Trustees Settle Natural Resource Damage Claims Arising from Hazardous Substances Releases at Waco Subsite, Cherokee County NPL Site, Kansas

Last edited 09/25/2020

mine tailings at Waco Subsite of Cherokee County NPL site in Kansas
Mine tailings, washed from an impoundment at the Waco Subsite, shown here in January 2004, are a source of hazardous substances releases at the Waco Subsite of the Cherokee County NPL site in southeastern Kansas. Photo credit: John Miesner, FWS.

On June 6, 2012, the U.S., on behalf of the Department of the Interior, and the State of Kansas settled natural resource claims against E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company for injuries to natural resource and natural resource services caused by hazardous substances releases into navigable waters at the Waco Subsite of the Cherokee County NPL site in southeastern Kansas. This settlement was embodied in a Consent Decree entered by the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas.

The natural resource trustees in this case include the U.S. Department of the Interior, represented by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the State of Kansas, represented by Department of Health and Environment and the Secretary of the Department of Health and Environment, and.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency placed the Cherokee County Superfund Site on the National Priorities List in 1983. The Site, comprising 115 square miles in southeastern Kansas near the borders with Oklahoma and Missouri, has been divided into 7 subsites: Badger, Baxter Springs, Crestline, Galena, Lawton, Treece and Waco. The Waco Subsite, located about 6 miles north of Riverton, Kansas, covers about 560 acres. Cow Creek and an unnamed tributary to Cow Creek run through the Waco Subsite.

Mines and other properties owned by E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company and its predecessors-in-interest have released and continue to release hazardous substances -- including lead, cadmium and zinc -- into the environment at the Waco Subsite and into Cow Creek. These hazardous substances releases have injured natural resources including: groundwater, surface water, sediments, terrestrial resources, resident and migratory birds, fish, macroinvertebrates and other biota.

Under the final settlement in the Consent Decree, E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company will:

  • Pay $181,852.00 to be used by the natural resource trustees for the assessment, planning, restoration, rehabilitation and/or acquisition of the equivalent of injured natural resources at the Waco Subsite and area surface waters and for the long term management of these restored natural resource in accordance with the Cherokee County Restoration Plan;
  • Pay $12,505.00 plus interest to reimburse DOI for associated damage assessment costs; and,
  • Pay $58,382.00 to reimburse the State for associated damage assessment costs.

The total monetary value of the settlement is $252,739.00.

Further reading:

Was this page helpful?

Please provide a comment