Eagle-Picher Smelter Site

Site Background

The Eagle-Picher Smelter site is in the northeast part of Galena, Cherokee County, Kansas. The facility operated from 1878 until 2004, processing lead, zinc, and cadmium ores to produce those metals as well as zinc oxide, zinc sulfide, manganese sulfate, manganese dioxide, and sulfuric acid.

Eagle-Picher Holdings, Inc., declared Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in 2005. A subsequent Kansas Settlement Agreement established a trust fund for remediating 148 acres owned by Eagle-Picher Holdings, Inc. The site was addressed under a bankruptcy settlement between Eagle Picher Custodial Trust, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with KDHE taking the lead role for the environmental issues.

A series of environmental investigations identified toxic levels of lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury, chromium, and zinc contamination in soils, sediments, and surface water. Early cleanup efforts included decontaminating or razing several site buildings and disposing of contaminated equipment and materials.

An Evaluation of Remedial Alternatives investigation conducted in 2011 determined that the most cost-effective remedial solution would be to consolidate and cap the waste on site, preventing humans and wildlife from coming into contact with the wastes and preventing the migration of hazardous materials off site. The excavation of approximately 194,000 cubic yards of smelter waste, contaminated soils and sediment was initiated in June 2013 and the encapsulation cell completed in January 2014.

Additional Information

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Portions of these reports may have been removed in order to make them web-ready. Complete copies are available by contacting Maura O'Halloran.