The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

July 11, 2013

Oronogo officials hire engineer to help monitor mine cleanup

ORONOGO, Mo. — City officials in Oronogo say they are continuing to monitor remediation work being done on former mining land in and around their community, and they also have hired an engineer to help them look for potential problems.

Millions of cubic yards of chat and mining waste in Jasper County are being dumped back into two open pit mines in the region, including the Oronogo Circle Mine.

That work is being done by Geo Engineers for Blue Tee, a metals company that was identified as one of the parties thought to be responsible for mine waste contamination in the area. The company entered into a consent decree with the Environmental Protection Agency to clean the site.

An estimated 4 million cubic yards of waste — possibly more — are being dumped into the 12-acre open-pit mine that is up to 300 feet deep in parts. Work to refill the pit began in September 2012. So far, an estimated 1.3 million cubic yards of waste has been put into the pit.

Oronogo Councilman Bob Russell said that council members identified two concerns this spring related to the project.

“One of the issues was when it rained, some people complained about flooding,” Russell said. “Another issue raised by people was a worry that filling in the Circle would create problems with their wells.”

According to Mark Doolan, project manager for the EPA, tests with a smaller water-filled pit at Waco in 2006 showed that filling a pit with mine waste had no significant impact on groundwater quality in the area of the pit or on nearby surface waters.  

Russell said tests on city water by the public works department also have been “good” thus far.

“But we’re continuing to monitor it,” he added.

The city also hired Eric Dove, an engineer with Olsson Associates in Springfield, to review the remediation process and provide an update to the council on potential city flooding. Dove said that as a city engineer, he was only looking at the impact on the community, and not the impact remediation might have on any private property owner.

“From a city engineering perspective, it doesn’t seem to be much of a problem, but you need to stay on top of it,” Dove advised the council when it met Monday. “The remediation plans are very fuzzy; as they dig, if they find more (contamination), they keep going.”

And although he said he doesn’t think there is a problem yet for the city, he said if something changes as the cleanup progresses, then he would get involved.

“But at this point, I think I’m done,” he added.

Future visits

Eric Dove, an engineer with Olsson Associates in Springfield, also recommended to the Oronogo City Council during its meeting Monday that it invite representatives from Geo Engineering to a future meeting to provide their own update on mining cleanup, something that Councilman Bob Russell, Mayor Bob Pearish and several other council members agreed would be in order.

Text Only
Top Stories
  • r041614giregabby.jpg SLIDE SHOW: Teen with cystic fibrosis finds widespread support

    When the Nevada Show Choir performs its spring show on stage, it’s impossible to pick out the student with cystic fibrosis because there are no outward clues.
    Gabby Gire, 18, is just another performer. She sings, she dances, she smiles for the audience.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • 041914 Wedding1_72.jpg VIDEO: Cancer patient walks down aisle in wedding thrown by friends

    A year ago, Schandera Jordan was diagnosed with a rare form cervical cancer. And months after a radical hysterectomy, doctors confirmed the worst: The cancer had spread to her lungs and pancreas.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Enrollment open for Joplin summer school

    Enrollment is now open for the Joplin school district’s summer school session, which will run Wednesday, June 4, though Tuesday, July 1.

    April 19, 2014

  • r041814capbus4.jpg Funding shortfall could hinder public transportation in Southeast Kansas

    For the past two years, Pittsburg State University sophomore Travis Cook has been using public transportation to get to and from his classes. He began using the bus his freshman year, when he didn’t have a vehicle to drive even to the grocery store — which is said to be the case for many who use the service.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bruner denied change of venue for murder trial

    Circuit Judge Gayle Crane has denied a change of venue for a defendant charged with fatally shooting an assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University. The attorney for Jeffrey Bruner claimed pretrial publicity as the reason for seeking a change of venue in Jasper County Circuit Court.

    April 18, 2014

  • Russell family sues city, Joplin police

    Family members of a teenage girl whose suicide a year ago brought them into conflict with police officers and emergency medical technicians are suing the city and the Joplin Police Department. Kevin and Julissa Russell and their son, Brant Russell, are the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court. The action filed on the Russells’ behalf by Kansas City attorney Andrew Protzman names the city, the Police Department and Officers Austin Wolf and Tyler Christensen as defendants.

    April 18, 2014

  • Kansas Regents stick with social media policy

    After directing a committee to study a controversial social media policy and make recommended changes, the Kansas Board of Regents appears to not be changing the policy at all. It’s left some in academia baffled by why it appointed the work group in the first place.

    April 18, 2014

  • Britain Easter Pilgri_Cast.jpg SLIDESHOW: Good Friday observances around the world Around the world, Christians are coming together in observance of Good Friday, which they believe was the day Jesus was crucified. Here are some photos from Good Friday commemorations around the world.

    April 18, 2014

  • Missouri House votes to expand sales tax exemptions

    Pizza parlors, doughnut shops and even convenience stores all could be in line for a tax break on the food that they make and sell as a result of a measure moving through the Missouri Legislature.

    April 18, 2014

  • 041714 School safe rooms4_72.jpg Joplin school district readies community safe rooms for storm season

    Thousands of Joplin residents will soon be able to stay safe during storms in some of the region’s newest shelters. Community safe rooms at Cecil Floyd, Stapleton, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools, which double as gymnasiums, and Junge Field, which will double as a field house, are expected to be open within the next few weeks, according to Mike Johnson, the school district’s director of construction.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos