A Pueblo neighborhood with toxic materials in the ground is being recommended to be on a government list for environmental clean up.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency put the Eilers neighborhood on the list of proposed Superfund sites today (05/12/14). The agency will have a 60-day period for public comment regarding the project.
The EPA found dangerous materials left behind at an old smelter site.
The neighborhood is located on Pueblo’s south side, bordered by Santa Fe, I-25 and the Arkansas River.
An area gets put on the Superfund list because the EPA wants to clean up uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites to protect public health and the environment.
The EPA found that the Eilers neighborhood has elevated levels of arsenic and lead, which can lead to nervous-system damage, brain damage- or even death.
David Webb lives in the Eilers neighborhood. He also sells houses in the area.
He says there are people who have lived in the area for more than 60 years and they’re healthy.
The EPA said it wants to be done with the project in five years, but Webb said that’s too long.
“People know that the Superfund is in the area or the Superfund is coming and they're not going to want to purchase in the neighborhood and that's a problem,” he said.
Donna MacFarlane-Farnz owns the Do Drop Inn.
She said she hates to see property values drop in the neighborhood, but that will be temporary.
“I think it will help the neighborhood out when it happens,” she said.
The neighborhood will find out if it makes the final list in the fall.
The EPA’s case for why the Eilers neighborhood needs to be cleaned up can be seen here.