EPA Asks for Comment on Treece, Kan., Relocation Offer

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a proposed modification of the cleanup plan for the Tar Creek Superfund site in Oklahoma. The proposal provides for relocation assistance of nearby residents in Treece, Kan.

On Oct. 29, 2009, Congress provided EPA with an exemption from the Uniform Relocation Act for the relocation of Treece residents. At the time, EPA identified relocation as the primary option due to Treece’s long and unique legacy of pollution and environmental challenges. Today’s announcement is the first step toward making a final determination on relocation.

The voluntary relocation assistance would be provided by the State of Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The estimated number of properties being considered is approximately 77 residential and business properties.

Local, state, and federal representatives provided information about the buyout process and answered questions from about 90 residents present during a community meeting attended by Treece Mayor Bill Blunk on Jan. 28, 2010.

Copies of the proposed Superfund Draft Explanation of Significant Differences for the Record of Decision: Tar Creek Superfund Site Operable Unit 4, Ottawa County, Oklahoma, February 2010, are available at the Miami Public Library in Miami, Okla., and the Johnston Public Library in Baxter Springs, Kan.

EPA is seeking public comment on the proposal until March 15, 2010. The proposal is also available online on the Region 6 decision documents Web page.

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