Water Quality Concerns Raised

Monday, March 26th 2007, 8:35 am
By: News On 6

CHECOTAH, Okla. (AP) -- Checotah Mayor Jay Hayes says he will ask the federal Environmental Protection Agency to again look at the Eagle-Picher smelter remediation project near Henryetta.

Hayes' request comes amid concerns about the possible contamination of Deep Fork River, from which the eastern Oklahoma town draws its water, by heavy metals that could be seeping from the abandoned smelter site into Lake Eufaula tributaries.

Last year, a Connors State College research team investigated a phenomenon of oddly colored purple eggs in a number of young, blue catfish caught in or near the Deep Fork River arm of Lake Eufaula.

Tributaries to the Deep Fork flow from the abandoned Eagle-Picher smelter site and empty into the river and Lake Eufaula.

Soil samples collected north of the smelter site and at the confluence of Coal Creek and Deep Fork River have indicated unsafe levels of arsenic, cadmium and lead.

Hayes says something is not right in that area.