EPA Announces Public Meeting, Washington County Lead District - Furnace Creek Superfund Site, Washington County, Missouri
EPA Region 7 is hosting a public meeting on Thursday, May 28, 2009, at the Valley R-VI High School in Caledonia, Mo. During the meeting, representatives from the EPA, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and federal, state and local health agencies will provide the local community with information about the Washington County Lead District-Furnace Creek Superfund Site and will address questions from the public.
Washington County is part of Missouri's lead and barite mining district, where mining occurred for several hundred years. More than 1,000 sites associated with lead and/or barite mining have operated in Washington County. Mining activities in Washington County have contributed to elevated levels of lead in soil and ground water in this area.
Last spring, EPA began collecting soil and water samples from residential properties located near mining and mine-waste disposal areas within the Furnace Creek Site. The soil and water samples were analyzed for the presence of lead and other heavy metals
PUBLIC MEETING INVITATION
You are invited to attend an EPA public meeting to learn more about the Washington County Lead District- Furnace Creek Site. The meeting is scheduled:
Thursday, May 28, 2009
7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Valley R-VI High School
1 Viking Drive
SITE SAMPLING RESULTS
EPA has collected soil samples from 689 residences located within the site. To date, 50 properties have been identified with lead-contaminated soil above 1,200 parts per million (ppm). EPA has also identified 191 residences with lead-contaminated soil in the range of 400 ppm to 1,199 ppm. EPA has collected water samples from 480 private water wells in the site. To date, EPA has identified four wells whose drinking water exceeded 15 parts per billion (ppb) for lead. EPA will provide an alternative form of water for drinking and cooking purposes for these residents.
SOIL REMOVAL PRIORITIES
Soil with lead concentrations at levels of 1,200 parts per million (ppm) or greater are deemed higher risk to residents. These properties will receive priority for excavation during the current removal action. Properties with lead at levels above 400 ppm where a child with elevated blood level resides are the highest priority for cleanup.
Lead is a toxic metal that is harmful if inhaled or swallowed. Children are more sensitive to lead than adults and can develop lifelong learning disabilities and behavior problems from lead exposure. Pregnant women and nursing mothers should also avoid exposure to lead to protect their children. Lead poisoning can cause these health effects in infants and young children:
- Slowed physical growth.
- Hearing problems.
- Nervous system damage.
- Learning difficulties.
- Behavior problems including hyperactivity.
- Decreased intelligence.
Lead exposure and its effects can be reduced by:
- Washing hands after playing outside and before meals.
- Vacuuming often and dusting with a damp cloth to help remove dust that might have lead in it.
- Eating a diet high in calcium and iron and low in fat.
BLOOD LEAD TESTING
The only way to know if your child has elevated blood lead levels is to have his or her blood tested. FREE blood lead testing will be available at the May 28th meeting. These will be finger-stick tests. You will know the results of the test the same evening.
If you have questions, please contact:
Community Involvement Coordinator
EPA Region 7
901 North 5th Street
Kansas City, Kansas 66101
913-551-7598, Toll-free 1-800-223-0425
EPA Region 7 is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate in the meeting, please notify the EPA Reasonable Accommodations Coordinator, Sharon Nible, at (1-800-223-0425), or at firstname.lastname@example.org at least seven days prior to the meeting. Speech or hearing impaired individuals should e-mail or call using the local relay service.