California Gulch progress report

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Here’s an update on the California Gulch Superfund site, from Ann E. Wibbenmeyer writing for the Leadville Herald. From the article:

For most of the residential area of Leadville, which is operable unit 9, an amendment to the trust agreement between Lake County, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the mining company ASARCO is almost complete. The amendment was supposed to happen as soon as the remediation for that operable unit was considered complete, which happened a couple of years ago. This was complicated by the ASARCO bankruptcy that happened at the same time. The amendment would bring the Lake County Community Health Program, or Kids First into its second phase. Lake County would be in charge of the second phase. A new work plan is also in draft form for the second phase of the program. The program tested residential soils and remediated yards as needed. The new program would rely more heavily on education and only test and remediate yards if there is an indication of a problem. The last issue to be resolved for the new work plan is alerting new residents to the community of the possibility of contamination, a concern brought up by Sonya Pennock with the EPA. She was supposed to propose language to be discussed the next Wednesday morning. Otherwise, the final draft is ready to be released for public comment…

Also being brought before a public hearing are institutional controls for two other operable units in the Superfund site. These are OU3 and OU8, which were chosen first, because they are developable areas near the Arkansas River along U.S. 24. These are going before the county planning and zoning commission on Feb. 23. If there is a recommendation for approval, then these ICs could be in place by the next county commissioner meeting. Three months after getting the ICs in place, the two operable units could be deleted from Superfund site status.

The group decided to tackle operable units four and seven next.

The only exception to the progress being made on this site is OU6, which is the area that the EPA wants to reopen the record of decision to find a new remedy.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

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