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News Releases from Region 08

EPA highlights ongoing activities at Colorado Smelter site in Pueblo, Colo.

Advancing progress at site an Agency priority, removal activity at Benedict Park scheduled for next week

Contact Information: 
V. Jasmin Guerra ( )

DENVER – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency continues to work with state and local partners to investigate and address contamination concerns at the Colorado Smelter site in Pueblo, Colorado.  Ongoing EPA site activities, including a removal action at Benedict Park next week, continue to address potential site risks associated with lead, arsenic and other heavy metals.  

“There is still important work to be done at the Colorado Smelter and this site remains a top priority for EPA,” said EPA Regional Administrator, Doug Benevento.

Work at the Colorado Smelter site continues to steadily move forward. EPA is conducting a removal action next week to remove soils at depth under the eastern play area of Benedict Park to prevent any future risks that might arise from the elevated arsenic levels found at the park. The current condition of the park does not present a risk to park users since the contamination found is in soils at depth and covered by pea gravel, both of which did not show elevated levels of contaminants. EPA has determined that it is best to remove soil from this area to ensure long-term protection from future erosion or upward movement of contaminated soils during freeze-thaw cycles. 

EPA has also conducted indoor cleanups and will continue to address homes with elevated levels of contaminants. EPA recently signed an interim-Record of Decision that secures funding to continue indoor dust removal actions and to initiate residential soil cleanups in early 2018. Plans are already beginning to prepare for, and complete outdoor cleanups of those homes affected by smelter contamination. Future site work includes air monitoring near the former smelter area, continuing to sample residences' indoor dust and soils in targeted areas, educational outreach with our local partners and working with the community on revitalization opportunities. 

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