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Cherokee County OU03 RV010

Site Contact:
Brendan Martin


Site Location:
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

On March 13, 2024, the EPA Removal Program received a referral from the EPA Remedial Program to evaluate a single residential property for Removal Action under the Cherokee County site, Operable Unit (OU) 03. The EPA Remedial Program confirmed elevated concentrations of lead in surface soil following notification from the Cherokee County Health Department of the presence of a child resident under the age of seven that displayed an elevated blood lead level.

On March 15, an On-Scene Coordinator and EPA contractors mobilized to the site to initiate a removal action. From March 20 - 22, EPA contractors excavated 261 cubic yards of contaminated soil from the property. Excavated soil was transported to a nearby soil repository within the Cherokee County site boundary. From March 22 - 24, EPA contractors backfilled, compacted, and graded excavated areas with topsoil or gravel.

EPA will restore the vegetation of the disturbed areas by installing sod and watering the sod for three weeks. After three weeks of sod watering, EPA will transfer the sod maintenance to the property owner.


Cherokee County Site Background

The property is located within the Cherokee County National Priority List site, which spans 115 square miles and represents the Kansas portion of the Tri-State mining district. It consists of mine tailings, soil, sediment, surface water and groundwater contaminated with heavy metals (principally lead, zinc and cadmium). The primary sources of contamination are the residual metals in the abandoned mine workings, chat piles and tailings impoundments, in addition to historical impacts from smelting operations. The site was placed on the National Priorities List in 1983 and organized into subsites, which were then divided into nine OUs. This Emergency Removal Action is administratively within OU3 of the site. 

More information on the Cherokee County remedial site activities can be found at https://cumulis.epa.gov/supercpad/cursites/csitinfo.cfm?id=0700667.