(KDKZ-TV) The Environmental Protection Agency has a plan to clean up waste from a century of lead mining in southeast Missouri, but tourism businesses and environmentalists have concerns about it for differing reasons.
The Old Lead Belt is centered in St. Francois County, where lead- and zinc-mining operations existed from 1864 to 1972.
Waste known as tailings was left behind and littered the landscape and waterways such as the Big River and Flat River.
It’s unclear when the EPA will finalize a cleanup proposal, but the likely plan would spend $23 million over 12 years and focus on removing contaminated sediment from waterways.
Environmentalists want the plan revised to a higher standard of lead removal. Float companies and others worry the project will drive customers away.
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