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Superfund Program Implements the Recovery Act

Oronogo-Duenweg Mining Belt

Joplin, Missouri

Site Description
This abandoned site was used for the mining, milling, and smelting of lead and zinc ores, as well as some cadmium ores, from the 1850s through the 1970s.  Part of the Tri-State Mining District of Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas, the site contains over 10 million tons of heavy metal mining wastes affecting over 7,000 acres.  The mine waste, including the contaminants lead, zinc and cadmium, has affected soils, sediments, ground water, and surface water.  Due to its substantial size—250-square miles—this site’s land uses include residential, industrial and agricultural. 

Cleanup Activities to Date
EPA listed the site on the National Priorities List  in 1990 and has completed cleanup of 2,600 residential yards.  EPA also has installed public water lines to about 500 homes to replace contaminated private water wells with public supplies.  Current EPA actions are focused on cleanup of the mining wastes across the site, with EPA giving priority to wastes located near populated areas due to continuing exposure to lead through recreational and development activities.

Recovery Act Project Activity
EPA will use the approximately $12.7 million in Recovery Act funds to support excavation and disposal of the site's contaminated mining wastes, soils, and sediments. Recovery Act funds also will support capping of the disposal areas, backfilling and re-vegetating excavated areas, and constructing wetlands to improve surface water cleanup. The additional funding will expedite the ongoing cleanup action by addressing an additional 600 to 800 acres of contaminated mining waste and soil.

All Recovery Act funds have been expended as of June 2010. The contractor excavated approximately 783,332 cubic yards of lead-contaminated mine waste and made about 350 acres of mining- impacted lands available for re-use. Work continues at this site using other appropriated funds.

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