Tar Creek Trustees Invite Public to Comment on Draft Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment

For Immediate Release:  November 8, 2021

Contact:  Erin Hatfield, (405) 702.7119

The Tar Creek Trustees are seeking comments on a Draft Phase 1 Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment (Draft Phase 1 RP/EA).  The Draft Phase 1 RP/EA was written after seeking restoration ideas from the public in 2019. Some of the submitted ideas have been developed into restoration alternatives that will restore, replace, rehabilitate, or acquire the equivalent of natural and cultural resource and their services lost or injured due to the release of hazardous substances at the Northeastern Oklahoma Mining Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Site. The total cost for the six preferred alternatives is $7,992,334.

The Draft Phase 1 RP/EA may be accessed in person at the Bureau of Indian Affairs office at 10 South Treaty Road in Miami, OK or online at: https://www.fws.gov/Tar Creek draft_Phase I_RPEA. Comments may be submitted by email to TarCreekNRDAR@fws.gov for a period of 30 days after publication in local newspapers.

The site is located within the northeast Oklahoma section of the Tri-State Mining District, an area that covers more than 2,500 square miles and includes portions of southeast Kansas, southwest Missouri, and northeast Oklahoma. Significant portions of the site were, and continue to be, affected by releases of cadmium, lead, zinc, and other hazardous substances. The Trustees intend to use a combination of on-site and off-site restoration actions to restore, replace, rehabilitate, and/or acquire the equivalent of the injured natural resources and associated services lost within the Site.

The Trustees include the U.S. Department of Interior through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Indian Affairs, Cherokee Nation, Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma, Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma, Seneca-Cayuga Nation, Wyandotte Nation and the Office of the Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and the Environment.

For information on the site or the Tar Creek Trustee Council, you may contact Jay Wright with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality at (405) 702.1000 or jay.wright@deq.ok.gov. All media calls should be directed to Erin Hatfield at (405) 702.7119.