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Missouri Environmentalists Sue EPA Over Lead Rules

By Tom Weber, KWMU

St. Louis – A group of advocates for the environment wants the government to review its lead rules.

The Missouri Coalition for the Environment is suing the EPA to try to force a review the lead standard to see if it needs a change.

Lead levels the EPA says are safe for the body were set in 1978.

The lawsuit claims science has since shown them as being too high.

Leslie Warden is among those bringing the suit. She lived near the Doe Run lead smelter in Herculaneum until last month.

"Our children are the ones who have been playing and breathing all these lead air emissions for all these years," Warden said. "You know, had they been watching this, had they been doing their job and reviewing this, these standards would have been lowered a long time ago."

Warden says the EPA is supposed to at least review the standard every five years, but hasn't done so in 14 years.