Rep. Gephardt suggests shutting down smelter

Tuesday, January 22, 2002

ST. LOUIS -- House Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt suggested Monday that if Doe Run Co. fails to meet a deadline for reducing air pollution in Herculaneum, then the government should consider shutting down the nation's largest lead smelter.

Gephardt, who represents the district that includes Herculaneum, said he did not want to see the smelter close. He held a meeting Monday at the home of a family near the smelter.

"Hopefully, they'll clean up their plant and reduce emissions," he said in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch story for Tuesday's editions. "But at some point, you've got to skin the cat here."

The 110-year-old smelter provides 250 jobs in Herculaneum, about 30 miles south of St. Louis. Residents cite elevated levels of lead in their blood and yards and homes that become recontaminated less than two years after they are cleaned.

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