jiffy mart disc

junk yard

For over four monthss workers from the federal environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have been busy at the Henryetta Iron and Metals site on West Main.
The work has included cleaning off a lot of trees and ramshackle buildings that once housed lengths of pipe and assortments of scrap metal.
Much of that effort in recent weeks has been concentrated on the property on the south side of Main Street.
According to the EPA, once brush, trees and loose scrap metal was removed form the site, heavy equipment started digging up the topsoil and moving it to a certified hazardous waste site elsewhere in Oklahoma. Over the course of the digging some 20 inches of dirt was removed. Tests indicated that soil was contaminated with lead, mercury, arsenic and various chemicals including the coolant used in Transmission lines. That coolant contained polychlorinated biphenyls (PHB) found to be a cancer-causing chemical.
Also remaining on the site was dirt contaminated with what is called Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM).
The contaminated soil is being hauled off to either be placed in a special landfill or chemically treated to remove the chemicals. New soil will be brought in to replace the dirt.Most of the work currently is being concentrated on the south side of Main Street. When it is finished, the property on the north side will be cleaned up including removal of storage sheds and the concrete block building that once housed the scrap yard office.
The EPA is estimating the work will take well over a year to complete.
There has been talk about the property being turned into a park but, according to Henryetta mayor Jennifer Munholland, the current owner will keep the title to the land.
Long an eyesore, the site has been a salvage yard for nearly 100 years. Local residents and city officials were able to get the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to address the issue and, in 2010 several steel drums containing dangerous levels of NORM were found and removed.
A preliminary assessment of the property started by DEQ in 2016. That resulted in discovery not only of contamination at the salvage yard site but also in neighboring yards and the creek that runs through it.
Contaminated soil in those neighboring yards was removed and replaced with “clean” dirt and an earthen berm and fence built to contain further contamination.
Once those determinations are made, the EPA placed the three acres comprising the salvage yard on the National cleanup priorities list and cleanup activities scheduled.