Cherokee County Mine Superfund Site, Cherokee County, Kansas


Former mining operations at the Cherokee County Superfund Site in southeast Kansas included both underground and open pit mining. Wastes generated (bull rock, chat, and tailings) contained high concentrations of lead, zinc, and cadmium. HGL completed eight remedial designs that included excavation, consolidation, covering of mine waste, filling and covering of mine-related subsidence pits, and subaqueous disposal in mine shafts. Site operable units included 158 chat and tailings piles, 9 outwash areas, and 11 large subsidence pits spread over more than 28 square miles. HGL designed the removal and consolidation of 9 million cubic yards of mine wastes to support an areawide solution for returning impacted private properties to beneficial reuse as pasture revegetated with native plant species.

Project Highlights
Prepared planning documents, collected field data, modeled hydrologic and hydraulic conditions, and conducted an “outliers” investigation to identify previously unidentified waste.
Obtained access agreements from over 70 landowners, provided estimations on volumes of economically viable chat, and used aerial survey techniques to develop topographic data for use in the design.
Through value engineering modified haul routes, saving 55,000 gallons of fuel, and reduced the carbon footprint of remedial actions by nearly 50%