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EPA says land near lead smelter continues to be tainted

By AP/St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says tests have found contaminated soil at more than a third of residential properties near a Missouri lead smelter.

The agency said Monday it's considering enforcement actions against the Doe Run Co., following soil tests near the company's smelter in Herculaneum.

The EPA says lead levels are so high at some homes that soil needs to be dug out and replaced.

Many of the properties already had that done under previous EPA orders.

The agency says Doe Run has taken steps in recent years to reduce lead emissions but those efforts have fallen short.

However the company says nearly half the properties with high lead levels are in a voluntary buyout zone near the smelter.