WASHINGTON (CN) – The Environmental Protection Agency plans to remove populated areas of the California Gulch Superfund site from the National Priorities List because clean-up of toxic metals from a century of mining and smelting in parts of the site have been completed.
As its name implies, Leadville, Colo. exists because of the rich deposits of gold, silver, lead and zinc found by prospectors more than 130 years ago.
But as the town grew, the waste from its founding industry piled up on the ground and infiltrated the water and soil. As late as the 1980s open gulches carrying contaminants flowed right past residential areas.
The California Gulch Superfund site is subdivided into 12 operating units encompassing most of the town of Leadville and unincorporated parts of Lake County, three of which have already been removed from the Superfund list.
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