EPA recognizes Wyandotte Nation for Tar Creek efforts

Wyandotte Nation Environmental Director Christen Lee with the award received from the EPA and ODEQ.

Wyandotte Nation Environmental Director Christen Lee with the award received from the EPA and ODEQ.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality recognized the Wyandotte Nation for its work on Tar Creek projects.

“This was specifically for our yard clean-up efforts and we brought them (EPA) to Wyandotte, to our tribal areas, to sample for lead and we didn’t have any high hits in lead thankfully,” said Christen Lee, Wyandotte Nation Environmental Director. “We are happy to work with them and we continue to work with them on different aspects of the project.”

Operable Unit 2 (OU 2) activities included cleaning up contaminated residential driveways, yards, public alleyways and parks and properties in Miami, Afton, Commerce, Fairland, Narcissa, North Miami, Peoria, Quapaw and Wyandotte. The State of Oklahoma is taking the lead now on the cleanup of the 40 acre Superfund Site clean-up.

Lee said the next stage is OU 5 and it will bring sediment transport down to the lake. “This is what all the downstream tribes have been waiting to hear,” she said. “That’s how we are getting metals in the water – is from sediments from surface water to groundwater, all from upstream.”

The Tar Creek Superfund site located in Picher and Cardin, Okla. Chat piles left behind by the mining companies contain lead dust that has blown around the city, causing health and other issues.

 

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