EPA Adds Henryetta Superfund Site To National Priority List

Tuesday, September 1st 2020, 9:44 pm
By: Kristen Weaver


A contaminated site in Henryetta is now considered a National Priority by the EPA.

It’s one of only six superfund sites in the U.S. added to the National Priority list, which means it’s getting cleaned up.

The site on the edge of Main Street in Henryetta has been used as a metal salvage yard for nearly a century.

Business owners are excited about the impact because now that it's on the EPA's National Priority list, it's a huge step for downtown.

"It's not only a contaminated area on our main street, it's an eyesore and needs to be dealt with," said Roy Madden, Executive Director of the Henryetta Chamber of Commerce.

"You don't want that to be the first thing you see coming into town," said Melesa Smith, Henryetta business owner.

The land on Main Street has been occupied by a blacksmith, welder, a pipe supply company and more since 1930.

The EPA said the site now contains PCB's, which are toxic industrial compounds, and other unsafe chemicals and metals.

"Things leak, machinery leaks, and gets into the top layers of soil," said Amber Howard, EPA Remedial Project Manager.

Howard said the chemicals have leaked into a nearby creek and the soil is contaminated. She said it isn't an immediate danger, but they want to get rid of the toxic materials as a preventative measure.

"As I look up and down Main Street, I see improvements almost every single day," Madden said.

Madden said the city is making big changes to Main Street, and said getting this site cleaned up is huge for the town's safety and curb appeal.

Smith, a new business owner, agrees.

"You want to do things to make your town look better," she said.

Smith just opened up Boone Creek Trading Post with fresh food and local shopping. She said she loves being downtown.

"Everything I expected and more," Smith said.

Howard said work should start soon on the project.

"It's going to be a win-win for Henryetta," said Madden.

For more information about Henryetta and EPA’s National Priority sites, visit this website here.