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.

Map of the site (PDF) (1 pg, 3.1 MB, About PDF)

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.


Platte to Park Hill Stormwater Drainage Project: EPA is currently working with the City and County of Denver (CCOD) on CCOD’s plans to upgrade the stormwater management infrastructure to meet a 100-year flood capacity. EPA is involved with the portion of the stormwater management infrastructure that traverses the VB/I-70 Superfund site in the vicinity of the Denver Coliseum. This upgrade will likely require the excavation of potentially contaminated materials. Following EPA protocol, CCOD will conduct the work while ensuring that protective measures are taken to address any potential releases of, or worker exposure to, hazardous substances.

Residential Soils: Residential soils sampling and cleanup is complete. This was a collaborative effort over many years involving more than 4,500 residential properties. Today, ninety-nine percent of the residential yards within the VB/I-70 boundaries have been sampled, and where necessary, cleaned up. At these properties, residents can work, play, garden or just spend time in their yards without concern for lead or arsenic in the soil.

Other: With the residential soils work completed, EPA continues to investigate potential soil and groundwater contamination at the former Omaha & Grant Smelter location and the former Argo Smelter location. Today, both are commercial/industrial areas, located in the vicinity of the Denver Coliseum and just northwest of the intersection of Interstate 70 and Interstate 25.


Contaminated Ground
Water Status
Insufficient Data
Site-Wide Ready for
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