Superfund Site: OMAHA LEAD

Superfund Site Profile


The Omaha Lead Superfund Site includes surface soils present at residential properties, child-care centers, and other residential-type properties in the City of Omaha, Nebraska, that have been 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’s final focus area where soil sampling is being completed is approximately 27 square miles and includes more than 40,000 properties. The site is centered on downtown Omaha, where two former lead-processing facilities operated. 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) lead battery recycling plant were located at 555 Farnam Street. Both the ASARCO and Aaron Ferer/Gould facilities released lead-containing particulates to the atmosphere from their smokestacks which were deposited on surrounding residential properties.

The site includes only those residential properties where EPA determines through soil sampling that soil lead levels represent an unacceptable risk to human health. Residential properties where soil sampling indicates that soil lead concentrations are below a level of concern are not considered part of the site. Commercial and industrial properties are also excluded from the defined site.