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Doe Run Sustainability Report: Environmental Capital Spending Jumps 45%

Lead producer Doe Run’s spending on environmental capital investment and operations increased by around 45 percent year-on-year, according to the company’s latest sustainability report.

The company’s spending jumped from from $22.5 million in 2010 to $32.2 million in 2011, according to the 2011 sustainability report, released in February. The big increases in spending occurred at the company’s Southeast Missouri Mining and Milling Division and Buick Resource Recycling Division, the report says.

Doe Run’s spending on remediation increased around 40 percent from almost $34 million in 2010 to $47.7 million in 2011, the report shows.

One remediation project is at a former lead mine in Missouri, under a March 2011 order from the EPA. Under the agreement, Doe Run and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Division of State Parks agreed to remove lead contamination at St. Joe State Park, including off-road vehicle riding areas and a former lead milling location now preserved as a museum, as well as an adjacent section of the Shaw Branch floodplain in St. Francois County, Mo. At the time, the EPA estimated that the removal action would cost about $7 million and take about 18 months to complete.

The company’s direct energy consumption dropped 0.5 percent year-on-year, from 2,885,377 GJ in 2010 to 2,869,809 in 2011. Doe Run’s use of explosives increased year-on-year as a result of development at the company’s Southeast Missouri Mining and Milling Division. Its use of natural gas decreased due to the mild winter in 2011, the report says.

Doe Run’s indirect energy consumption increased 0.7 percent year-on-year, from 1,493,032 GJ in 2010 to 1,504,019 GJ in 2011.

Doe Run’s “significant air emissions” metric, for amount of released materials including aluminum, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide, increased 16 percent year-on-year, from 37,234 metric tons in 2010 to 43,447 mt in 2011. The majority of these emissions are made up of carbon monoxide, which accounted for 25,659 mt in 2011, and sulfur dioxide, which accounted for 17,434 mt.

In 2010, the EPA set stronger air quality standards for sulfur dioxide to be implemented in 2012. In preparation, Doe Run’s Buick Resource Recycling Division began installing technology in 2011 that decreases SO2 emissions.

Meanwhile, the company’s Primary Smelting Division continued the downward trend in the concentration of lead in ambient air around its Herculaneum, Mo., smelter. As of November 2011, the smelter reduced the rolling three-month average for ambient air lead concentration to below 0.6 micrograms per cubic meter of air. This represents a 25 percent reduction from the 2011 average level, the report says.

Water is a key to processes at each of Doe Run’s 10 facilities — from jump-starting recycling at the Buick Resource Recycling Division to reducing dust at the Herculaneum site, the report says. Teams throughout the company installed new equipment and tested water treatment practices in 2011 as they eyed future improvement, the report says.

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