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Feds put Iola site on cleanup priorities list

IOLA, Kan. (AP) -- Federal regulators are putting the site of an old zinc and lead smelting operation in southeast Kansas on a list of hazardous waste places with highest priority for cleanup.

The Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday it was placing the former United Zinc & Associated Smelters Site on the federal Superfund National Priorities List.

The land is located in and around Iola in Allen County, where several zinc and lead smelting businesses operated between 1902 and 1925. The area is contaminated with high levels of lead, arsenic, cadmium and zinc.

The priority designation makes the site eligible for extensive, long-term funding under the Superfund program.

The EPA says the governor's office and Iola's mayor sent letters of support for the listing.