Newton County Mine Tailings National Priorities List (NPL) Superfund Site, Newton County, Missouri - Fact Sheet, October 2018
EPA Remedial Action Update
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continue to make progress on remedial activities at the Newton County Mine Tailings National Priorities List (NPL) Superfund Site. The remedial action includes cleanup of heavy metals-contaminated mining wastes, soil, and sediment. The primary contaminants of concern at this site are lead, zinc, and cadmium. This fact sheet provides an update regarding EPA’s cleanup activities and progress at the site.
The site includes approximately 300 square miles in northern Newton County and is part of the Tri-State Mining District. Mining, milling, and smelting of lead and zinc ore at the site started in the mid-1800s and continued for more than 100 years. EPA began investigating the contamination at the site in 1991. As a result of these investigations, EPA issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for the site in 2010. The ROD provides details on how EPA will clean up contaminated wastes, soils and sediments at the site.
- Deep tilling of source materials where only thin layers of wastes remain at the surface
- Excavation and removal of mining and milling wastes, contaminated soil, and stream sediments
- Disposal and capping of contaminated material at a repository in Granby, Missouri
- Recontouring and revegetating excavated areas
- Institutional controls to regulate future development at the repository
EPA has issued an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) to the 2010 ROD to address heavy metals contamination. The major changes to the 2010 remedy selected in the ESD, finalized in September 2018, include the following summarized changes:
- Increase in the volume of on-site wastes to be cleaned up and the associated increase in cost
- Disposal of the contaminated wastes, soils, and sediments in additional central repositories located on existing mining waste piles in upland areas
- Institutional Controls, as needed, for upland chat areas where property owners agree to environmental covenants
- Use of existing central repositories within the neighboring Oronogo-Duenweg Mining Belt (NPL)/Jasper County Superfund Site portion of the Tri-State Mining District sites
EPA hires professional contactors to complete the cleanup work at remedial sites. The first phase of work in Granby was completed in 2017. This work included the excavation of 771,000 cubic yards of waste and cleanup of 100 acres.
The next phase of construction work is anticipated to begin in early 2019. During the next phase and contract, EPA is continuing work on road repair and revegetation. Currently, EPA is conducting sampling in areas of potential waste throughout the county.
ABOUT LEAD CONTAMINATION
- Slowed physical growth
- Hearing problems
- Nervous system damage
- Learning difficulties
- Behavior problems, including hyperactivity (easily excitable or upset, unable to concentrate, short attention span)
- Decreased intelligence (I.Q.) scores
- Washing hands after playing outside and before meals
- Vacuuming often and dusting with a damp cloth to help remove dust that might have lead in it
- Eating a diet high in calcium and iron and low in fat
BLOOD LEAD TESTING
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. Talk to your pediatrician, general physician, or local health department about what you can do and about testing your child. Your doctor can do a simple blood test to check you or your child for lead exposure.
For more information on blood testing for children, you can contact:
Newton County Health Department
812 W Harmony St.
Neosho, MO 64850
INFORMATION ABOUT LEAD AND ADDITIONAL SITE DETAILS
- EPA's Learn About Lead page
- EPA's Lead at Superfund Sites page
- EPA's Fight Lead Poisoning with a Healthy Diet page
- EPA Fact Sheets for Missouri cleanup sites are available online
INFORMATION REPOSITORY AND ADMINISTRATIVE RECORD
An Information Repository and Administrative Record were established for the Newton County Mine Tailings NPL Superfund Site, which contain site-related documents and are available for review at www.epa.gov/superfund/newtoncountymine.
EPA CONTACT INFORMATION
If you have questions about this Fact Sheet, need additional information about the site, and/or would like to receive site updates, please contact EPA:
Lenexa, KS 66219
Lenexa, KS 66219