| Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 2116 (rfs) To amend title 38, United States Code, to establish a program of extended care services for veterans and to make other improvements in health care programs of the Department of Veterans Affairs. [Referred in Senate] ...
H.R. 2116 (rfs) To amend title 38, United States Code, to establish a program of extended care services for veterans and to make other improvements in health care programs of the Department of Veterans Affairs. [Referred in Senate] ...
108th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 2116 To direct the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to provide relocation and other assistance for residents at the Tar Creek Superfund site. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES May 15, 2003 Mr. Carson of Oklahoma introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and in addition to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To direct the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to provide relocation and other assistance for residents at the Tar Creek Superfund site. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Tar Creek Restoration Act''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS. Congress finds the following: (1) The Tar Creek Superfund Site (the ``Site'') is a former lead and zinc mining area located in the northeastern portion of Ottawa County, Oklahoma. (2) The Site includes the Oklahoma portion of the Tri-State Mining District of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri. (3) The Site is located in one of the most flood-prone parts of Oklahoma. (4) Mining began at the Site in the early 1900s and continued until the 1970s. (5) Due to water in the ore-producing Boone Aquifer, mining companies were forced to pump large volumes of water from the extensive underground mine workings when the mines were in operation. (6) Much of the mining at the Site was on Indian land controlled by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. (7) During World War I, mining at the Site accounted for more than 45 percent of the Nation's wartime consumption of lead and zinc. (8) Mining at the Site created millions of tons of waste tailings, or chat. (9) In 1923, the Department of the Interior recommended that chat be stockpiled aboveground at the Site so as to enable later reprocessing. (10) During World War II, the Department of the Interior reiterated its recommendation that chat be stockpiled aboveground at the Site. (11) In 1960, Congress enacted the Small Producers Lead and Zinc Mining Stabilization Act, which attempted to encourage lead and zinc production at the Site. (12) As mining abated in the early 1970s, the vast underground mine workings at the Site began to refill with water from the Boone Aquifer. (13) As water filled the mines, the native sulfide minerals, which had been oxidized by exposure to air, dissolved and created acid mine water. (14) In 1979, acid mine water began discharging at the surface from several locations at the Site. (15) In 1983, the Site was placed on the National Priorities List. (16) In 1984, the Environmental Protection Agency began work to remediate the acid mine water at the Site. (17) In 1994, after spending millions of dollars at the Site, the Environmental Protection Agency concluded that it was essentially impossible to remediate the acid mine water. (18) There are at least 1,300 mine shafts at the Site, many of which remain open. (19) There are at least 100,000 boreholes at the Site. (20) The open mine shafts at the Site are a source of recharge to the underground mine workings. (21) Millions of tons of chat scar the surface area of the Site. (22) The stockpiled chat at the Site is laced with heavy metals, including lead, that are toxic to humans. (23) The stockpiled chat contributes to the flood problems at the Site and surrounding communities. (24) The stockpiled chat stores water that recharges the underground mine workings. (25) The stockpiled chat at the Site has been used to construct roads at the Site, as well as backfill for yards, in driveways, in foundations of homes, and other high-access areas. (26) The use of chat in construction has left the residential areas of the Site contaminated with heavy metals, including lead. (27) In 1994, the Environmental Protection Agency began work to remediate residential yards that contained unsafe lead concentration levels. (28) Scientific studies prove that a large number of children at the Site have elevated blood lead levels. (29) Elevated blood lead levels in children have been proven to cause learning disabilities and other severe health problems. (30) Scientific studies suggest that dust from the stockpiled chat presents a danger to human health. (31) Because mining left underground cavities at the Site, there have been repeated cave-ins, or subsidences, at the Site, with many greater than 100 feet in diameter. Subsidences have occurred in populated areas and near schools. (32) No work has been undertaken by any agency of the United States Government to remediate the stockpiled chat or subsidence dangers at the Site. (33) There have been no comprehensive epidemiological studies of the Site. (34) Because of its many unique environmental problems, the Site can never be made safe for human habitation. SEC. 3. ASSISTANCE. (a) In General.--The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall provide assistance under the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 (42 U.S.C. 4621 et seq.) to residents within the 17 square mile area identified in Governor Keating's Tar Creek Superfund Task Force Final Report of October 2000, including the communities of Picher and Cardin on the Tar Creek Superfund site in Oklahoma. The Environmental Protection Agency shall be considered the displacing agency for purposes of the application of that Act. (b) Continuing Responsibility.--Nothing in this Act shall be construed to relieve the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency or any other Federal agency of any responsibility under law with respect to the cleanup of the Tar Creek Superfund site. (c) Comprehensive Resolution.--The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall work with other appropriate Federal and State officials to seek a comprehensive resolution to the environmental and health problems related to the Tar Creek Superfund site. <all>
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