Lead levels in Eilers neighborhood exceed federal standard

Lead levels in Eilers neighborhood exceed federal standard

PUEBLO, Colo. - The soil in Pueblo's Eilers neighborhood contains lead levels that are higher than the federal government's safety benchmark, according to a Colorado State University-Pueblo professor.

Moussa Diawara, a biology professor, shared his findings with City Council on Monday. Lead levels in Eilers are four times higher than in other parts of Pueblo, according to Diawara. He tested 13 homes in Eilers for lead- five had high levels in the soil. Elsewhere in the city, he tested 18 homes- none of them had high lead levels.

"Being in the Eilers increases the chances of exposure to lead," Diawara said.

City Council member Chris Nicoll asked Diawara for his recommendation about cleaning up the area. Diawara, however, said it wasn't his job to offer one, though he said there was reason for concern.

Those who live in the Eilers neighborhood have mixed feelings about allowing the Environmental Protection Agency to declare it a Superfund site.

"I just think they're creating an issue just to get whatever they want done here," said Helen Davis, who's lived in the neighborhood for 87 years.

Meanwhile, John Wilson welcomes the idea. "It's not going to take away from the property value. I think if anything it's going to increase property value," he said.

City Council hasn't decided what it's going to do. The Council is waiting on results from tests conducted by the EPA in August.

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