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Beneficial Uses of Chat Finalized

Fact Sheet

June 2007


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is encouraging the safe and beneficial use of chat from the Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas tri-state mining district. Beneficially using chat will reduce the current health and environmental hazards posed by existing surface-level chat piles.


EPA is finalizing the criteria for the beneficial use of chat from the Tri-state mining district in transportation construction projects that are carried out, in whole or in part, using federal funds. EPA is also recommending criteria as guidance for the beneficial use of chat in non-transportation, non-residential concrete and cement projects, such as commercial foundations, side walk areas, and parking areas. EPA believes these uses of chat are protective of human health and the environment. Chat is a gravel-like waste created from lead and zinc mining activities in the Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri Tri-state district between the late 1800s and mid 1900s. Currently about 100 million tons of chat contaminated with lead, zinc and cadmium are located in the Tri-state mining district. The district covers approximately 2,500 square miles and includes parts of Ottawa County, Oklahoma; Cherokee County, Kansas; and Jasper and Newton Counties, Missouri and includes four Superfund National Priority List (NPL) sites: Cherokee County, Tar Creek (Ottawa County), Newton County Mine and the Oronogo-Duenweg Mining Belt.

Beneficially using chat according to the finalized criteria will both reduce chat piles and improve human health and the environment in the Tri-state area. EPA is finalizing these criteria in response to the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2005.

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