On April 18, 2012, the University of Arizona Superfund Research Program (UA SRP) attended a community meeting hosted by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Dewey-Humboldt, AZ, site of the Iron King Mine and Humboldt Smelter Superfund site. Nearly 50 local residents were in attendance. The purpose of the meeting was for US EPA to update residents on interim cleanup actions, and provide a forum for questions relating to health concerns. Several state and federal agencies and organizations were in attendance, including US EPA Region 9, the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), and the University of Arizona, as well as local community groups. To help residents better understand the interplay among the various agencies, each group provided an introduction to their mission and scope, as well as related work going on in the area. Then the meeting was held as an Open House, to allow community members to spend one-on-one time with the various groups.
UA SRP personnel representing all four of our current projects in the area were on hand, and included: Director Dr. Raina Maier (phytoremediation); Dr. Eduardo Saez (windblown dust); trainee Monica Ramirez-Andreotta (Gardenroots); study coordinator Nathan Lothrop, pediatrician Dr. Melissa Cox, and Dr. Walt Klimecki (metals exposure study in homes); and research translation coordinator Dr. Sarah Wilkinson. We engaged in lively discussion with community members and other agencies, and provided informational materials related to mining, water resources, and the contaminants of concern in the area.
Local reporters were also in attendance and provided coverage of the event in the Prescott Daily Courier, “Assessing the damage: Contamination cleanup, health studies continue in Dewey-Humboldt” and KNAU Arizona Public Radio, “Dewey-Humboldt Residents Worry about What the Old Mine Has Left Behind” (listen for a sound bite from UA SRP Director Dr. Maier!)