An EPA contractor crew replaces soil in a residential yard. – EPA photos

EPA encourages testing for lead in soil, well water and children under 7

Is there lead in your soil, well water… or children under 7? You can arrange to find out for free by calling the Jasper County Health Department in Carthage at (417) 358-3111 or (417) 358-0480.

You may have noticed neighbors’ yards being replaced by a contractor hired by the EPA.

Removing lead-tainted dirt is part of the EPA’s continued effort to clean up the Oronogo-Duenweg Mining Belt Superfund Site.

And just in the past several months, from June 27 through Nov. 7, an emergency removal action in this site included the removal of 2,500 cubic yards of contaminated soil from 22 properties.

The EPA isn’t disclosing the location of those properties out of privacy concerns, but at least one of them is in Webb City.

Property owner Marcy Newman said one of her renters was concerned because her young children spend a lot of time outside. When testing revealed a very slight amount of lead, she said she allowed the EPA contractor to remove the top layer of soil and replace it with sod.

Newman said the contractor’s employees indicated they were replacing about 25 yards in this area.

There was a previous emergency removal action in the summer of 2022.


Since 1995 in the Oronogo-Duenweg Mining Belt Superfund Site, the EPA has cleaned up millions of yards of mining waste and remediated thousands of residential yards.

Projects involved with the cleanup in Webb City include:

• Filling the Sucker Flat mining pit and removal of mine waste in King Jack Park

• Construction of Stadium Drive

• Cardinal Valley Habitat

• Construction of the wetlands to filter effluent from the sewage treatment plant before it enters Center Creek

• Commercial and industrial development along East Street

• Closure of the abandoned sewer lagoon north of Sharon Drive that was leaking into Center Creek

Mining wasteland before and after remediation.