Superfund

Site Information for
TAR CREEK (OTTAWA COUNTY)

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Operable Unit 2 – Residential Areas

OU2 focuses only on residential exposure scenarios with emphasis on young children. The risk assessment identified lead as the only Site-related chemical of concern, and identified oral ingestion as the only significant exposure route or pathway. An exposure route or pathway is the way in which contaminants may enter a human being (e. g. inhalation, oral ingestion, and absorption through the skin). Cadmium and zinc are also Site-related chemicals, but the concentrations in the different media (soil, air, drinking water, etc.) for cadmium or zinc were not high enough to exceed acceptable exposure levels.

The elevated concentrations of lead in soil found at many residences at the Site pose a significant health risk to young children living at those residences (or to those children who may live at those residences in the future). Young children (six-years old and younger) who now play (or children six-years-old and younger who may play in the future) in the residential areas on the Site may be exposed to lead through incidental ingestion of lead contaminated soil during normal hand-to-mouth activity during play, and this lead may pose an imminent and substantial endangerment to the health of such children. In addition, lead contaminated soil may be tracked from residential yard soil into the homes of children where it may be ingested during play or at mealtime, and this lead may pose an imminent and substantial endangerment to the health of such children.

The risk assessment identified lead-contaminated soil as the medium which posed the greatest threat to human health on the Site. The EPA selected, a lead remediation goal of 500 parts lead per million parts soil (ppm) for protection of the child resident.

 

Operable Unit 4 – Source Material

The OU4 Remedial action objectives (RAOs) consist of medium-specific or location-specific goals for protecting human health and the environment. The table presents the RAOs and the remediation goals for source material, soil, and ground water at the Site. It outlines the risks identified and provides the basis for evaluating the cleanup options.

Medium

Summary of Remedial Action Objectives

Remediation Goals

Source Material, transition zone soil, and soil which underlies source material

 

Prevent adolescents from coming in direct contact, through the ingestion and inhalation exposure pathways, with lead-contaminated source material where lead concentrations exceed 500 ppm.  The purpose of this objective is to reduce the central estimate of blood lead concentration in adults (i.e., the mature adolescents in question) that have been exposed to source materials to a level that ensures that the 95th percentile fetal blood lead concentration in their offspring does not exceed 10 µg/dl.  This objective will also be protective for children who live on-site in the event they come in direct contact with the source material through the ingestion and inhalation exposure pathways.

 

Prevent terrestrial fauna from coming in direct or indirect contact, through the ingestion exposure pathway, with

cadmium-, lead-, or zinc-contaminated source materials and soils  where cadmium, lead, and zinc concentrations exceed their respective remediation goals of 10.0 mg/kg, 500 mg/kg, and 1100 mg/kg.  By indirect contact EPA means contact with these contaminants via ingestion of plants grown in contaminated source materials and soil.

 

 

General Tactics:

To meet the above remedial action objectives for source material, the remedy selected in this ROD calls for excavation of source materials to native soils with confirmation samples to ensure the remediation goals are met.    The selected remedy calls for a minimal footprint of source material and maximum unrestricted use of Site land.

 

Adolescents:

500 ppm lead in source material in transition zone soil, and in the soil which underlies source material.

 

 

 

Terrestrial Fauna:

 

10.0 mg/kg cadmium, 500 mg/kg lead and 1100 mg/kg zinc in source material, smelter waste, in transition zone soil, and in the soil which underlies source material.

 

 

 

 

Source Material, transition zone soil, and soil which underlies source material

 

Prevent riparian biota including waterfowl from coming into contact, through the ingestion exposure pathway, with unacceptable concentrations of lead, cadmium, and zinc in surface water and sediment by eliminating all discharge of cadmium, lead, and zinc from source materials to surface water.

Zero discharge of cadmium, lead, zinc from source materials to surface water.  [By zero discharge EPA means discharge concentration levels that would be consistent with the concentration levels that would be expected from soil that has background concentrations of these chemicals.]

Soils

 

Prevent children from direct contact, through the ingestion and inhalation exposure, with lead-contaminated soil where soil lead concentrations exceed 500 ppm.  [The purpose of this objective is to limit exposure to soil lead levels such that a typical (a hypothetical) child or group of similarly exposed children living on site would have an estimated risk of no more than 5% exceeding 10 µg/dL blood lead level.]

 

General Tactics:

To meet the above remedial action objective, the remedy selected in this ROD calls for excavation of residential yard soil up to a maximum depth of 12 inches or until soil concentrations no longer equal or exceed 500 ppm, whichever calls for less soil to be excavated.

 

Prevent terrestrial fauna from coming in direct or indirect contact, through the ingestion exposure pathway, with cadmium-, lead-, or zinc-contaminated soil where cadmium, lead, and zinc concentrations exceed their respective remediation goals of 10.0 mg/kg, 500 mg/kg, and 1100 mg/kg.    By indirect contact EPA means contact with these contaminants via ingestion of plants grown in contaminated soil.

 

General Tactics:

To meet the above remedial action objective, the remedy selected in this ROD calls for excavation of visible source materials down to native soils with confirmation samples of the soil taken to ensure that remediation goals are met.

 

Children:

500 ppm lead in soil

(See OU2 Record of Decision for Tar Creek Residential Areas)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terrestrial fauna:

 

10.0 mg/kg cadmium, 500 mg/kg lead and 1100 mg/kg zinc, in transition zone soil, and in soil underlying source material.

Ground water

Prevent Site residents from the ingestion of water from private wells that contains lead in concentrations exceeding the National Primary Drinking Water Standards.

 

General Tactics:

To meet the above remedial action objective, the remedy will include an alternative water source for those residences affected.

 

0.015 mg/L lead at the water tap

 

 

OU5 – Surface Water and Sediments      Record of Decision – future date to be determined

As this time, there is insufficient information to determine the potential human health risks related to surface water and sediment exposure.  EPA Regions 6 and 7 are working closely with the 3 states (Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas), nineTribes (Quapaw Nation, Peoria Tribe, Ottawa Tribe, Miami Tribe, Eastern Shawnee Tribe, Modoc Tribe, Wyandotte Nation, Seneca-Cayuga Nation, and Cherokee Nation), and the community to develop and complete a human health risk assessment, characterization report, and feasibility study. This OU5 effort includes 7 watersheds covering approximately 437 square miles and 119 river miles within Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and 9 tribal areas.

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Sampling and Monitoring Information

Operable Unit 2 – Residential Areas

The ODEQ is the lead for cleaning up residential yards for citizens, making the community a cleaner and safer place to live and play. Contaminated mine waste, commonly referred to as chat was used to build roads, parking lots, alleyways, driveways, and used as general fill material. The ODEQ encourages you to ask about having your yard sampled for lead. The ODEQ will be able to tell you whether your property has been sampled, cleaned up, or work with you to find out if sampling and cleanup is necessary. Anyone within Ottawa County is eligible for ODEQ’s Residential Yard Cleanup Program. If you are unsure whether your yard has been cleaned up and would like to get on the list to have your yard or driveway sampled, please contact ODEQ’s Tar Creek Residential Cleanup Project Manager Brian Stanila at (405) 702-5138 or via ODEQ’s toll-free hotline number 1-800-522-0206, or the EPA Hotline at 1-800-533-3508.

Operable Unit 4 – Source Material

During each remediation project, soils are sampled to ensure the remediation goals of the ROD are being met.  All data results are provided in remediation reports that document the work completed for each remediation project.

Operable Unit 5 - Surface Water and Sediment

The Data Gap Report identified data gaps that need to be filled in order to complete the nature and extent investigation and the human health risk assessment. Field sampling activities began July 10, 2017, and were completed in October 2017.

Watershed Sampling Program  - 2019 (coordination with US Geological Survey)

 

The fate, transport, and loading of metals in the aqueous phase and their presence in contaminated sediment in the Neosho and Spring River watersheds in the Tri-State Mining District is being studied to assist remediation and restoration. The program includes measuring streamflow and collection of water and sediment samples from seven identified sites for measuring metal concentrations in streambed sediment and water column (Table 1). The specific objectives for this effort comprise:

  • Measure streamflow at the identified sampling stations.
  • Collect surface-water samples for metal concentration (dissolved and total) at the seven sampling stations.
  • Collect stream-bed sediment samples for total metal concentration at the seven sampling stations.
  • Measure suspended sediment concentration (SSC) at the identified sampling stations.

Table 1. Sampling locations in Oklahoma and their coordinates.

Site ID                    Location

Neosho-1              USGS Gage 07185000: Neosho River near Commerce, OK

Neosho-2              USGS Gage 07185080: Neosho River at Miami, OK

Tar Creek-1          USGS Gage 07185090: Tar Creek near Commerce, OK

Tar Creek-2          USGS Gage 07185095: Tar Creek at 22nd St Bridge at Miami, OK

Elm Creek             USGS Gage 07185030: Elm Creek near Commerce, OK

Beaver Creek       USGS Gage 07188005: Beaver Creek near Quapaw, OK

Spring River -1     USGS Gage 07188000: Spring River Near Quapaw, OK

 

 

 


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Community Resources

Community involvement is the process of engaging in dialogue and collaboration with community members. The goal of Superfund community involvement is to advocate and strengthen early and meaningful community participation during Superfund cleanups.

EPA is committed to engaging dialogue and collaboration with community members.  Our goal for Superfund community involvement is to advocate and strengthen early and meaningful community participation during Superfund cleanups.  We strive to encourage and enable community members to get involved.   EPA is committed to:

  • Listen carefully to what the community is saying
  • Take the time needed to deal with community concerns
  • Change planned actions where community comments or concerns have merit
  • Keep the community well informed of ongoing and planned activities
  • Explain to the community what EPA has done and why

Community Participation - EPA welcomes the opportunity to improve our communication effort by obtaining feedback and suggestions from you.  Do you have suggestions that can improve the exchange of information or ideas that can enhance the implementation of the remediation efforts?  If so, we want to hear from you.  Your participation can make a difference!

Community Involvement Plan (CIP) -  The site CIP has been developed to identify the concerns, needs and issues of the community.  This document informs the site team about the community and the preferred ways to involve them in the site clean-up

Please follow this link for a wide variety of community involvement information: Community Involvement Resources

Information Repositories

Information Repositories containing the Administrative Record including the Record of Decision (ROD), for the Tar Creek Superfund Site is available at the following locations: 

Miami Public Library
200 North Main Street
Miami, Oklahoma   74354
918.542.2292

Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality
707 North Robinson – 2nd Floor
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma   73102
405.702.1188 or 405.702.1000

All inquiries from the news media should be directed to the Region 6 Press Office at 214.665.2200.

 


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Redevelopment Activity

Sustainability through re-use or recycling of Site materials is another focus for the remedial action. Trees removed from the work areas during construction are segregated from other wastes to allow re-use and recycling where possible. Root balls from vegetative clearing may have contaminated soil attached, and are transported to the Central Mill Repository, but waste trees and other wood debris are available for mulching. Sampling and analysis of the chipped waste tree and wood debris material is performed, and results indicate concentrations of lead, cadmium and zinc are well below the cleanup goals and Regional Screening Levels for residential soil. From the Distal 7 North Site alone, over 2,000 cubic yards of mulch was provided to a local company for use as mulch. Remedial activities at the Distal 7 South Site have yielded 2,115 cubic yards of mulch.

The cleanup addresses residential relocation and sale of chat (a mining waste). EPA does not own any chat and will not purchase any chat. However, it is assisting chat sale participants, including the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma and local chat processors, as part of the Site’s Superfund remedy. Approximately, 17 percent of the source materials removed were purchased directly from property owners by local processors (with transport provided by EPA) for use.

Residential, commercial and public uses continue on several cleaned up properties. Reuses for properties currently undergoing cleanup are typically agricultural or rural. To date, workers remediated 2,940 properties under OU2.

 

 


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