EPA Seeks Comment on Pueblo Superfund Cleanup Plan

July 17, 2017
Looking north from a spot near the site of the former Colorado Smelter in Pueblo toward I25 and the Sante Fe Avenue Bridge. The Superfund study area extends to a radius of about a half a mile around this site and contains some 1,900 homes.Looking north from a spot near the site of the former Colorado Smelter in Pueblo toward I25 and the Sante Fe Avenue Bridge. The Superfund study area extends to a radius of about a half a mile around this site and contains some 1,900 homes. Shanna Lewis / 91.5 KRCC
Looking north from a spot near the site of the former Colorado Smelter in Pueblo toward I25 and the Sante Fe Avenue Bridge. The Superfund study area extends to a radius of about a half a mile around this site and contains some 1,900 homes.

The Environmental Protection Agency is requesting public comment on a proposed interim plan to begin clean up in the Colorado Smelter Superfund site in south Pueblo.

The clean up addresses toxic lead and arsenic left behind when the smelter closed more than a century ago. This plan would allow work to start on some 27 properties known to have high risk.

Depending on feedback, it could involve replacing as much as 18 inches of soil in affected yards.

Project manager Sabrina Forrest says they'll work with homeowners to determine the best options for replanting the property.

"Pueblo can be very dry and dusty and having some sort of cover over the clean soils and that really helps to keep our remedy for the long term," says Forrest.

The plan also includes indoor dust clean up. Once the plan is finalized, work is likely to begin around the end of the year.

The EPA has proposed this interim plan so clean up can begin on high risk homes sooner, while work continues on the remedial investigation, which involves testing and analyzing soils on other properties in the site.

Public meetings will be held August 8th through 10th, with comments accepted through August 14.  View the plan here.

Public meetings:

Wednesday, August 9, 20176–9 p.m.Pueblo City-County Health Department3rd Floor Conference Room101 West 9th StreetPueblo, Colorado 81003

Community Advisory Group Meeting: Tuesday Aug 8, 2017Second Tuesday of each month, 5:30–7:30 p.m.Steelworks Museum215 Canal St.Pueblo, Colo.