Experts at the Lead Agency’s 21st Annual National Environmental Tar Creek Conference updated the community on progress at the site. They also spoke about what still needs to be done.
Attendees learned about yard clean-ups and EPA testing available for people living near the area. A presentation also showed the effects lead is having on ground water wells and birds in Northeast Oklahoma.
Grand River Keeper Earl Hatley addressed the GRDA working to re-license Grand Lake due to a proposal to raise the lake levels two more feet due to silting. That’s in addition to flooding impacting the area.
“The problem with the flooding is it’s a toxic flood because the sediments are contaminated with the heavy metals from the Tri-State mining district, especially Tar Creek. And without fixing that, then the flooding will be even worse,” Hatley explained.
Hatley adds this continuous flooding could potentially cause the EPA to have to remediate ground that has already been cleaned up. That’s because metals continue to settle into the ground in Miami.