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Cherokee County Waco
Cherokee County, Kansas

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Printable Version (PDF) (1 pg, 50K)

Site Description

The Cherokee County site, located in southeastern Kansas, includes mine waste contamination in several former mining areas. The site is located in an area known as the Tri-State Mining District, which ranked as one of the world?s largest producers of lead and zinc. The District covers a 2,500-square-mile area in Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma.

The Waco project, a part of the overall Cherokee County site, is next to the Missouri state line. Mining at Waco took place at different times from 1916 to 1953. Lead, cadmium and zinc are the main contaminants of concern in surface soil, sediment, surface water and shallow ground water. The Waco project area currently contains approximately 1.3 million cubic yards of mining wastes spread over 213 acres. Potentially responsible parties (PRPs) are conducting part of the work at Waco

Current Site Status and Cleanup Actions to Date

  • In 1998, EPA negotiated an agreement with the PRPs to complete a cleanup investigation and feasibility study for the Waco project and three other related projects. The PRPs completed this work in 2003.
  • In 2004, EPA selected the final cleanup plan for Waco and related projects. The plan addressed all mining wastes, impacted soils, and sediments.
  • In 2006 and 2007, EPA conducted design investigations and completed the long-term cleanup design for the Waco project.
  • In 2007, EPA successfully negotiated another agreement with the PRPs for the completion of a long-term cleanup design and action at Waco. The PRPs conducted design investigations in 2007 and are projected to complete the design effort in 2008. Cleanup activities are expected to start in 2009. The PRP work includes approximately 206,000 cubic yards of mining wastes on 73 acres.
  • EPA began clean up of the EPA-lead part of the Waco project in 2008. The cleanup includes approximately 1.1 million cubic yards of wastes on 140 acres and is projected to take three years to complete.

Current Funding Status

  • In Fiscal Year 2008, EPA obligated approximately $2.4 million for the EPA-lead part of the waste cleanup activities.
  • To date, EPA has obligated a total of nearly $36.8 million for cleanup activities at the entire Cherokee County site.

For more information on this site, please read the Cherokee County site fact sheet (PDF) (11 pp, 56K, http://www.epa.gov/region7/cleanup/npl_files/ksd980741862.pdf) on the Region 7 Superfund web site.

Key Accomplishments

  • Completed a cleanup investigation and feasibility study by PRPs in 2003
  • Selected final cleanup plan for Waco and related projects in 2004
  • Completed the cleanup design for the Waco project in 2006-2007
  • PRPs started cleanup design for their portion of the project in 2007
  • Started EPA-lead cleanup activities in 2008; the approach is the first Superfund cleanup in Region 7 to use alternative fuels or filters together with idle-reducing practices to reduce air emissions during construction


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