EPA to Conduct a Removal Action at the Central Middle School - Big River Mine Tailings Superfund Site, Park Hills, Missouri
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 will conduct a Removal Action at the Central Middle School in Park Hills beginning the first week in August. The action will consist of digging and removing soil at the school grounds, due to the presence of high lead content. The objective of this action is to eliminate or reduce the potential exposure of lead-contamination to the community.
EPA is taking this action now to minimize any disruption to the beginning of the new school year. Areas around the school with the highest levels of contamination will be addressed first and are targeted for completion by August 19th.
Over the course of the next three weeks, you may observe large trucks in the area, which will be used to haul contaminated soil to a disposal site. The trucks will be covered at all times, and should not pose any health issues or risk to the community.
In response to citizen concerns raised on June 17, 2010, EPA conducted an environmental investigation at the Site, which includedsampling of all outdoor soils around Central Middle School. After reviewing the sampling results, EPA determined that it was necessary to conduct this removal action immediately. This action is being conducted as a part of the residential cleanups taking place at the Big River Mine Tailings Superfund Site.
Lead is a toxic metal that is harmful if inhaled or swallowed. Young children are more sensitive to lead than adults and can develop lifelong learning disabilities and behavioral problems from lead exposure. Pregnant women and nursing mothers should also avoid exposure to lead to protect their children. Lead poisoning can cause negative health effects in infants and young children including, but not limited to:
- slowed physical growth;
- hearing problems;
- nervous system damage;
- learning disabilities;
- hyperactivity and other behavioral problems; and
- decreased intelligence.
Lead exposure and its effects can be reduced by the following actions:
- washing hands after playing outside and before meals;
- vacuuming often and dusting with a damp cloth;
- Eating a diet high in calcium and iron.
If you have questions or need additional information, please contact:
Community Involvement Coordinator
U.S. EPA - Region 7
Office of Public Affairs
901 North 5th Street
Kansas City, Kansas 66101
(913) 551-7725 or
Toll Free @ 1-800-223-0425