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Oklahoma Site Proposed for National Superfund List

Release Date: 10/6/1998
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) announced today that the former Tulsa Fuel and Manufacturing site in Collinsville, Okla., has been proposed for the federal Superfund program's National Priority List (NPL).

     "Oklahoma has been a dedicated and effective partner in working to get this property on the NPL. Because all but a fraction of the cleanup costs for NPL sites is paid by the Federal Superfund Trust, cleanups can be accelerated," Regional Administrator Gregg Cooke said.

     The federal Superfund program protects the public health and our environment by cleaning uncontrolled hazardous waste sites when states' resources are limited or exhausted. Sites are evaluated and ranked according to the types of hazardous materials and the potential health threat to surrounding residents.

     ODEQ Executive Director Mark Coleman said, "This site joins more than a dozen lead- contaminated sites in Oklahoma that we are addressing. Because we know exposure to lead is a health hazard, particularly to our youngest citizens, we believe cleaning these sites is a high priority."

     Most of the structures that existed when a zinc smelter and lead roaster operated on the site from 1914 through 1925 have been destroyed. Little is known about the operations or how waste was handled. About seven acres are covered by two to six feet of waste from the abandoned smelter.

     Because this waste is not protected, wind and rain can cause nearby soil and water to become contaminated. On the eastern edge of the property, waste has contaminated a man-made pond which flows into wetlands, posing a threat to a variety of aquatic and animal life.

     EPA will receive public comments on the proposed NPL listing until Nov. 28, 1998. The Agency will consider and respond to these comments when the decision is made about adding the site to the NPL.

     In the meantime, EPA is developing a cleanup plan to protect the health of area residents and the surrounding environment. At least one public meeting will be held to explain and discuss the plan. Residents' concerns and comments will be considered when cleanup plans are finalized. Also, EPA will prepare periodic mailings throughout the planning and actual cleanup to keep interested parties up-to-date on current site activities.

     Additional information about this site and instructions for sending comments on the proposed NPL listing are available on the regional web site at ok.htm.