The Jasper County Superfund Site is part of the Tri-State Mining District,
one of the largest lead and zinc mining areas in the world. It includes
approximately 500 square miles in Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. Mining
occurred from 1872 until the 1970s, with peak production occurring
around 1910. Mining, milling, and smelting operations left behind widespread
heavy metal contamination. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
in conjunction with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MoDNR)
oversees remedial activities designed to protect public health and the environment.
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The EPA added the site to the National Priorities List in 1990, primarily because
of groundwater contamination of the shallow aquifer and the mining wastes on the
surface that constituted a significant source of heavy metals to human or environmental
receptors. The Jasper County Site includes 11 geographically distinct former mining
areas, or designated areas (DAs), (shown on the map in blue) located within an
approximately 270 square mile area of Jasper and Newton counties.
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A group of nine responsible parties inherited liability from the former mining companies.
EPA attributed liability for only part of the site; therefore, substantial parts
of the cleanup will depend on federal and state funding.
The site comprises four operable units (OUs) based on media: two residential soils OUs,
a groundwater OU, and a non-residential mine/mill waste OU.