QUAPAW — The removal of Tar Creek from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Administrator’s Emphasis List is a tribute to the strong leadership of the EPA’s Andrew Wheeler, and a “big win” for the Agency’s partnership with Quapaw Nation, said Quapaw Chairman John Berrey.

“This is a significant milestone in the long cleanup process at the former mining district known as Tar Creek, which is within most of the Quapaw’s northeast Oklahoma Trust land,” Chairman Berrey said. “We appreciate Administrator Wheeler’s tremendous leadership.”

The EPA announced this week that Tar Creek and another prioritized environmental cleanup area had achieved the designated milestones to graduate off of the Administrator’s Emphasis List.

The Quapaw Nation’s partnership on Tar Creek has represented the first time that an American Indian tribe has taken a leadership role in a Superfund site cleanup.

The EPA’s news release is here: https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/administrator-wheeler-recognizes-accomplishments-two-superfund-sites-moving-0

“We are proud of this achievement, grateful for Administrator Wheeler and for our longtime relationship with Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) who has been so valuable in helping us over the years,” Berrey said. “I am also grateful for the leadership of EPA Regional Administrator Anne Idsal. Her efforts and those on her team at EPA Region 6 in Dallas, including John Myer, Rafael Casanova and Casey Luckett, who worked directly with the Nation, were instrumental to this success. We are happy to continue in this important mission.”