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Pueblo neighborhood tackles hazardous waste concerns

By Michelle San Miguel, Multimedia Journalist - Pueblo Chieftain Bureau/Telemundo Anchor, michelle.sanmiguel@krdo.com
Published On: Jan 27 2013 11:52:38 PM CST
PUEBLO, Colo -

A plan to deal with contamination in a Pueblo neighborhood isn't sitting well with some homeowners. It's happening in the Eilers neighborhood, located on the south side near I-25 and Santa Fe. There are homes there now but back in the 1800s it was a smelter site.

Neighbors are worried about how the Environmental Protection Agency wants to deal with the problem. They're taking those concerns to Pueblo City Council Monday.

The area's history as a smelter site prompted the state to test 47 homes in the neighborhood. Of the 47 homes, five had elevated levels of arsenic and 15 had elevated levels of lead. The EPA wants to list that neighborhood as a Superfund site, which would allow the EPA to clean up the site. But some neighbors worry the money to clean up the site won't arrive. They say there are other neighborhoods that have been declared a Superfund site and stopped receiving funding before the site was cleaned up. One of those concerned neighbors will be speaking before Pueblo City Council Monday.

KRDO-TV spoke with that neighbor off camera. She says she'll ask city council members not to write a letter to Governor Hickenlooper to put the neighborhood on the EPA's Superfund site. She says neighbors still have a lot of questions about what the EPA's involvement means and don't want to make rash decisions.

Neighbors are also concerned having their neighborhood declared a Superfund site would lower the property value of their homes.

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