Michael Wenstrom of the Environmental Protection Agency's environmental justice program says it's more complicated than usual to get critical information to people who live the near the Colorado Smelter Superfund site site in south Pueblo. The site is around the area a former silver smelter operation and initial testing shows elevated lead and arsenic levels in the area. These are toxins that could cause serious health issues like brain damage or cancer, especially in children.
Wenstrom also says it’s a challenge to get people to the public meetings, where they'd hear about the health risks, so they don't know about the steps they can take to mitigate the risks in their homes. EPA has identified some 1,900 properties for potential testing. Although a few hundred people have already consented to the testing, there are many who haven’t agreed. The overall EPA testing and analysis for the site is likely take several years, a process that comes before any clean up.