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Fact Sheet

March 2011

EPA Places Site on National Priorities List, Washington County Lead District – Furnace Creek, Washington County, Missouri


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has placed the Washington County Lead District-Furnace Creek site (WCLD-FC) on the National Priorities List (NPL). The NPL is a published list of hazardous waste sites in the country that are eligible for extensive long-term cleanup action under the Superfund program. The WCLD-FC was proposed for listing on the NPL in October 2010.


The WCLD-FC is located in a heavily mined region of eastern Missouri known as the Washington County Lead District. Mining activities in Washington County have contributed to elevated levels of lead in soil and groundwater in this area. The site primarily includes residential areas within and around the towns of Caledonia, Irondale, Belgrade and Hopewell.


Congress established Superfund in 1980 in response to growing concerns over human health and environmental risks.

Under the Superfund program, a site may qualify for placement on the NPL. The NPL is intended primarily to guide EPA in determining which sites warrant further investigation and cleanup. The WCLD-FC qualifies for listing on the NPL by scoring sufficiently high on the Hazard Ranking System (HRS), a model that evaluates exposure pathways and the potential risk to human health and the environment. Those sites that score high enough on the HRS are eligible for the NPL. Cleanup of a site that is listed on the NPL may be financed by Superfund's Trust Fund.


EPA wants to help affected communities understand the technical information related to a site. EPA's Technical Assistance Grant Program provides up to $50,000 for a qualified citizens group to hire independent technical advisors. The advisors can help citizens interpret technical data, understand site hazards, and become more knowledgeable about the different technologies used to clean up sites.


The Administrative Record is a file of all technical documents related to the site that will be established at a future date and placed in the repository at that time. The community will have an opportunity to submit comments at that time.

If you have questions, please contact:

Pamela Houston
Office of Public Affairs
U.S. EPA Region 7
901 North 5th Street
Kansas City, KS 66101
Phone: 913-551-7699 or
Toll Free: 1-800-223-0425

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