Save Tar Creek from Decades of Pollution

Tar Creek | Photo by LEAD Agency

Pollution from 70 years of lead and zinc mining has made Tar Creek a regional, watershed-wide problem that requires a watershed-wide solution. Tar Creek flows eleven miles through a once lush prairie from Kansas into Oklahoma. Forty years of acid mine water flowing from abandoned mines into Tar Creek has led American Rivers to include it on the list of America’s Most Endangered Rivers® of 2022.

Tar Creek is a tributary to the Neosho River, which in turn enters the Grand Lake o’ the Cherokees formed by the Pensacola Dam. The dam is undergoing a relicensing process, which will establish rules dam operators must follow for the next 30 years. Agencies operating the dam and managing the lake frequently ignore the impacts of metals pollution in the lake and watershed, and do not consider the repeated upstream flooding events when making decisions.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is required to compel on-the-record consideration of this watershed-wide metal pollution problem. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the state of Oklahoma must address historic and ongoing contamination of Tar Creek and the Grand Lake watershed as part of the Pensacola Dam’s official license record.

Please join us in demanding that EPA, FERC, GRDA, the Army Corps and the Governor of Oklahoma establish a joint agreement requiring inter-agency analysis and decision-making between dam relicensing and the Tar Creek Superfund Site

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Grand River Dam Authority
Grand River Dam Authority
Legal Advisor
Anne Marie
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Tulsa District Commander
Tulsa District