Preview Guilty Knowledge – Health officials say “clean it up.”

After three months of looking at pollution studies, government reports and talking with officials — the struggle over what to do next centers around four main players the EPA, academics, health and city officials.

The State and local health officials are clear they want to clean up the site. They believe there is enough evidence to warrant to move forward with the Superfund process but they feel they need to go a better job of getting the community behind any cleanup.

Health Officials: Colo. Dept. of Public Health and Environment and the Pueblo City/County Health Department

Where local and federal government disagrees on the health risks posed and studies cannot provide irrefutable evidence of health risks to the community, the message coming from state and local public health leaders is clear and consistent.

Janine Natterman, CDPHE Public Information Officer, communicated plainly, “We know from the data that lead and arsenic levels (in the soil around the Colorado Smelter) are high enough to make it a
Superfund area.”

“The burden is on us” said Nevin-Woods; “the community leaders, state health, Pueblo County Health Department, and EPA need to do a better job  explaining the situation because we know it is dangerous.”

Nevin-Woods confided leaders in public health have not clearly explained the situation in a way that the average person understands the risk.  She claimed there is scientific evidence of the dangers of arsenic and lead contamination and there is evidence of contamination in the soil in around the site.

“It’s in the soil; it can cause disease. So, let’s clean it up.” said Dr. Nevin-Woods.

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