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Missouri sues Doe Run over pipeline rupture in 2014

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is accusing Doe Run Resources Corp. of violating the state’s clean water law after one of its pipelines broke in 2014 and allegedly contaminated two rural Missouri waterways.

The Missouri attorney general’s office filed a lawsuit against the Maryland Heights-based company on Friday.

It contends mine tailings mixed with water at Doe Run’s Sweetwater Mine and Mill in Reynolds County contaminated Adair and Logan creeks between October 2014 and April 2015, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Adair Creek is now considered an impaired waterway because of the lead pollution, according to the lawsuit.

Doe Run’s chief operating officer, Steve Batts, said in a statement the company repaired the pipeline within two hours of discovering the rupture and reported it immediately to the DNR. He said Doe Run plans to vigorously defend itself in court.

The court could fine Doe Run as much as $10,000 per day for the pollution, according to the lawsuit. That would mean a $1.8 million maximum fine, although the lawsuit doesn’t list a maximum fine and the total could change.

Doe Run was fined $1.2 million in August by the DNR for dozens of clean-air violations at its Buick Resources Recycling Facility in Iron County.