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The Latest: EPA assessing Superfund sites in flooded areas

March 27, 2019
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In this Monday, March 25, 2019 photo, water from White Clay Creek pools near the ranch of Ernie Little on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, near Pine Ridge, S.D. (Ryan Hermens/Rapid City Journal via AP)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on flooding throughout the Midwest (all times local):

7:25 p.m.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it is assessing two Superfund sites located in areas that have seen overwhelming floods in recent weeks.

The EPA identified the Superfund sites as the Nebraska Ordnance Plant in Mead, Nebraska, and the Conservation Chemical Corporation in Kansas City, Missouri. Superfund is a law that gives the EPA funding and authority to clean up contaminated sites.

The Mead site operated as a munitions plant from 1942 to 1956 and its disposal of radioactive waste and other chemicals led to groundwater contamination. The EPA says it has not found evidence that any hazardous contaminants were released by the flooding.

The federal agency says it will evaluate the sites further as floodwaters recede.

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3:20 p.m.

Flooding that has hit parts of the Midwest hard has nearly paralyzed an American Indian reservation in southern South Dakota.

Floodwaters on the Pine Ridge Reservation caused by heavy snowfall and a rapid melt have swamped roads, trapped people in homes and cut off water supplies to thousands. Volunteers have used horses to get to some people in need.

The situation is slowly starting to improve, and National Guard soldiers dispatched by the governor over the weekend have ended their water supply work.

But Oglala Sioux President Julian Bear Runner says there are still people in rural areas without easy access to pharmacies and grocery stores. And he says the flooding could put the tribe in recovery mode for months, if not longer, and devastate its economy.

Bear Runner hopes the “state and federal government help out to the best of their abilities.”

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