CHEROKEE COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) — The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 is offering free residential lead testing for residents in part of Cherokee County.

Residents in the purple highlighted area in the map below are eligible for the free testing. According to the EPA, “The site covers approximately 115 square miles and includes the Kansas portion of the former Tri-State Mining District (TSMD), a 2,500-square-mile area in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. At one time, the TSMD was one of the world’s largest producers of lead and zinc.”

United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7

Residents located within the site may sign up to have residential yards, private drinking water wells, agricultural land, and other areas (such as parks, playgrounds, streams, and mine wastes) tested for heavy metals associated with historic mining, such as lead, zinc and cadmium. According to the EPA, lead is the primary contaminant of concern.

“Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of lead poisoning. As a mom of three kids, I encourage moms and caregivers of young children living within the boundaries of the Cherokee County Superfund Site in southeastern Kansas to act now,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Meg McCollister. “You can protect your family from dangerous lead exposure by contacting us to have your yard, drinking water well, and even playground areas tested.”

The testing will take place at the Cherokee County Superfund Site.

To sign up for testing, you will have to fill out a permission form by contacting the EPA. You can call the EPA toll-free at 1-800-223-0425 or call the EPA Contractor TetraTech at 620-284-1357. You can also email R7-TSMD@epa.gov.