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Mo. bill would limit lead contamination lawsuits

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A measure limiting damages people can receive in lawsuits over lead contamination has gained final legislative approval.

It would restrict punitive damages against Doe Run Resources Corp. for claims that involve a mining property in St. Francois County as long as the company is making a good faith effort to remediate the site. Mining operations ended at the property in 1972, before Doe Run purchased it.

A 2005 law currently caps punitive damages at $500,000, or five times actual damages, whichever is higher.

The legislation was approved Wednesday by both the House and Senate and now goes to Gov. Jay Nixon.

In addition, the bill would extend the expiration date on fees paid to the state by businesses and municipalities for permission to discharge wastewater into rivers and streams.