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Former Kan. smelter site joins EPA’s Superfund priorities list

Keywords: Tags  EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, Superfund, United Zinc, zinc, lead, National Priorities List, Kansas site environmental contamination

NEW YORK — A site in Kansas' Allen County that was once home to many lead and zinc smelters will be added to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund National Priorities List, the EPA said.

Between 1902 and 1925, Iola, Kan., was home to the main facility of United Zinc & Chemical Co., one of several zinc and lead smelting operations then in the area.

Residential and nonresidential properties around Iola are contaminated with high levels of lead, arsenic, cadmium and zinc, which might be associated with the history of smelting at the site, according to the EPA.

The EPA made its decision to add the site to the list, which outlines the nation’s highest-priority hazardous waste sites scheduled for cleanup and decontamination, after the governor of Kansas and the mayor of Iola both submitted letters of support.

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