Panel reviews Tar Creek chat problem

Friday, August 25th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

MIAMI, Okla. (AP) -- Panelists representing several groups got together in an effort to prepare more information needed by the Tar Creek Superfund Task Force regarding the use of gravel-like mining waste called chat.

The area has about 85 million tons of chat left behind when nationwide lead and zinc producers halted production about 25 years ago.

Panelists, consisting of members from environmental, legal, engineering, scientific, business and American Indian groups, met Thursday to discuss issues relating to their areas of expertise.

The group repeatedly brought up liability, health and environmental concerns.

Other issues addressed were public perception, a Bureau of Indian Affairs moratorium on sales of chat on Indian lands, lack of clear legal guidelines for transporting, storing and selling chat, plus the lack of a central point of contact for marketing.

A lack of transporting facilities to move large quantities of chat economically also was addressed by the panel.

Dennis Manning, a design engineer with Eagle-Picher Industries, offered studies done by his employer that would remove the lead from chat, turning it into a product that could be eventually turned into a concrete suitable for surfacing and paving.