People who live or have lived in the 29th and Grove contamination area can get answers to their questions about how to get free cancer screenings, learn about the next steps in the clean-up and learn more about what to expect from Sedgwick County, the City of Wichita and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment going forward.

A health survey conducted by KDHE found that liver cancer rates in the contamination area were roughly double the rates in other parts of the city and the county as a whole.

The meeting will be on Sat., Oct. 7, 1:30 p.m.  at the Boys and Girls Club of South Central Kansas, 2400 N. Opportunity Drive.

The meeting will include informational booths from the City of Wichita Public Works and Utilities, GraceMed Health Clinic, HealthCore Clinic, Hunter Health, KDHE, Sedgwick County Health Department and Union Pacific Railroad. 

Union Pacific will bear the cost of the remediation since the pollution resulted from a spill at the railroad yards near 29th and Grove.

Chemicals from the spill leached into the soil and eventually into the groundwater and contamination has spread from the original site in a southward plume that now extends from 29th and Grove to  Grove to Murdock on the south and Interstate 135 to the west.

KDHE approved a final clean-up plan in early 2023. Union Pacific estimates it will take another 10 years to complete the work.

P.J. Griekspoor is a semi-retired veteran journalist with 55 years experience in writing and editing in Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina and Wichita.  She spent 18 years at the Wichita Eagle...