Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

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About the Superfund Redevelopment Initiative

This nationally coordinated effort provides EPA and its partners with a process to return Superfund sites to productive use. Learn more at Superfund Redevelopment Initiative.

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Redevelopment at the Site

Native grasses, streams and wildlife have replaced barren rock and gravel at the Cherokee County Superfund site in Cherokee County, Kansas. One hundred years of lead and zinc mining left the land strewn with contaminated debris and soil that caused contamination of area groundwater. EPA added the site to the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL) in 1983. In 1993, after ensuring that area residents with private wells had safe drinking water, EPA gathered surface mine wastes and buried them on site. Workers covered land with clean soil, diverted streams to avoid the stored wastes and planted the entire site with native vegetation. In 2009, the site received $14.5 million in American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) funds, which EPA is using to support cleanup activities at the Badger, Lawton, Baxter Springs and Treece sub-sites. The ARRA funding will enable EPA to complete the project in fewer years than originally anticipated. Today, EPA cleanup has restored a 25 square-mile portion of the 115 square-mile site as a wildlife habitat. Restoration efforts continue. Cleanup of this site has restored the delicate natural environment and reduced human health risks from contamination.

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Economic Activity at the Site

As of December 2019, EPA had data on 247 on-site businesses. These businesses employed 3,095 people and generated an estimated $583,943,500 in annual sales revenue. View additional information about redevelopment economics at Superfund sites.

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