U.S. EPA Contaminated Site Cleanup Information (CLU-IN)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. EPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division
Upper Arkansas River, Leadville, CO
Superfund Removal

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Severe Conditions Prior to Cleanup
Beneficial Use of Solid Waste
Hand Application
Ten-Year Results
Strong Vegetative Growth
Road to Recovery

Cleanup Objectives: Began treating soil in 1998 through application of 100 dry tons (pellets) of biosolids to each of 20 target acres along an 11-mile stretch of the river

Green Remediation Strategy: Applied biosolids and assorted amendments

  • Applied 100 dry tons (pellets) of biosolids to each of 20 target acres along 11-mile stretch of river
  • Mixed biosolids with lime to reduce soil acidity, supporting increased plant viability and metal insolubility
  • Seeded native plants and quick-growing ryegrass
  • Added compost and woody material as additional plant nutrients
  • Added wood chips to reduce nitrogen (nutrient) leaching
  • Covered amended soil with native hay to promote plant growth and seeding


  • Revegetated denuded acreages
  • Reduced concentrations/bioavailability of zinc and other metals through bioremediation, phytoremediation processes, and solubility reduction
  • Neutralized soil to levels supporting healthier ecosystems
  • Reduced soil erosion, river channel degradation, and property loss
  • Re-established communities of native plants such as white yarrow and tufted hairgrass

Property End Use: Agriculture and recreation

Point of Contact: Harry Compton, U.S. EPA Region 2

Update: December 2008

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