Record of Decision System (RODS)
ORONOGO-DUENWEG MINING BELT
|Site Name:||ORONOGO-DUENWEG MINING BELT|
|City & State:||JOPLIN MO 64755|
|NPL Status:||Currently on the Final NPL|
|ROD Type:||Record of Decision|
Please note that the text in this document summarizes the Record of Decision for the purposes of facilitating searching and retrieving key text on the ROD. It is not the officially approved abstract drafted by the EPA Regional offices. Once EPA Headquarters receives the official abstract, this text will be replaced.
The Oronogo-Duenweg Mining Belt, also known as the Jasper County site is located in Oronogo-Duenweg, Missouri. The residential yards addressed in this Record of Decision (ROD) are located in an area known as the Tri-State Mining District. This district covers hundreds of square miles in southwestern Missouri, southeastern Kansas, and northeastern Oklahoma. Mining, milling, and smelting of lead and zinc ore and concentrates date back to 1850 and continued in the district until the 1970s. Mining, milling, and smelting activities generated several types of waste materials, including mine wastes, mill wastes, and smelter-related materials. The wastes from mining/milling and smelter operations contain residual metals, particularly lead, cadmium, and zinc. Approximately nine million tons of mining/milling and smelter wastes remain on the surface at the site. Additionally, air emissions from historic smelters resulted in contaminated soil surrounding the smelters.
The Tri-State district's historic lead and zinc production ranked as one of the highest in the world, with a total ore production of more than « billion short tons. The Missouri portion of the district accounted for more than 1/5 billion short tons of ore, 80 percent of which was produced in Jasper County. Processing of the ore resulted in approximately 150 million short tons of wastes, of which approximately 9 million short tons remain today. The wastes contain residual metals, particularly lead, cadmium, and zinc. Mining and milling using gravity-separation techniques occurred throughout the region, while smelting lead concentrate was conducted at smelters located in the towns of Galena, Kansas, and Joplin, Missouri. Historically, up to 17 smelters were located in Jasper County. By the turn of the century, only the Eagle-Picher smelter in northwest Joplin remained in operation.
A Time-Critical Removal was conducted that included residences where children were observed with high blood-lead concentrations or where soil lead levels were above 2500 parts per million (ppm), and daycare centers with soil lead levels above 500 ppm. The cleanup was performed at approximately 303 residential yards and several daycare centers. This action was concluded in March 1996. The majority of daycare and homes identified for cleanup were around the Eagle-Picher smelter in Joplin. Generally, these residences had the highest levels of lead contamination in their yards. The initial cleanup activities consisted of excavating and removing soils, replacing the soil with clean backfill, and resodding the yards.
The selected remedy will follow-up on the residential yard cleanups that have already been done, by cleaning up the remaining yards at the site that have lead and cadmium levels that present a health threat.
The selected remedy deals with cleanup of contaminated soils in residential yards in areas of historic smelting operations and in areas contaminated with mining and milling wastes. Residential yards contaminated solely from other sources, such as lead-based paint, are not going to be addressed by this cleanup action. In the future, additional cleanup actions for the site will deal with contaminated groundwater and drinking water supplies, and mining and milling wastes in areas other than residential yards. This phased approach to cleanup is being used for this site in order to clean up the contamination that poses the greatest health threat first.
The major components of the selected remedy include: excavation and replacement of residential yard soils; construction of a repository for excavated soil; sampling of additional residential yard in mining and smelter areas; establishing institutional controls for residential and day care center development; continuation of the ongoing health education program; conducting a phosphate stabilization treatability study; and phosphate stabilization of yard soils if treatability study results are positive.
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