14, 2007 PRESS RELEASE/MAILING
DEQ AND EPA SOLICITING REQUESTS FOR RESIDENTIAL YARD SAMPLING AND INFORMATION RELATIVE TO POTENTIAL USE OF SMELTER MATERIAL AS FILL
The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are seeking information regarding the two historical zinc smelters located approximately 1-mile south of Collinsville. Generally, DEQ and EPA have found that contamination leaves a smelter site in two ways. One is aerial deposition during the operation of the smelter, where emissions from smoke stacks carry particulates offsite. These particulates can contain metals which then can settle on the top of soil, usually close to the smelter. The second way contamination leaves the site is from individuals taking slag, retorts, sand, brick and other smelter waste from the site. Individuals tend to use these materials for fill, driveways, and various other uses. Historical emissions and smelter debris can contain metals. These metals, particularly lead, arsenic and cadmium, can be toxic at high concentrations and should not be in residential and recreational settings.
Both smelters operated in the early 1900's for relatively short periods of time. The smelters operated independently of each other and were owned by different individuals. However, due to their operation in the early 1900's the zinc smelting processes and ores used were similar making the byproducts from both smelters, which are heavy metals, similar.
The smelters are
known as the Tulsa Fuel & Manufacturing Superfund Site (TFM) and
the Collinsville Smelter. Tulsa Fuel & Manufacturing Site is located
on the west side of Old U.S. Highway 169 and is designated as a Superfund
site. This means that the site is being cleaned up through a federal
EPA program. The DEQ is leading the work and EPA is reviewing and approving
DEQ decisions and actions. The Collinsville Smelter is located on the
east side of Old U.S. Highway 169 and is being addressed under Oklahoma's
Voluntary Cleanup Program. Under this program, the responsible party
has entered a voluntary consent order with the DEQ for investigation
of the former Collinsville smelter. The DEQ reviews and approves all
plans and activities at the site. Although both smelters are in different
phases of investigation, sampling will be performed in the near future
in residential areas near the smelter sites to determine if there are
potential impacts associated with the smelters.