EPA accelerates cleanup of Pueblo Superfund neighborhoods

July 7, 2018

PUEBLO, Colo. (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it will accelerate the cleanup of three Pueblo neighborhoods that were contaminated by a smelter.

The agency said Friday it will increase funding for the Colorado Smelter Superfund site to as much as $15 million a year, more than twice the current amount.

EPA says that means the cleanup will take four to six years instead of 10 years or longer under the old plan.

A silver and lead smelter operated in the Bessemer, Eilers, and Grove neighborhoods from 1883 to 1908. The area became a Superfund site in 2014 because of lead and other heavy metals.

EPA is removing contaminated soil from yards and dust from inside homes.

The site includes about 1,900 homes. EPA has completed 46 soil cleanups and 34 indoor dust cleanups.

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