Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Picher Ok

Picher Ok which is the is one of oldest, largest most polluted toxic-waste sites in U.S. CNN reports a story about Picher and a 84 years resident, which puts the things in right perspective here. Picher is a city in Ottawa County, Oklahoma, United States. It was formerly a center of lead and zinc mining. The population was 1,640 at the 2000 census. Discoveries of ground contamination and the possibility of a cave in under the city have prompted nearly all of its population to evacuate Picher, and the nearby town of Cardin is following suit.
Picher has become notable for its location near the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Tar Creek Superfund site, which had a long history of underground lead and zinc mining until around 1970. Chat piles left behind by the mining companies contain lead dust that has blown around the city. Elevated lead levels in Picher children have led to learning disabilities and other problems.
The lead and zinc have also seeped into groundwater, ponds, and lakes, many of which still are used by children for swimming. Since the children of Picher have been found to have elevated levels of lead in their bodies, the EPA has since declared Picher to be one of the most toxic areas in the United States. In June 2009, the mayor of Picher stated that the city would cease operations as a municipality on or about September 1, 2009; the post office was scheduled to close on July 6.

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