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Progress on Denver Superfund sites contributes to healthy communities

Release Date: 2/17/2005
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      Denver -- Two Superfund sites in Denver are much cleaner than they were at the beginning of 2004, and both are expected to be completed in 2005, EPA Region 8 Assistant Administrator, Max Dodson, announced today. The sites are the Vasquez Boulevard and Interstate 70 Superfund site and the Shattuck Chemical Company Superfund site.

      "These two sites were designated as Superfund sites because of the threat they posed to human health," Dodson said. "They are both going to be restored to full use this year."

      The VB/I-70 project involves several neighborhoods in northeast Denver; 328 yards were cleaned of lead and arsenic that could have posed a risk to children living in the area. Five-hundred-eight of a total 800 contaminated yards have been cleaned in the last two years through a project that is expected to be completed ahead of schedule and under budget.

      The Vasquez Boulevard & I-70 site includes all or portions of several northeast Denver neighborhoods: Elyria, Swansea, Cole, Clayton, west Globeville and a small section of Curtis Park. This area was a major smelting center for the Rocky Mountain West. Three plants, Omaha-Grant, Argo and Globe, operated in the area from the 1870s refining gold, silver, copper, lead and zinc. Only the Globe plant is still in operation today, refining high-purity metals.

      Also during 2004, 1,464 rail cars of contaminated soil, 66 percent of the total, have been removed from the Shattuck site in southwest Denver and have been transported out of state to a qualified facility. This soil had been contaminated by radium, uranium, molybdenum, rhenium and other heavy metals dating back to the 1920s.

      In both instances, EPA worked closely with local advisory groups that had led local concern about the sites.

      "We pay attention to community concerns, and they help us spread the word through the community about what we are trying to accomplish," Dodson said. "Revitalization of such sites is one of the major priorities of Region 8."

      EPA Region 8 includes Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Montana, North and South Dakota, and 27 Indian tribes. At the end of 2004, 39 Superfund sites in Region 8 have been cleaned up -- some requiring ten or more years to finish -- and 21 sites remain.

      More information on Region 8 Superfund sites and the latest accomplishments is available at:
      More information on national Superfund sites and the latest accomplishments is available at: