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A Southwest Missouri man is taking on the environmental protecti - KOAM TV 7

A Southwest Missouri man is taking on the environmental protection agency.

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A Newton county property owner says he's battling to protect his property.

But his battle to took a different turn today, with a visit from an EPA investigator.

Mark Russell has trailers he claims he can no longer rent because of damage by lead remediation crews. His property sits in an EPA superfund site.

And he contends crews covered up a natural spring as well.

Mark says, "They covered the hole over so the flow of water has been interrupted. I don't know if it can be found again."

He doesn't want crews going any further on his property which is gated and has security cameras and trespassing signs posted. He says, "Because there's dead buried there. There's a cemetery. There's gravestones and they're going to be working in a close proximity to that "

An EPA Inspector General's Investigator came from Washington to meet Russell on his property. While Russell hoped he would tour the site to see alleged problems, the inspector came with Newton County deputies in tow.

Russell asked ,"Why did officers come?" Dave Hoffman with the EPA answered, "Because you threatened to kill some people."

Russell says he was in the hospital learning about lost utilities on his property when he made the threat. "I said, you know, you should beware of the indians because if they come up here they're liable to hurt somebody if you go encroaching on my private property without permission. Because I will not sign an access agreement until this is complete and my issues are resolved."

Mark Doolan, the project manager of the EPA Jasper County superfund site, says he couldn't discuss the situation in detail. But he says Russell's property was treated like all others when it comes to reclaiming the land and nothing was damaged."

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Wildwood Ranch property has been remediated. And the contaminated soil from it and other surrounding properties like Russell's has been brought there, dumped and capped with clay to create the base of a future Joplin West Bypass road which is an extension of Central City Road.

Russell says that's costing him money. He says, "My father knew that and the man from the tribe knew that and said we need to buy this land now because we can all retire on selling that road bed material. We were all planning on selling it to the state and making money on it. But now they've just basically come in and taken it for free."

Russell says that was 7.3 million cubic yards of what the EPA says is contaminated soil.

Russell says he is part of the Fikawa tribe -- an offshoot of the Seneca Indian tribe and wants to protect his property for hunting and its resources.
KOAM could not confirm the existence of a Fikawa tribe.

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