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Fact Sheet

February 2009

EPA Announces Public Meeting, Southwest Jefferson County Mining Superfund Site, Jefferson County, Missouri


EPA Region 7 is hosting a public meeting on Thursday, February 26, 2009, at Amvets Post 48 in DeSoto, Missouri. The purpose of the meeting is to provide an update about ongoing site activities and to discuss the National Priorities List for the Southwest Jefferson County Mining Superfund Site. During the meeting, representatives from the EPA and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) will be available to answer questions from the public.


You are invited to attend a public meeting to learn more about the Southwest Jefferson County Mining Site. The meeting is scheduled:

Thursday, February 26, 2009
7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Amvets Post 48
1075 Amvets Drive
De Soto, Missouri


Jefferson County is part of Missouri's Old Lead Belt, where lead mining occurred for several hundred years.  The primary environmental concern at this site is lead contamination in residential soils and private water wells.


EPA is conducting investigations and cleanup work at the site under the Superfund program. Congress established Superfund in 1980 in response to growing concerns over human health and environmental risks posed by hazardous sites. After a Superfund site is discovered, cleanup can fall under two programs:  removal and remedial. Removal actions address immediate threats to human health and the environment posed by contamination. Remedial actions address sites that require extensive and potentially long-term cleanup.

Under the Superfund program, a site may qualify for placement on the National Priorities List (NPL). The NPL is intended primarily to guide EPA in determining which sites warrant further investigation and cleanup. For a site to be included on the NPL, it has to score sufficiently on the Hazard Ranking System (HRS). The HRS evaluates exposure pathways and the potential risk to human health and the environment. Those sites that score high enough on the HRS are eligible for the NPL. A site listed on the NPL qualifies to be financed by Superfund's Trust Fund. If a responsible party is not identified, a site cannot undergo a remedial cleanup unless it is listed on the NPL. During the meeting, EPA and MDNR staff will provide further information about the possibility of the site being proposed for inclusion on the NPL.


EPA has collected samples from 1,118 properties located within the site. To date, 230 properties have been identified with lead-contaminated soil above 1,200 parts per million (ppm). At this level, EPA prioritizes properties for cleanup as time-critical removals. EPA has also identified 159 properties with lead-contaminated soil in the range of 400 ppm to 1,199 ppm. These properties will be addressed after the time-critical removals are completed. EPA has collected water samples from 517 private water wells in the site.  To date, EPA has offered bottled water to 41 residents whose wells have been identified with lead or cadmium above levels of concern.


Lead is a toxic metal that is harmful if inhaled or swallowed. Children are more sensitive to lead than adults and can develop lifelong learning disabilities and behavior problems from lead exposure. Pregnant women and nursing mothers should also avoid exposure to lead to protect their children. The only way to know if your child has elevated blood lead levels is to have his or her blood tested. EPA encourages parents to have their children tested for lead exposure.


EPA has compiled the administrative record for the site. The administrative record may be reviewed during normal business hours at the following locations:

De Soto Public Library
712 South Main Street
De Soto, Mo.

EPA Region 7
901 North 5th Street
Kansas City, Kan.


If you have questions, please contact:

Dianna Whitaker
EPA Region 7
901 North 5th Street
Kansas City, Kansas 66101
913-551-7598, Toll-free 1-800-223-0425
E-mail: whitaker.dianna@epa.gov

Jim Silver
EPA Site Office
13291 State Road CC
De Soto, Missouri 63020
E-mail: silver.jim@epa.gov

EPA Region 7 is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate in the meeting, please notify the EPA Reasonable Accommodations Coordinator, Sharon Nible, at (1-800-223-0425), or at nible.sharon@epa.gov at least seven days prior to the meeting. Speech or hearing impaired individuals should e-mail or call using the local relay service.

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