MIAMI, Ore., Dec. 4 (UPI) -- The municipalities of Picher and Cardin, Okla., demolished three years ago after a federally funded buyout, were officially dissolved, state records say.
The two communities in Ottawa County, in the state's northeast corner, were abandoned because of environmental concerns tied to lead and zinc mine contamination in the 40-square-mile area known as Tar Creek.
The area was on the Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund list after mining companies left the area, leaving environmental and medical problems, and a 2006 Army Corps of Engineers study showed nearby communities were in danger of caving in, the (Oklahoma City) Oklahoman reported Wednesday.
A relocation plan involved 878 buyout offers, and the buyout cost $44.8 million, government records show.
The order to dissolve the towns was signed Nov. 26.
"We didn't know it was going to take this long," said Ben Loring, county assistant district attorney, of the dissolution of the towns.