The continuing story
After Mining's Legacy was published, state and federal officials began looking for solutions to Southeast Kansas' mining-related problems. We continue our coverage below.
Behind the story
"A bad way to make a living"
Coal, lead and zinc mining in southeast Kansas left the land scarred and contaminated with pollutants. And troubles persist. Read story.
Walter Wettstein went to work in a Crawford CoWalter Wettstein went to work in a Crawford County coal mine when he was 12 years old. Read story.
Most of the coal strip mining in Kansas ended in the 1980s, but there are two operations still active. Read story.
It stood 16 stories tall. Its bucket could hold 90 cubic yards of earth. It was the second largest shovel in the world and hasn't moved in more than 30 years. Read story.
A landscape transformed
Undermining is just one aspect of the damaging environmental effects left from years of mostly unchecked mining practices that are still evident. In 1983 the federal government placed the southeast corner of the county on a priority list for environmental cleanup. It became a Superfund site for the Environmental Protection Agency to deal with. Read story.
Rodney and Heather Woodcocks' 40-acre property is in an area with a history steeped in lead and zinc mining, and which became heavily polluted as a result of the mining waste carried by the wind from chat piles, and polluted water seeping out of abandoned mines into streams and other bodies of water. Read story.
When strip mining for coal ended more than 30 years ago in southeast Kansas, thousands of acres of scarred land were abandoned. Read story.
A tale of two cities
Residents of Treece, Kansas, were stunned when they found out a little more than a year ago that they would not be included in the Picher, Oklahoma, buyout. Read story.
The legacy, in numbers
Compare Cherokee and Crawford counties to the rest of Kansas
How the land was mined
See how undermining and strip mining extracted resources from the earth
The Superfund site
See a map of the area affected by mining