The Ottumwa Courier

November 8, 2013

Why close plant when it could be cleaned up?

Ottumwa Courier

---- — Doe Run Company, south of St. Louis, is the third-largest lead smelter in the world and the only one in the western hemisphere. They provide for the lead demand in the U.S. and are a major contributor to the world market. On Dec. 31, they close due to EPA regulations. The plant needed cleaned up. It was emitting lead dust into the air. But they were the world's third largest. The estimated cost of meeting EPA regulations is $72 million.

This will further deteriorate the U.S. balance of trade. We will now import instead of export. Your next automotive battery will cost considerably more due to costs of importing and inflation of the dollar due to our government printing worthless paper money. Far more dangerous is that now our military is dependent on foreign countries for lead to make bullets. There is no working alternative to lead bullets, and we will eventually get into a shooting war again. There will probably be a permanent shortage of hunting ammunition and what there is will be expensive.

It is hard to understand how our government closed the third-largest plant and the national news media failed to notice. It is hard to understand why our government would not work with such an important industry to clean it up. It is hard to understand why there are no potential Democratic presidential candidates who have any interest in rectifying this situation.

Paul Halferty