The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that it is proposing to add Henryetta Iron and Metal, Henryetta, Oklahoma, to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). The former facility is among five proposed sites being proposed to the list.
“Our commitment to communities with sites on the National Priorities List is that they are a true national priority,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler says in an EPA news release. “Under the Trump Administration, EPA has a renewed focus on the Superfund program. We are taking action to clean up some of the nation’s most contaminated sites, protect the health of communities and return contaminated land to safe and productive reuse for future generations.”
The former Henryetta Iron and Metal site had been used as a metal salvage yard since the 1930s. The property consists mostly of iron and metal material and equipment that was reportedly imported from oilfield operations. Soils, groundwater and a nearby creek are contaminated with metals, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB). The state of Oklahoma referred the site to EPA and submitted a letter of support for proposing to place the site on the NPL.
“Sites like Henryetta Iron and Metal can leave a legacy of pollution that becomes a burden to the community,” Regional Administrator Ken McQueen says. “Proposing the site to the NPL is the first step to cleaning up the contamination for the benefit of the area’s families and natural resources.”