Superfund Site: VASQUEZ BOULEVARD AND I-70, DENVER, CO
Superfund Site Profile
The Vasquez Boulevard & Interstate 70 (VB/I-70) Superfund site is located in northeast Denver, Colorado. The site includes two commercial/industrial areas as well as residential properties in all or part of the following neighborhoods: Cole, Clayton, Swansea/Elyria, southwest Globeville and northern Curtis Park.
Historically, the area was a major smelting center for the Rocky Mountain West. Two smelting plants—Omaha & Grant and Argo—operated at the site for varying lengths of time, beginning as early as the 1870s, refining gold, silver, copper, lead and zinc. As a result, heavy metals were deposited in area soils at levels that, in some cases, posed a health risk to people living there. Groundwater was also impacted at the former smelter locations.
TOPICS IN FOCUS
Operable Unit 2 Removal Action: The City and County of Denver (CCOD) is constructing the Globeville Landing Outfall Project on a portion of the VB/I-70 Superfund site, Operable Unit 2, in the vicinity of the Denver Coliseum. This work requires the excavation of potentially contaminated materials, including metals in soils and landfill debris. Following EPA protocol, CCOD is conducting the work while ensuring that protective measures are taken to address any potential releases of, or worker exposure to, hazardous substances. EPA and the State of Colorado are overseeing CCOD’s work to ensure that there are stringent measures in place to protect human health and the environment and to minimize impacts to the community.
Work began at the site in January 2017. All contaminated soil and debris is being handled and disposed of safely and appropriately. CCOD contractors began by excavating soils from the Globeville Landing Park, some of which is being stockpiled on-site (clean top soil), while some is being transported off-site to the Denver Arapahoe Disposal Site (DADS) in Aurora. CCOD contractors are also installing grout columns in the coliseum parking lot that will support the drainage structure. In February, crews began excavating through the Denver Coliseum parking lot, which is also the site of a 1950s era Denver municipal landfill. CCOD brought in a specialized subcontractor due to the discovery of asbestos containing materials found in the landfill. Crews are working in protective gear within an exclusion zone, and these materials are specially handled for transport off-site. The work with asbestos materials is being managed in compliance with all appropriate state regulations.
To minimize any impacts to the nearby community, trained personnel are on-site monitoring odors and other site conditions. CCOD is conducting air and dust sampling for particle count PM10, metals, and asbestos, at the site boundaries for the duration of the project. On February 22, 2017, EPA concluded three weeks of particulate air monitoring at the site. During this period, no exceedance of time weighted average PM10 occurred from site construction activities at the perimeter construction fence line. The results indicate that dust suppression activities at the site were very effective at minimizing dust emissions (PM10). For more detailed information, please refer to VB I-70 Operable Unit 2 (OU2) Removal Action Oversight - Final EPA Air Monitoring Summary Report – Feb/Mar 2017 (PDF) (12 pp, 14 MB, About PDF).
EPA intends to continue to operate the air monitors periodically throughout project construction as a part of our oversight activities. To date, there have been no reports of odors on-site and no calls to the project hotline from the nearby community.