Stage of Clean-up: Emergency Removal of Contaminants / Remedial Assessment Not Begun
Conditions at Proposal (April 30, 2003): The Madison County Mines site is located in the Old Lead Belt area of southeastern Missouri in the vicinity of Fredericktown, Madison County, Missouri, approximately 80 miles south of St. Louis. The site is being proposed to the NPL because of the presence of metal contamination, including lead, in residential soil and within nearby surface water bodies--the Little St. Francis River and its tributaries. Lead was detected in residential yards at levels as high as 10,000 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) or more than 70 times that of background levels. The primary sources of metal contamination are large uncontained tailings and chat piles associated with local historical operations that mined for lead, copper, cobalt, nickel, iron, zinc, silver, and pyrite. Some of these mining operations date back to the 1840s.
Metal contaminants from tailings piles migrated through various routes to residential soil and nearby surface water bodies. In 1977, a tailings pond dam broke and released accumulated tailings into tributaries of the Little St. Francis River. In addition, several tailings piles have grown so large that they have spilled over directly into the Little St. Francis River and its tributaries. For years, residents of Fredericktown have used tailings from piles as fill for yards, gardens, roads, and driveways. This practice is likely responsible for much of the residential soil contamination observed at the site. More...