2 million will be dedicated to community-based mitigation projects in Missouri. Projects like school science lab cleanings, school energy efficiency and heating installations are designed to reduce pollution from other sources.
  • An estimated $15.2 million will be dedicated to capital improvements and expansion of existing programs, such as the transportation program and soil testing.
  • $8.1 million will be set aside over four years to cover closure costs for the Herculaneum smelter.
  • The remaining settlement fees (estimated between $28 million and $33 million) relate to financial assurance and closure costs. For Doe Run’s six mine sites, money will be set aside each year to assure that sufficient funds will be available to cover eventual closure costs.

 

FAST FACTS:
Groups involved in the port development plan (left) include the cities of Herculaneum, Pevely, Desoto, High Ridge, Crystal City and Festus, The Economic Development Corporation of Jefferson County, the Missouri Department of Economic Development, the Missouri Department of Transportation, East-West Gateway Council and the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association.

 

Committed to the Future
Doe Run’s Primary Smelter in Herculaneum gave rise to the city of Herculaneum’s historical growth. The facility’s location along the Mississippi River may also play a large part in the city’s future. After decommissioning the smelter, the newly available square footage will hold tremendous possibilities. In 2010, Doe Run continued to explore future usage of the area.

In fall 2010, Doe Run officials began drafting a plan to attract new businesses to company land in Herculaneum. Doe Run owns approximately 600 acres there, including the ballpark, fairgrounds and golf course, which are leased to the city. This public-use land is not included in any of the current repurposing discussions. However, the land being repurposed may include the smelter site along with adjacent property.

Residents have rallied around the idea of a shipping port in Herculaneum, and in 2010, Doe Run continued its partnership with the community and TranSystems on the Jefferson County Port Study. In 2009 and 2010, Doe Run invested $336,655 in support of Phases I and II of the port study, which suggested potential for a port on Herculaneum’s riverfront. Phase II of the port study will be unveiled in 2011 along with a master plan.

Aside from the port study, Doe Run donated $108,337 to its communities in 2010, including a $2,850 donation to improve the Quad County Fire Protection District’s tanker truck to better meet community needs. Doe Run also supports local celebrations like Old Miners’ Day and Fall Rocks, offers scholarships, internships and summer student employment opportunities, and hosts mine tours for the industry’s rising stars.

“Looking into the future, there’s great opportunity for us and Herculaneum,” said Gary Hughes, general manager of the Primary Smelting Division. “Whilemany decisions aren’t final yet, we know that Herculaneum will continue to be a key player in our overall business.”

ABOVE RIGHT: QUAD COUNTY FIRE PROTECTION: Many Doe Run employees live in the communities surrounding its operations, so investing in community infrastructure is a top priority. In 2010, the company made a donation to the Quad County Volunteer Fire Protection District that allowed for the replacement of a pump and motor on the district’s 20-year-old tanker truck. Pictured here from left to right are Doe Run employees and volunteer firefighters Richard Gillam, Tim Kelly and Brad Callahan.

ABOVE LEFT: REMEDIATED BALLPARK: Each year, Doe Run demonstrates its commitment to being a responsible community partner through volunteered time and expertise, monetary donations and educational programs. Athletes from Dunklin R-V High School and Tri-City Little League play ball on new baseball fields courtesy of Doe Run and Herculaneum smelter employees.

 

The Doe Run Company 2010 Financial Information

 

 

 

2010 Sustainability Report

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