Public training sessions to be held for EPA jobs

Apr. 24—Expansion of the Oronogo-Duenweg Mining Belt Superfund site and other mine waste cleanup sites in the area has created jobs that need to be filled.

To provide information about how to obtain training for the jobs, free public information sessions are being held.

Jobs available include positions for laborers and equipment operators working for contractors with the Environmental Protection Agency.

People interested in the jobs can earn the certifications needed to be eligible for hiring. Those free training opportunities include CPR/First Aid, certified renovator, work readiness, OSHA 10, and Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response.

—Those sessions available to people who speak English will be at the Joplin Public Library, 1901 E. 20th St. They will be held at 10 a.m., noon and 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 25; Thursday, May 2; and Tuesday, May 14.

—Sessions in the Spanish language will be offered at 10 a.m., noon and 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, and Monday, May 13, at the Alpha & Omega Covenant Church, 2485 W. Old 66 Blvd., Carthage.

The Oronogo-Duenweg Mining Belt Superfund site was recently expanded to include all of Jasper County.

Expansion will allow the Environmental Protection Agency to offer testing and remediation for heavy metals contamination in the Carthage region.

The boundary expansion into eastern Jasper County was finalized in March, and the EPA has had public meetings in Carthage and other towns to talk about the work. The federal agency also put out updated guidelines for residential soil sampling and remediation on Jan. 17. The EPA will work with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to do testing.

Those operations will include testing residential yards and replacing any contaminated soil found as a result of decades of mining in the region in the late 19th century and through the first half of the 20th century. Another objective is to test groundwater.

Joplin was part of the original Superfund site on the west side of the county. Much of the testing and remediation has already been done in Joplin, although people can still ask for lead tests of their wells or yards.

The Spring River basin also will be tested for lead contamination.