US Senator Jim Inhofe sees cooperation on Tar Creek

Monday, November 10th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Sen. Jim Inhofe said Monday he and Gov. Brad Henry have agreed that a solution to the Tar Creek environmental mess must be bipartisan.

Last week, Inhofe, R-Okla., announced that federal agencies and Quapaw tribal leaders had agreed to a plan that identifies remedies for cleaning up the core area of the Tar Creek Superfund site.

After meeting Monday with Henry in the senator's office, Inhofe said ``I think we have the type of spirit of cooperation that will allow us to work together in a bipartisan way in the best interest of the people of the Tar Creek area.''

Henry, who recently visited the site in northeastern Oklahoma, has yet to take a position on the plan.

During Monday's meeting, Inhofe said he stressed ``that this comprehensive plan establishes a cleanup process with practical solutions to environmental problems at Tar Creek that focus on four areas: improving water quality, reducing exposure to lead dust, attenuating mine hazards and land reclamation.

``Health issues remain an issue at the site,'' Inhofe said.

He said he is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to evaluate whether any residents at the Tar Creek site are at risk.

``If they determine danger exists, they are then required by statute to exercise all reasonable efforts to mitigate that risk,'' Inhofe said.