There is nothing good about toxic pollution. For many years, a number of industries have got away with leaving behind their toxic waste, affecting communities’ health and well-being. A prime example is the Smelting industry in Southeast Kansas. Towns like Cherryvale, Iola, Coffeyville, Neodesha, Treece, and more have suffered long-term consequences of former smelter plants that were operating during the early and mid-1900′s. These smelting plants, which would super-heat heavy metal ores to make condensed solid metal, often leave behind piles of hazardous waste that can poison people, such as lead, arsenic, cadmium, and more.
Currently, the Kansas Sierra Club is following the situation in Cherryvale, KS, where the world’s largest zinc smelter once operated. The Office of Inspector General of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a report to the US Congress that Cherryvale may be indeed be in “imminent and substantial danger” because of uncertainty surrounding the extent of heavy metal contaminants. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the City of Cherryvale have further concluded that the contamination may be more widespread than originally thought. The Kansas Sierra Club is working with Cherryvale residents, as well as state and federal authorities, to make sure that the contamination gets cleaned up and the community be safe for living.
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