Mar 28, 2014 9:10 PM by Maddie Garrett

Toxic Concerns Blocks from City for Champions Proposed Sites

The centerpieces for the City for Champions is set for downtown Colorado Springs, the Colorado Sports and Event Center and the Olympic Museum. But there could a million dollar problem with the site, concerns about toxic chemicals found just a couple of blocks from two proposed locations.

Deborah Stout-Meininger has been following the saga of 25 Cimino Drive, where the contaminated land is located, and said she is deeply worried about City for Champions being built so close.

"This has hydrocarbons all over it, it's not just the west side of the train tracks," said Stout-Meininger.

A gas manufacturing plant once sat in that area, operating in the 1930's. After it was taken down, a city utilities building was on the lot. It was demolished in 2012.

Before leveling the building, Walsh Environmental Scientists and Engineers did extensive studies in the area, and found asbestos, heavy metals and cancer causing chemicals on and around the site. The tests found the contaminants at dangerous levels anywhere from four feet deep to 19 feet below the surface of the ground.

"Down that deep is already verified we've got ground water that has that contamination floating around in it in addition to the soil," said Stout-Meininger.

The concern is, even thought City for Champions doesn't plan to build on that site, the toxic chemicals in the soil and ground water could have seeped to other areas, including east of the train tracks.

And according to maps released by the City for Champions, that's where they plan to build the sports venue and museum, on the other side of the tracks from the site.

"The soil shifts, it's sandy here, this is not bedrock, there's not place in this area where it confines it," said Stout-Meininger about the pollutants.

In the City for Champions proposal and at several public meetings, leaders are adamant about not building on that toxic site, or any toxic land. The project hasn't set definite sites on where the museum and sports venue will go. However, there's no documentation of testing done in the areas east of the train tracks.

News 5 asked the City of Colorado Springs for information on the contamination, but were denied because the city is currently involved in a lawsuit over the site.

City for Champions leaders also noted in plans, that any mitigation for contamination would cost the city about $1.5 million.



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