Newton County Mine Tailings National Priorities List (NPL) Superfund Site, Newton County, Missouri - Fact Sheet, February 2020
UPDATE: EPA’s voluntary Open House sessions scheduled for March 9, 11 and 12 have been POSTPONED. EPA will continue to provide site-related updates on our website and social media pages.
EPA to Host Three Open Houses and Update Public on Remedial and Removal Actions
EPA ANNOUNCES THREE OPEN HOUSES
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 is hosting three Open House events (Public Availability Sessions) to provide information about EPA’s remedial and removal actions to address lead contamination across Newton county. EPA will provide a site update, including lead testing and cleanup activities across the Newton County Mine Tailings National Priorities List (NPL) Superfund Site (site).
The site stretches across about 300 square miles in northern Newton County (and surrounding areas) and is part of the Tri-State Mining District where mining, milling and smelting of lead and zinc ore started in the mid-1800s and continued for more than 100 years. EPA began investigating the contamination in 1986. (Click on site map at right.)
EPA and partner agency representatives will be available to discuss lead testing and cleanup plans and activities, meet with residents, and answer questions at informational tables in an open house format. EPA will provide a brief site update presentation 30 minutes after the start of each event. Three separate sessions have been scheduled in different locations. EPA will provide the same material at each event; it is only necessary to attend one session.
The three Open Houses will be held:
Monday, March 9, 2020
6 to 8 p.m.
Granby Annex 1 Building
302 North Main Street
Granby, MO 64844
Wednesday, March 11, 2020
4 to 6 p.m.
Lampo Community Center
500 E Spring Street
Neosho, MO 64850
Thursday, March 12, 2020
6 to 8 p.m.
Wentworth Town Hall
106 Chestnut Street
Wentworth, MO 64873
EPA is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities. For reasonable accommodations at the EPA Open Houses, please contact Jonathan Cooper by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
SITE UPDATE AND OVERVIEW
EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will begin the next phase of remedial activities with construction work in spring 2020. This remedial action will include the cleanup of heavy metal-contaminated mining wastes, soil and sediment. In this next phase, EPA will continue to work on road repair and revegetation. EPA has also conducted multiple sampling events in areas of potential contamination throughout Newton County.
EPA is also testing for lead contamination in soil and private, domestic drinking water wells at residential properties and high child-use areas across the county. This testing is part of two, time-critical EPA Removal Actions that will reduce exposure to lead and other heavy metal contaminants. EPA staff and the field support contractor will work with property owners to gain access to conduct lead testing. If your residential property has not been tested for lead contamination, talk with EPA about testing your yard or private well. (See EPA contact below.)
ABOUT THE CONTAMINATION
Lead is a toxic metal that is harmful if inhaled or swallowed. Lead is classified by EPA as a probable human carcinogen and is a cumulative toxicant. Children are more sensitive than adults to lead, 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 primary contaminants of concern at this site are lead, zinc and cadmium.
- 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
ANNUAL 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 to learn what you can do and to have your child tested. 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
FOR SITE DETAILS AND LEAD INFORMATION
An Information Repository and Administrative Record (AR) file for this site are available (under Site Documents & Data) at www.epa.gov/superfund/newtoncountymine. EPA Fact Sheets for Missouri cleanup sites are available online.
EPA SITE BACKGROUND
EPA issued a Record of Decision (ROD) in 2010. The ROD provides details on the remedy to clean up contaminated wastes, soils and sediments at the site. The cleanup to address site contamination include the following actions: 1) excavation and removal of mining and milling wastes, contaminated soil, and stream sediments, 2) disposal and capping of contaminated material at a repository in Granby, Missouri, 3) recontouring and revegetating excavated areas, and 4) Institutional Controls (ICs) to regulate future development at the repository.
In September 2018, EPA updated the 2010 remedy. Details are included in the Final Explanation of Significant Differences document. The major changes included: 1) an increase in the volume of on-site wastes and the associated increase in cost, 2) updates to the disposal of the contaminated wastes, soil and sediments in additional central repositories located on existing mining waste piles in upland areas, and 3) ICs (as needed) for upland chat areas where property owners agree to environmental covenants.
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
CDC/ATSDR CONTACT INFORMATION
LCDR Cory Kokko
U.S. Public Health Service