EPA Opens the Public Comment Period and Announces a Public Meeting on the Proposed Plan for the Newton County Mine Tailings Superfund Site, Newton County, Missouri
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 has released the Proposed Plan which describes the Agency's preferred alternative to address mine and mill waste in Operable Units 1 and 2 of the Newton County Mine Tailings Superfund Site (Site) located in Newton County, Missouri. The Proposed Plan (PDF) (49 pp, 1.9MB, About PDF) is now available for public comment. The EPA is issuing this Plan as part of its public participation responsibilities under Section 117(a) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, as amended, (CERCLA), and Section 300.430(f)(2) of the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP). Following the comment period, EPA, in consultation with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), will select a remedy after reviewing and considering all comments and information submitted by the public about the Proposed Plan.
EPA will hold a public meeting to present cleanup options and take public comments. Meeting information follows:
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Lampo Community Building
500 East Spring Street
EPA staff members will be available to discuss site activities and answer questions.
The 30-day public comment period will begin on February 1, 2010 and end on March 5, 2010.
The Site is located in the northern half of Newton County, Missouri, and is part of the Tri-State Mining District which encompasses approximately 2,500 square miles of Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. The Tri-State Mining District's historic lead and zinc production ranked as one of the highest in the world with total ore production and is estimated to have been slightly more than 500 million short tons. The Missouri portion of the district accounted for approximately 200 million short tons of the ore production. Mining at the Site was conducted from approximately 1850 to 1970. The wastes, produced from milling of the ore, primarily consisted of the following two types of material depending on the milling process used:
- Chat - which is sand and gravel-sized particles produced by dry gravity separation processes.
- Tailings - which are sand and silt-sized particles produced by froth flotation which were slurried to diked impoundments.
The Site is a concern because of the mining and milling wastes remaining on the surface throughout the county. The wastes constitute a significant source of heavy metals contamination with potential for exposure to people and environmental receptors. Past mining and milling practices have also resulted in the contamination of surface soil, sediments, surface water, and groundwater in the shallow aquifer. The primary contaminants of concern are lead, cadmium, and zinc.
A summary of all remedial alternatives is listed in the Proposed Plan, along with EPA's criteria to compare the alternatives.
PROPOSED PLAN ALTERNATIVES
- No Further Action;
- Source Consolidation, In-Place Containment through Revegetation Using Biosolids;
- Source Consolidation, In-Place Containment Using Simple Soil Covers and Revegetation;
- Source Removal and On-Site Disposal in Aboveground Repositories.
Each of these alternatives is described in detail in the Proposed Plan.
EVALUATION CRITERIA USED IN ANALYZING CLEANUP OPTIONS
- Threshold Criteria:
- Overall protection of Human Health and the Environment;
- Compliance with Applicable, Relevant, and Appropriate Requirements (ARARs);
- Balancing Criteria:
- Long-Term Effectiveness;
- Short-Term Effectiveness;
- Reduction of Toxicity, Mobility, or Volume Through Treatment;
- Cost Effectiveness
- Modifying Criteria:
- State Acceptance;
- Community Acceptance.
EPA's Preferred Alternative is Alternative 3. This Alternative is based on excavating and disposing of source materials in on-site containment cells for addressing the principal threats. It also relies on excavation and on-site disposal and prescribes a high degree of mill waste consolidation. The timeframe for this Alternative is aggressive because the schedule is not dependent on the availability of biosolids or the time required to construct simple soil covers on numerous waste containment cells. The total cost estimated for this Alternative is $19,355,917 for construction, with an estimated operating and maintenance cost of $177,336.
PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD/PARTICIPATION
EPA encourages public participation and will not make any final decisions on a cleanup alternative until thoroughly reviewing all comments received from the public. The 30-day public comment period will begin on February 1, 2010 and end on March 5, 2010. Upon completion of the public comment period, all comments will be reviewed and compiled into a Responsiveness Summary, which will become a part of EPA's Record of Decision for the Site.
Comments may be made at the public meeting or sent to EPA at the address below:
Community Involvement Coordinator
U.S. EPA - Region 7
Office of Public Affairs
901 North 5th Street
Kansas City, KS 66101
AVAILABILITY OF DOCUMENTS
For additional details, EPA's Final Proposed Plan and the supporting documents for the Newton County Mines Superfund Site can be found at one of the following repositories:
Granby City Hall
302 North Main Street
Granby, Missouri 64844
Neosho Public Library
201 West Spring Street
Neosho, Missouri 64850
EPA Region 7 Records Center
901 North 5th Street
Kansas City, Kansas 66101
EPA Region 7 is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate in one of the public meetings, please notify the EPA Reasonable Accommodations Coordinator, Jonathan Cooper at 1-800-223-0425, or by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting. Speech or hearing impaired individuals should e-mail or call using the local relay service.