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While some remediation took place in the following quarter century, contamination and other environmental hazards were found to be so severe that the government decided to close Picher and relocate its residents, as reported on April 24, 2006, by Reuters.
Due in large part to the removal of large amounts of subsurface material during mining operations, many of the city's structures have been deemed in imminent danger of caving in.
The city is considered to be too toxic to be habitable.
On the last day, all the final residents met at the school auditorium to say goodbye.
By March 2014, standing abandoned buildings included the Picher-Cardin High School building, a Disciples of Christ church, the mining museum, and a handful of mercantile buildings, as well as numerous abandoned houses.
More than fifty percent of the lead and zinc metal used during World War I were produced by the Picher district.Starting in January 2011, almost all remaining commercial structures were scheduled to be demolished.Gary Linderman, owner of the Old Miner's Pharmacy, said he would stay until the last resident left.Mining ceased in 1967 and water pumping from the mines ceased.The contaminated water from some 14,000 abandoned mine shafts, 70 million tons of mine tailings, and 36 million tons of mill sand and sludge remained as a huge environmental cleanup problem.