Former Smelter Site in Pueblo Designated by EPA as Superfund Site

Dec 11, 2014

The former Colorado Smelter site in south Pueblo is now designated a Superfund Site by the Environmental Protection Agency. As KRCC's Shanna Lewis reports, this means the federal agency will investigate and clean up toxic waste in the area.

In 2010 state health department tests found elevated levels of lead and arsenic in properties surrounding the smelter - which closed more than 100 years ago.

The EPA’s Chris Wardell says residents have a variety of concerns about the Superfund listing, ranging from costs to the effect on real estate values.  

"There’s also been concerns about how clean is clean, what our clean up values will be," says Wardell.  "That’s an answer we don’t have yet because we haven’t started sampling."

Wardell says they’ve contacted some 2600 people in about a half mile radius to gain access to properties for more testing. This work will begin soon but it will likely be a couple of years before any clean up actually begins.