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. The excavation and transportation of park soils is being conducted largely at night to avoid area traffic congestion during the day. 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. The landfill excavation work is being conducted during the day. CCOD recently brought in a specialized subcontractor due to the discovery of asbestos in the landfill. Crews will be working in protective gear within an exclusion zone, and placing any asbestos-contaminated materials in an exclusion zone where the materials are specially handled for transport off-site. The work with asbestos must comply 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. EPA just concluded three weeks of continuous air monitoring for PM2.5 and PM10 at the site. 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, though crews preemptively shut down work for one day due to high winds.
For more information, feel free to contact the EPA representatives listed on this page.
To view related documents, click on Additional Reports and Documents at right and then on the collection named Removal Action – Globeville Landing Outfall Project.
- Fact sheet about the removal action (PDF) (2 pp, 610 K, About PDF
- EPA response to public comments (PDF) (2 pp, 772 K, About PDF)
Or visit the City and County of Denver’s Environmental Land Use and Planning website for more information about the site, including the project hotline.