Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

OMAHA LEAD
OMAHA, NE

Redevelopment

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About the Superfund Redevelopment Initiative

This nationally coordinated effort provides EPA and its partners with a process to return Superfund sites to productive use. Learn more at Superfund Redevelopment Initiative.

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Redevelopment at the Site

The roughly 17,300-acre Omaha Lead Superfund site is located in Douglas County, Nebraska. From the early 1870s until 1997, a lead-refining plant operated on 23 acres of the site in downtown Omaha. Operations at the site resulted in the emission of lead and other heavy metals into the atmosphere. Wind transported the metal’s contaminants and deposited them on the ground surface. Sampling of soil on more than 41,000 residential properties found widespread lead contamination. Blood sampling of young children also shows a high rate of elevated blood lead levels in areas near the former lead refinery. EPA added the site to the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL) in 2003.  Cleanup activities include removal of soil from childcare facilities and residential properties, cleaning of home interiors and public health education. The area remains in residential use as lead cleanup and exterior lead-based paint stabilization efforts continue. EPA expects to finish soil, sod and seed replacement, and cleanup all properties by the end of 2015.

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Economic Activity at the Site

As of December 2018, EPA did not have economic data related to on-site businesses, or economic data were not applicable due to site use. View information about redevelopment economics at Superfund sites.

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Activity and Use Limitations

At this site, activity and use limitations that EPA calls institutional controls are in place. Institutional controls play an important role in site remedies because they reduce exposure to contamination by limiting land or resource use. They also guide human behavior. For instance, zoning restrictions prevent land uses – such as residential uses – that are not consistent with the level of cleanup. For more background, see Institutional Controls.

As one of the institutional controls at the site, EPA provides funding to the City of Omaha to continue development and maintenance of the Omaha Lead Registry, a database of properties within the boundary of the Omaha Lead Superfund site. The database provides the public with access to information about the status of individual properties. The database can be found at: http://www.omahalead.org/.

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