Old town dump showing signs of lead contamination

State to explain how clean up could work

A phase-2 environmental site assessment on the old town dump—located on the proposed Foothills of Crested Butte annexation land—indicates there could be pockets of lead contamination at the site.



Representatives of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will be in Crested Butte on Monday, September 28 for an informational meeting with the Town Council and public. They could outline future steps in dealing with the old dump.
Before it closed in the late 1970s, the dump was said to have been used for decades by people from the Crested Butte area as a place to drop off everything from garbage to old tires, used appliances and even trailers. It ceased operating sometime in the mid to late 1970s and was essentially buried. It is located on some town property by the town shop area and on the south end of the Foothills annexation proposal.
The Foothills developers have suggested they and the town pay for digging up and removing the remains of the old dump.
An environmental site assessment was paid for by the developers and conducted in November 2008 by the E-Quest Corporation, which bored eight 12-foot deep test holes. According to their report, “No notable levels of PCBs, petroleum-based hydrocarbons, mercury and RCRA-8 Metals were found in the two samples
The report also states that there was no evidence to suggest the presence of notable quantities of hazardous materials or petroleum hydrocarbons.
However, the report did state that evidence of lead had been found.
“Lead is apparently the contaminant of concern,” the report states. “It is probable that soils containing lead concentrations above state standards are present in pockets within the fill area.”
There is evidence of groundwater beneath the old dumpsite at about nine feet, according to the report.
The town has asked Mark Rudolph of the Colorado Voluntary Cleanup/Brownfield Hazardous Material and Waste Management Division to come to Crested Butte and speak at the continued public hearing for the Foothills annexation proposal.
A representative from the solid waste division will also attend the meeting. That meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. in the Crested Butte Town Council chambers.
 The town asked several questions of the state representatives, including how to deal with possible asbestos discovered in a potential clean-up process that could take months, and whether it is better to leave the dump as it is, bury it more with a clay overlay, or proceed with a total and comprehensive clean-up.
“We want to know what to do and how to do it under state regulations,” explained Town Manager Susan Parker.
The town should find the answer to that question next week.

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