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Oronogo-Duenweg Mining Belt
Jasper County, Missouri

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Site Description

The Oronogo-Duenweg Mining Belt site, located in southwestern Missouri, includes mining wastes in and around 11 former mining areas. Mining at the site was conducted from about 1848 to 1968. Lead, cadmium and zinc are the primary contaminants of concern in the surface soil, sediments, surface water and ground water (shallow aquifer). Currently, there are hundreds of homes on the site within 500 feet of mining waste piles.

The site is part of the Tri-State Mining District, which ranks as one of the highest producers of lead and zinc in the world, and covers a 2,500-square-mile area in Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. The Jasper County, Missouri, portion of the District alone accounted for over 150 million tons of discarded mill waste. Much of the waste has been removed for commercial purposes, but approximately 10 million tons of wastes remain on site covering over 7,000 acres.

Current Site Status and Cleanup Actions to Date

  • From 1996 to 2002, EPA excavated and removed lead and cadmium contaminated soil from approximately 2,600 residential properties, day care facilities, and schools throughout the site.
  • To address ground water contamination, EPA began to install public water supply lines to homes with contaminated wells in 1998. The Agency completed these activities in 2006 with the installation of over 50 miles of public water supply mains, providing water to approximately 500 residences.
  • In 2001 the State of Missouri passed a regulation that prohibits the placement of private drinking water wells in the shallow aquifer contaminated by the site. In 2005, Jasper County issued a public health ordinance that requires lead testing of the yards of all newly built homes.
  • In 2004, EPA issued a Record of Decision (ROD) to clean up the contaminated soil and sediments. The ROD calls for excavation and disposal of the contamination in onsite mine pits safe for such disposal.
  • EPA began investigating contaminated sediments in site streams in 2006. Early results from the investigation show that mining wastes are causing significant and ongoing releases of metals into site streams throughout the Spring River basin and onto tribal lands in Oklahoma. Cleanup of the streams will be the final action for the site.
  • EPA is currently in negotiations with the responsible parties for the design and implementation of the cleanup of their areas of responsibility.

Current Funding Status

  • In Fiscal Year 2007, EPA obligated approximately $1.9 million to initiate the cleanup of mine wastes and contaminated soil and sediments.

For more information on this site, please read the Oronogo-Duenweg Fact Sheet on the Region 7 Superfund web site.

Key Accomplishments

  • In 2002, EPA completed the excavation and removal of contaminated soil from approximately 2,600 residential properties, day care facilities and schools throughout the site.

  • EPA has installed over 50 miles of public water supply mains and hooked up approximately 500 residences to the public water system.

  • EPA is currently in negotiations with the responsible parties for the design and implementation of the cleanup of their areas of responsibility.

 

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