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Two Kansas City Area EPA Employees Win Missouri Governor's Quality Award

Release Date: 11/13/2006
Contact Information: Dale Armstrong, (913) 551-7316,

Environmental News


(Kansas City, Kan., Nov. 13, 2006) – Two employees of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Region 7 office in Kansas City, Kan., have received the Missouri Governor's Award for Quality and Productivity.

The employees, Gene Gunn and Daniel Wall, were recognized in the category of Innovation for their work on the Weldon Spring Superfund site about 30 miles west of St. Louis. Gunn, a supervisory environmental scientist, lives in Prairie Village, and Wall, a remedial project manager, in Mission. Gunn's mother, Twyla, lives in Kansas City, Kan.

The award recognizes teams that demonstrate a quality of effectiveness, responsiveness and efficiency that would serve as a model of excellence nationwide. Gunn and Wall teamed with employees from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Their project involved cleaning up the Department of Energy's 17,000-acre Weldon Spring site, which was contaminated with hazardous and radioactive materials from a World War II explosive manufacturing plant and later a uranium processing facility.

Their solution was to isolate the 1.5 million cubic yards of waste in an on-site disposal cell instead of shipping it to some other location. The material, which included buildings equipment, and soil, will be monitored for generations to come.

What could have been merely a safe repository for hazardous and radioactive waste is now a new educational and recreational attraction. An on-site interpretive center shows the history, cleanup and current status of site monitoring. Native prairies in the area have been re-established. and a hike-and-bike trail was opened to the public this year.

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