EPA thinks improvements are made at Tar Creek Superfund Site—Environmentalists think otherwise

Environmental groups aren’t as easily convinced as administrators of the EPA are about improvements of Oklahoma’s Tar Creek Superfund Site.

Their skepticism comes after the EPA recently announced the removal of the site from the agency’s Administrators Emphasis Lists. The agency indicated Tar Creek had reached “important milestones.”

But Rebecca Jim, executive director of the Local Environmental Action demanded Agency in Miami has a lot of questions about the move.

“To me it says ‘let’s not get in a hurry, we’re doing enough,'” she told the Tulsa World. “I had really hoped that this thing could be done before I’m 100 years old. At this rate it won’t.”

The agency’s removal of Tar Creek from the list came after the EPA released its strategic plan last month.

Ken Wagner, a former EPA official who is now the Oklahoma Energy and Environment said it should be viewed as a positive move.

“It’s not saying anything is complete, it’s saying we have a plan and because of that plan we are moving forward,” said Wagner. “The emphasis list is meant to highlight sites that may be languishing and to make sure they get moving.”

But environmentalist Jim has another take on it. She feels some acres at the site are being reclaimed every year, “but they’re not doing more because no one is pushing them to do more.”

She thinks there should be more urgency to cleanup of the site. However, Tar Creek remains on the EPA’s National Priority List.

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