WEBB CITY, Mo. — The Environmental Protection Agency has cleaned a wide area of a Superfund site in Missouri, but the agency says it still has a ways to go.

The agency’s cleanup contract expires in 2020 for the Oronogo-Duenweg Mining Belt. The nearly 7,000-acre (2,833 hectare) site in Jasper County received Superfund designation because it was contaminated by about 10 million tons of mining waste, the Joplin Globe reported .

Crews in recent months have removed mine waste and covered scarred land with clean soil on what’s known as the Snowball site, an area part of the larger Superfund site. Contaminated waste is being buried on portions of the site, and the remainder will be transferred to a nearby repository.

Several people who privately own the Snowball site said they don’t have immediate plans to redevelop the land. Officials have agreed to leave it as pastureland for now.

“It could be commercial, agricultural or multi-family, depending on the results,” said Spencer Aggus, one of the landowners.

So far, the EPA has cleaned about 1,600 acres (648 hectares) of the overall Superfund site. Cleanup will continue until at least the contract’s expiration date at other areas around Carl Junction and Waco, said Steve Kemp, who oversees the Superfund work for the EPA.

“A tremendous amount of work has been done in the area, but there are still several outlying areas in almost all the mining subsites where we have not been able to get access to land,” he said.

Tests conducted by the Jasper County Health Department showed more than 500 properties in the county still need soil remediation, including residences and abandoned properties.

Information from: The Joplin (Mo.) Globe, http://www.joplinglobe.com