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Fact Sheet

August 2013

EPA Announces a Public Meeting and 30-Day Comment Period to Address a Record of Decision (ROD) Amendment Plan, Oronogo-Duenweg Mining Belt Superfund Site - Operable Unit 1, Jasper County, Missouri


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be conducting a Record of Decision (ROD) Amendment to continue the cleanup of mine and milling wastes resulting from former historic mining activities at the Oronogo-Duenweg Mining Belt Superfund Site, Operable Unit 1 (OU-1), in Jasper County, Mo. The initial ROD was signed in September 2004 and the cleanup process began in October 2007, after completing the first phase of the site design.

Significant changes, including cost, volume of mining waste, and insufficient open pit space are some of the factors that are considered fundamental changes from the original ROD. For this action to occur, EPA is required to: describe to the public the nature of the fundamental changes; summarize the information that led to making the changes; afford the public the opportunity to comment on the proposed changes; and revise the remedy, affirming that the revised remedy complies with the statutory requirements of the law. The proposed ROD Amendment Plan link is provided for your use and is listed on the back page.

EPA is asking for public comments on its proposed ROD Amendment. The public comment period runs August 7 – September 6, 2013. Although a proposed action is being reviewed, a final decision will not be made until EPA reviews comments from the public.

EPA will hold a public meeting to provide information and accept comments on the proposed ROD Amendment:

Thursday, August 15, 2013
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Phelps Theater
Missouri Southern State University
3950 E. Newman Road
Joplin, Missouri  64801

Written comments may be submitted at any time during the public comment period and mailed to:

Debbie Kring, EPA Office of Public Affairs, 11201 Renner Blvd., Lenexa, KS 66219. Toll-free: 1-800-223-0425

The Oronogo-Duenweg Mining Belt Site is part of the Tri-State Mining District, which covers approximately 2,500 square miles in southwestern Missouri, southeastern Kansas, and northeastern Oklahoma. Mining, milling, and smelting of Tri-State District lead and zinc ore began in the 1850s and continued in the district until the 1970s. Past mining and milling practices resulted in the contamination of surface soil, sediments, surface water, and groundwater in the shallow aquifer with heavy metals, primarily lead, cadmium, and zinc. The site includes the mining wastes in and around 11 former mining areas, located within 270 square miles of Jasper and Newton Counties. Mining operations in Jasper County generated 150 million tons of wastes over the years, and at least 17 smelters operated within the site, mostly in the Joplin area.


The wastes from the mining, milling, and smelting of the lead and zinc ore have resulted in the significant contamination of groundwater, surface water, and surface soil with heavy metals. Investigations of the mining wastes indicated the piles were causing significant risk to people that live on or near the wastes, and to the environment, particularly fish and mammals. Approximately 500 homes located in the site relied on private shallow groundwater wells for drinking water. EPA identified at least 100 of these wells that had lead and cadmium contaminants exceeding health-based action levels. Also, approximately 2,600 residential yards were contaminated with lead above acceptable levels from the mining and smelting activities.


EPA established four operable units (OUs) at the site to address the risks associated with different contaminated media. OU-1 addresses mine and mill waste piles. OU-2 and OU-3 were established to address lead-contaminated residential yard soils in the smelting areas and mining areas respectively. OU-4 addresses contaminated groundwater and private water wells.

The cleanup of the mining wastes is being conducted in phases of approximately 400 acres per phase to address the 11,000 acres of waste on the site over a 10-year period. The amount of cleanup completed each year is dependent on available funding. To date, approximately 4 million cubic yards of waste have been removed and disposed from 1,500 acres.

For OU-2 and OU-3, EPA conducted cleanup actions at 2,600 residential properties. Cleanups were completed in 2002.

For OU-4, EPA installed 100 miles of water lines. Installation was completed in 2007.

All site documents are available at the following site information repositories:

Joplin Public Library
300 Main
Joplin, Missouri

Carl Junction City Hall
303 North Main
Carl Junction, Missouri

Webb City Public Library
101 South Liberty
Webb City, Missouri

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
11201 Renner Blvd.
Lenexa, Kansas


The link to the proposed ROD Amendment Plan can be found online at: www.epa.gov/region7/cleanup/npl_files/index.htm#Missouri

Please then go to Oronogo-Duenweg Mining Belt.

If you have questions or need additional information about the Oronogo-Duenweg Mining Belt Superfund Site, please contact:

Debbie Kring
Community Involvement Coordinator
U.S. EPA Region 7
11201 Renner Blvd.
Lenexa, Kansas 66219
Phone: 913-551-7725
Toll-free: 1-800-223-0425
Email: kring.debbbie@epa.gov


Mark Doolan
Remedial Project Manager
U.S. EPA Region 7
8600 N.E. Underground Drive
Kansas City, Missouri 64161
Phone: 913-551-7169
Toll-free: 1-800-223-0425
Email: doolan.mark@epa.gov


EPA Region 7 is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate in one of the public meetings, please notify the EPA Reasonable Accommodations Coordinator, Jonathan Cooper, at 1-800-223-0425 or by email at cooper.jonathan@epa.gov at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting. Speech or hearing impaired individuals should email or call using the local relay service.

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