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Quapaw Tribe receives EPA Grant - KOAM TV 7

Quapaw Tribe receives EPA Grant

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            The EPA grants four million dollars to the Quapaw tribe to help with mine waste cleanup.

The four million dollars will help the tribe with cleanup west of Picher.
A small step compared to the last 5 years of work.
Kent: "We've cleaned up over a million tons of chat, we've remediated several hundred acres of land and put it back into use by the tribe."
It
s an incredible amount of work -- requiring help.
Kent: "We've kept the work local, we've kept the employment local, you know, it just makes sense."
That employment -- has added 40 jobs to the Quapaw nation...
Kent: "That's just how much we employ directly but, we use local businesses for all our support."
Meaning increased work and revenue for the community.
Kent says its work that's been a long time coming.
Kent: "The site was on the national priorities list of superfund sites since 1983, but it wasn't until 30 years later that we finally got around to doing cleanup."
The EPA determined where the most heavily impacted sites were -- and they identified a significant need.
Kent: "They identified 50 million tons of mine waste there on site, and they estimated it was going to take at least 40 years to clean up that, 50 million tons, and in reality, with EPA getting less and less money every year, it's probably going to take longer."
Those dwindling funds have caused some big headaches.
Kent: "When superfund first started, there was a lot of money in it, a lot of money for cleanup, and cleanups were being accelerated, but now that the superfund tax is no longer there, cleanup has slowed significantly.
Despite the funding shortfalls -- Kent says they've managed to take the mine waste total from 500 million tons to 50 million tons -- and is hoping to continue cleanup and restoration of the tribal lands.

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Chris Warner
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A Joplin native, Chris first started in broadcasting at age 16 at KSNF-TV in 2004..

Chris joined the KOAM team in 2017 as an Associate Producer. In April, he moved into a full-time reporter position. He spent time from 2008 to 2016 in various retail roles around the region before returning to his passion at KOAM. Chris is excited to continue telling the stories of the four states. Chris and his wife Amber live in Joplin and have three amazing children.

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