DEQ to Hold Virtual Public Meeting to Discuss Upcoming Residential Yard Cleanups in Ottawa County

For Immediate Release: February 25, 2021

Contact: Erin Hatfield,

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will host a virtual public meeting from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 4, 2021. The meeting will focus on the upcoming Tar Creek Superfund Site residential yard and high access area cleanups. The meeting will be held via Zoom and will update the public about the upcoming remediation as part of the Tar Creek Operable Unit (OU) 2 Residential Cleanup Program. Representatives from DEQ will be available to discuss and answer questions related to the upcoming remedial activities at the site as well as future sampling efforts to be conducted in the area. The public will have the opportunity to talk directly with agency representatives.

The Tar Creek Superfund Site is part of the Tri-State Mining District, which includes northeastern Oklahoma, southeastern Kansas, and southwestern Missouri, where lead and zinc were mined from about 1900 to the 1970s. When the mining eventually stopped, huge volumes of waste, including chat, were left on the ground. Due to the widespread practice of using chat as general fill material, lead contamination is common throughout Ottawa County and has contributed to human health and environmental concerns in the area. Due to the overwhelming size and complexity of the site, it is divided into multiple operable units. The cleanup of residential properties and high access areas are the basis of OU 2. Cleanup is accomplished by removing and replacing lead contaminated soil and chat from residential properties. The next round of residential yard cleanups is planned for the spring and summer of 2021.

To join the live virtual public meeting via Zoom enter the following link: on your computer or mobile device. You may also call in to the meeting (audio only) by dialing 1-346-248-7799 (Meeting ID: 821 1905 5123; Passcode: 198930).

For more information about the Tar Creek Superfund Site, contact Kristen Bliss, DEQ Project Manager, at 405-702-5158 or Ellen Isbell, DEQ Project Manager, at 405-702-5129.

Media inquiries should be directed to Erin Hatfield at 405-702-7119.