The Site consists of areas of high concentrations of lead contamination from historical smelting operations in the City of Caney, Kansas. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) have documented high levels of heavy metal contamination in soils and waste at the Site. Two former lead and zinc smelter facilities are located in Caney, KS. The site includes properties near the Owen Zinc site and the American Zinc, Lead and Smelting (AZLS) site. The AZLS site (EPA ID # KSD984971986) was the subject of a potentially responsible party (PRP) non-time critical removal action that was completed in 2000 with EPA oversight. The removal action documentation for the AZLS site are available in the EPA administrative record. The Owen Zinc site (KDHE ID # C306300193) was the subject of a PRP-lead cleanup under KDHE oversight, which was completed in 2004.
In response to a citizen complaint, KDHE conducted an Integrated Site Evaluation (“ISE”) in February 2013, to determine if hazardous substances were present at a residential property on North State St., which is directly south of the Owens Zinc Site. KDHE’s sampling identified elevated levels of lead in surficial soil at the residence. KDHE determined that a soil removal action was warranted and, in a letter dated March 15, 2015, KDHE referred the Site to EPA for a time-critical removal action consistent with the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP).
In June 2015, EPA initiated a Removal Site Evaluation (RSE) to resample the property on North State St. in accordance with the Superfund Lead Contaminated Residential Sites Handbook (OSWER 9285.7-50, and with the EPA Standard Operating Procedure 4230.19A entitled Soil Sampling at Lead-Contaminated Residential Sites. The EPA sampled additional properties in an effort to determine the extent to which lead contamination is present in residential yards proximal to historic smelter facilities in Caney. In late November 2016, EPA initiated a removal action to clean up lead contaminated residential yards in Caney.