Dec 11, 2013 1:21 AM by Joanna Wise

Pueblo moving forward with superfund clean up

Julianne Williamson walked up to the microphone with her 4-year-old daughter in hand.

"You're playing Russian roulette with my children's lives," she told city leaders.

Williams reached out to News 5 a month ago to voice her concerns. She and her family live near the Colorado Smelter site.

Her daughter tested positive for high levels of lead.

At the time, Williamson did not reveal her identity on camera. Tonight, as she confronted city leaders at a community meeting, she changed her mind. She says now she knows she's not alone; other families are also concerned about their children's health.

After listening to many other testimonies like Williamson's, the county and city have decided they are going to move forward in writing a letter to the governor asking for support. This is the first step in the superfund clean up process.

But not everyone is agrees with that decision.

A future Eiler's resident and realtor wants the city and county to wait. He says he hasn't seen any physical studies from the Environmental Protection Agency. He's only heard reports about its findings.

The EPA says 10% of people in the affected area have high levels of lead.

Dr. Moussa Diawara, a biologist at Colorado State University-Pueblo, says out of 13 homes in Eiler's that were tested, 5 had lead levels in the soils higher than the EPA's standards.

The county and city still have a lot of questions they want answered before they draft a letter to the governor. They'll work with the EPA to come up with answers.

If the governor approves funding, clean up could begin as early as this summer.



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