Superfund Site: OMAHA LEAD

Superfund Site Profile



The Omaha Lead Superfund Site is comprised of residential properties, child-care centers, and other residential-type properties in the City of Omaha, Nebraska, where the surface soil is contaminated as a result of deposition of air emissions from historic lead smelting and refining operations. About one out of three residential yards have lead in the soil at concentrations above the health-based limit of 400 parts per million (ppm).  The site boundary encompasses 27 square miles and is centered on downtown Omaha, where two former lead-processing facilities operated. The American Smelting and Refining Company, Inc., (ASARCO) operated a lead refinery at 500 Douglas Street for over 125 years. Aaron Ferer & Sons Company (Aaron Ferer), and later the Gould Electronics, Inc., (Gould) operated a lead battery recycling plant located at 555 Farnam Street for many years. Both the ASARCO and Aaron Ferer/Gould facilities released lead-containing particulates to the atmosphere from their smokestacks. The lead particles were transported through the air and deposited on surrounding residential properties.

It is important to note that although the site boundary encompasses more than 40,000 properties, only the properties where the surface soil is contaminated with lead at a concentration that exceeds the health based limit are included in the site. Residential properties where soil sampling indicates that soil lead concentrations are below 400 ppm are not considered part of the site. Commercial and industrial properties are also excluded from the defined site.