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

Through the efforts of EPA, the state of Missouri and the local community, the Oronogo-Duenweg Mining Belt Superfund site in Joplin, Missouri, is in productive reuse and portions are ready for redevelopment. The site is the new home of a scrap metal recycling facility, a highway bypass, restored residential neighborhoods and over 1,600 acres of cleaned land now ready for redevelopment. The mining, milling and smelting of lead and zinc ores at the site began in the 1850s and continued in some areas until the 1970s. The smelting operations dispersed airborne contaminants, resulting in the contamination of the site’s groundwater, surface water and soil with metals, including lead. By 2000, EPA had conducted a time-critical removal action to address high blood lead levels in local children and had cleaned up 2,600 residential properties and agricultural lands in surrounding communities.

Also, through a Prospective Purchaser Agreement with EPA, a scrap metal recycler bought and cleaned up 40 acres of the site prior to establishing its facility there. After an agreement between EPA and the state of Missouri, the Missouri Highway and Transportation Department built the Route 249 highway bypass through four miles of contaminated land on the site in 2001. The project adaptively reused mine wastes as fill material. Cleanup of the mine waste began in 2007, and the Route 249 bypass opened to the public in 2008. EPA has developed innovative solutions for disposal of site wastes to allow for future development. Some of these solutions include: long narrow containment areas, which were built, capped and turned into three miles of new roads for Webb City; an abandoned water treatment lagoon, which was used as a disposal area and will soon become a new 36-acre sports complex in Webb City; and other containment areas, designed and built for future development, including one that will become a 40-acre truck stop.

In 2009, the site received about $12.7 million in American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) funds to support removal and disposal of the site's contaminated mining wastes, soils and sediments. The funds also supported the capping of the disposal areas, the backfilling and revegetating of excavated areas and the construction of wetlands to improve surface water cleanup. Today, workers have cleaned up more than 1,600 acres of the site that are ready for redevelopment. Community members continue to use portions of the site property for residential and agricultural purposes.

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Economic Activity at the Site

As of December 2018, EPA had data on one on-site business. EPA did not have further economic details related to this business. View additional information about redevelopment economics at Superfund sites.

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