When St. Joseph Lead Company, the predecessor to Doe Run, constructed a railroad line through Herculaneum in 1890, the company probably never imagined that those same tracks would help a new Mississippi River shipping facility prosper 125 years later.
Doe Run and its predecessors built and expanded the infrastructure that established and grew the town of Herculaneum – by river, rail and road. That same river and rail access now supports the expansion of new industry for the area through the Riverview Commerce Park LLC (RCP) shipping facility, and fulfills part of Doe Run’s plans for the closure and repurposing of the company’s primary smelter location. RCP capitalizes on the existing infrastructure to ship materials downriver.
“The railroad line plays a critical role in transporting materials to RCP. In fact, our rail access helped us double our shipping capacity in 2015,” said Mark Denton, project manager at RCP.
Expansion to the infrastructure at the river’s edge also increased RCP’s capacity to accommodate more shipments and improve the efficiency of operations. The port doubled in size with the construction of a second loading dock and a new barge fleet staging area where barges can park. RCP began using the staging area in spring 2015, and opened the second loading dock in spring 2016.
“Our smelting operations were a major economic driver in Herculaneum, so we are pleased that our work to remediate and repurpose the property helped bring new industry to the area,” said Chris Neaville, asset development director for Doe Run. “As we continue the reclamation process at the Herculaneum smelter property, we hope to identify additional ways the land can benefit local businesses and the community.”
Remediation of the 18-acre port site took place with oversight from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) Voluntary Cleanup Program and EPA Region 7. The remediation included installing a three-foot-thick cap layer of soil and rock across the property, which was completed in 2015. RCP has submitted the completion report for the site to MNDR and is awaiting final approval for the work.
Other reclamation work at the Herculaneum site in 2015 included moving a large amount of slag (a glassy, sand-like material leftover from smelting) situated on the north end of the property to a new slag storage area at the south end of the property. When work is completed at the site, the storage area will be capped with soil to protect the slag from rain or wind. Slag remediation is expected to be completed in 2020. While Doe Run’s refinery and strip mill will continue to operate, plans are underway to dismantle the plant’s furnace buildings in 2017, clearing the way for more new economic opportunities in Herculaneum.
Additional Reclamation Progress
There have been thousands of lead mines in Missouri over the centuries. Doe Run works to improve the environment through remediation of historic lead mining sites. By implementing these clean-up projects, Doe Run continues to be good stewards of our land and minerals. In total, Doe Run invested more than $63 million in environmental spending, including remediation, in 2015.
- Jasper County: In 2015, Doe Run completed remediation at three historic lead sites operated by a former subsidiary, Kansas Explorations, Inc. at Jasper, Isherwood and Snapp. These efforts included excavation of soil and mine waste, and replanting native vegetation at the properties. The company also piloted an innovative way to successfully recover metals from tailings, which may be useful in future remediation projects. Doe Run will provide ongoing maintenance at the Snapp and Isherwood sites to ensure that plants are growing and address any erosion that occurs. A private land owner is evaluating the opportunities to repurpose the Jasper site, located alongside the highway, for commercial real estate development.
- Glover: Doe Run continued efforts to dismantle this former smelter, which currently serves as a transloading facility. In 2015, crews removed two baghouses from the Glover facility, and received approval from MDNR to cap the slag pile. Construction on this cap will be completed in 2016.