Blackwell Leaders Seek Smelter Site Cleanup

Tuesday, March 6th 2007, 6:29 am
By: News On 6

BLACKWELL, Okla. (AP) _ City leaders in Blackwell are hoping to reach a final settlement soon for cleanup of an abandoned zinc smelter site.

Nearly six months ago, Blackwell city officials thought they had come to an agreement with mining company Phelps-Dodge. But they say they were disappointed last week when the company wouldn't sign a final consent order.

The move led Blackwell's mayor to make a public statement expressing his frustration during a city council meeting last week. However, a day later, city leaders met with the company and state environmental officials to discuss a solution.

Now attorney Jon Ihrig, who represents the city, says he's hopeful the two sides are close to an agreement.

The Blackwell Zinc Smelter closed in 1974 and sat dormant for more than 20 years before contamination was discovered.