Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Missouri Lawmakers Weigh in on Oregon County State Park Discussion

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Missouri Lawmakers Weigh in on Oregon County State Park Discussion

Article excerpt

JEFFERSON CITY *Republican state lawmakers sparred with the state Natural Resources director Monday over whether a lead company settlement allows the state to acquire land for a new state park in Oregon County.

Missouri wants to acquire 2,500 acres along the Eleven Point River in southeast Missouri for a new state park, a proposal that would use part of about $40 million from a settlement with the American Smelting and Refining Co., or Asarco. The Department of Natural Resources and two federal agencies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service, are responsible for deciding how to spend the money after soliciting public input.

Many southeast Missouri residents and officials have expressed concern that the state and federal plan to spend the money isn't putting enough toward cleaning up the contamination left behind in a region scarred by centuries of lead mining. And many complain the department has been less than forthcoming with details on proposed projects and that it hasn't tried to get the public involved. …

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