Tar Creek Superfund Site

Tar Creek Superfund Site

Update on Tar Creek Superfund Site
Picher, Oklahoma

July 6, 2009

In July of 2004, the United Church of Christ and Church World Service with the UCC Kansas-Oklahoma Conference formed a partnership in Oklahoma with Local Environmental Action Demanded (LEAD) to explore solutions for the towns surrounding the Tar Creek superfund site.  Unfortunately, for people still living in Picher, the only solution was a government buyout effective June 2011 – there was no way to truly clean up the toxic materials.  One person’s story of having to leave the only home he has ever known is linked below called "Picher, Oklahoma news article, June 30, 2009.  The human cost is great.  Please take a moment to look at the video that is with the news article which highlights Rebecca Jim’s (LEAD director) thoughts about the area.


Included are links to a brief history of Tar Creek; the 2007 General Synod Resolution; and the report on actions to the 2009 General Synod.  Also, the brief information that follows the links was presented with paper documents of statistics to the Wider Church Ministries Board of Directors at their April 2007 meeting.  The documents were prepared as an educational piece for the Board as background to discussion of the General Synod resolution.

Picher, Oklahoma news article, June 30, 2009:  http://news.aol.com/article/farewell-to-picher-oklahoma/550485


Brief History of Tar Creek:  http://www.umich.edu/~snre492/cases_03-04/TarCreek/TarCreek_case_study.htm


Tar Creek Resolution to 2007 General Synod:  http://www.ucc.org/synod/resolutions/tar-creek-superfund-final.pdf


Report on Tar Creek Resolution to 2009 General Synod:  http://www.ucc.org/synod/pdfs/gs27report-tc.pdf

Wider Church Ministries Board of Directors Meeting
April 11-12, 2007


Submitted by:  The Kansas-Oklahoma Conference


Information not included in the above resolution’s background section.

The National Disaster Ministries office, the Church World Service Emergency Response Program and the Kansas-Oklahoma Conference since the year 2004 has worked in partnership with a local Tar Creek Agency, Local Environmental Action Demanded (LEAD) to explore solutions for this technology caused disaster.


July 2004:  A windshield tour and meeting occurred with the following present:  Rebecca Jim, director, Local Environmental Action Demanded Agency, Inc.  Will Best, disaster response coordinator, UCC Kansas-Oklahoma Conference Lura Cayton, disaster response and recovery liaison, Church World Service Linda Reed-Brown, associate director, domestic disaster, Church World Service Florence Coppola, executive, WCM National Disaster Ministries

August 2004:  A $5,000 grant from National Disaster Ministries was sent to UCC Kansas-Oklahoma Conference to establish a local advocacy committee to work with LEAD.

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Contact Info

Zachary Wolgemuth
Executive for UCC Disaster Ministries
700 Prospect Ave
Cleveland, OH 44115