Superfund Site Profile

Proposed Plan Review and Comment Period Extended to September 15, 2017
EPA and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) invited review and public comment on the early interim action proposed plan for residential properties within Operable Unit 1, Community Soils. The initial comment period was open from July 14 through August 14, 2017.

Official comments were recorded during an August 9, 2017 public meeting about the proposed plan; however, a request was made to extend the comment period. Per 40 CFR 300.430(f)(3)(i)(C), the comment period has been extended to September 15, 2017.

Submit comments to EPA by mail or email:

V. Jasmin Guerra (OC-PAI)
Community Involvement Coordinator
US EPA, Region 8
1595 Wynkoop Street
Denver, CO 80202-1129


The Colorado Smelter was a silver and lead smelter that operated in the Eilers and Bessemer neighborhoods from 1883 to 1908. EPA listed the site on the National Priorities List in December 2014, due to its concern about high levels of arsenic and lead (metals) that have been identified in smelter slag and neighborhood soils.

Pueblo was once home to five ore smelters and is still home to one active steel mill. The Colorado Smelter historical footprint is bound by Santa Fe Avenue to the east, Mesa Avenue to the south, Interstate 25 to the west, and the Arkansas River to the north. The Bessemer, Eiler and Grove neighborhoods are adjacent to the former Colorado Smelter site, which now consists of building remains and an approximately 700,000-square-foot slag pile.

The potential for contamination at the Colorado Smelter site was discovered during an earlier inspection of the Santa Fe Bridge Culvert site, which began a series of investigations in the early 1990s and continues today. In 2010, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) conducted a focused site inspection of properties surrounding the Colorado Smelter; this study determined the presence of elevated lead and arsenic levels. These levels pose a threat to current and future residents. Additional sampling will help determine the type and scope of cleanup activities.

There are approximately 1,900 residential parcels in the preliminary study area, which covers a half-mile radius from the former smelter. Ninety-five percent of the homes are pre-1978 (before the lead paint ban). They are predominantly single-family homes, many with bare-soil yards.