One of the two former
Collinsville zinc smelter sites has been a low priority EPA Superfund
site since 1999. Collinsville citizens finally had an opportunity (Oct.
11th, 2007 at an underpublized public meeting at City Hall) to hear
results of environmental testing on and near that site. The tests were
conducted by the Oklahoma Department of Environemtal Quality (DEQ) in
2005 and 2006. The EPA site is now referred to as the "Tulsa Fuel
and Manfacturing" site and is approximately 1.3 miles south of
downtown Collinsville on the west side of the railroad tracks. The other
smelter site (referred to as "Collinsville Smelter") which
is east of the tracks and south of 136th St. North is not a part of
the EPA Superfund as a "responsible party" (Phelps-Dodge)
will be required to fund the cleanup there.
Wright's Quick Summary: If you don't live on the smelter sites
or have substantial material on your property that came from the
sites, you have very little if anything to worry about. More tests
will be done. If you want your property tested or know the location
of smelter related material off-site please contact DEQ (Sara.Downard@deq.state.ok.us)
or Shaw Environmental (email@example.com)
The tests conducted
on the 60-acre "Tulsa Fuel and Manufacturing" site found obviously
high levels of zinc, lead, arsenic and cadmium metals in the soil. Some
of the off-site test also showed elevated levels of hazardous metals
but they were at sites where obvious smelter slag or retort (connies)
had been relocated for retaining walls or driveway material, etc. Ore
was shipped into the Collinsville smelters via rail cars from all over
the world while the smelters were in operation (from 1911 to the mid-1920s).
Along with the soil,
samples of air, water, fish, blackberrys were collected and tested for
any hazards to humans or animals. The fish tissue test were conducted
in 1999 and no fish were found in the ponds but the 7 catfish from the
strip mine pit showed no unacceptable levels of risk. The other tests
were from 2005 and 2006. 7-day test data showed no evidence of an aerial
plume carrying hazardous material to offsite locations. The air sampling
was performed to determine if the waste material was capable of moving
off-site via air/wind movement. DEQ's consultant also did shallow soil
sampling to investigate the possibility of a historic aerial plume originating
from the site. The black berries tested along the railway showed some
signs of higher than normal metal contamination but it was apparently
in the dust on the exterior of the berries as the berries tested OK
once they were washed. The well water onsite was deemed unacceptable
for drinking with zinc and cadmium contamination. Surface water tested
OK except for sediment at the bottom. No unacceptable levels of metals
were detected in any of the offsite water tests.
The cleanup plan
has yet to be designed but options include onsite capping & containment/managened
land use or removal of hazardous material to be an approved landfill
site (with a rough estimate of $35 million removal cost). Once the cleanup
plan is released (at a yet unannounced public meeting) the public will
have 30 days to respond.
Note: I am
not an expert and am merely reporting the DEQ's information presented.
It was first noted that any human faces environmental risks no matter
where they live on this earth. The only specific risk mentioned was
cancer with the EPA policy on levels of risk requiring "management"
at 1 in 10,000.
-- Ted Wright -- www.cvilleok.com -- 10/13/2007