Superfund Status Sought for Pueblo Smelter Site

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Governor John Hickenlooper is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to put an area near the old Pueblo smelter site on the national Superfund list. KRCC’s Rachel Gonchar reports. 

A 2010 survey of the Colorado Smelter site in southern Pueblo from the state’s Department of Public Health and Environment revealed toxic substances around properties within half a mile of the area.  Elevated levels of lead and arsenic were found in residential soil, sludge piles and surface water. The site closed in 1908. The survey results specified a cleanup is necessary to reduce health risks for current and future residents.

According to the Pueblo Chieftain, the request from Hickenlooper comes weeks after city and county leaders agreed on the need for federal involvement after additional soil tests confirmed the continued lead pollution. The paper reports if approved, site cleanup could take years.