Rico Soils Health Risk Abatement

The Town of Rico is an historic mining community located in the Pioneer Mineral District. The presence of naturally occurring concentrations of many metals in the Rico region was the original reason for Rico’s foundation. Rico’s history has involved many periods of mining activity, from the boom days of silver mining in the late 1800’s, to several periods of mining “base metals” (copper, zinc, lead), to the production of sulfuric acid in the 1960’s/1970’s. One of the legacies of this history of mining activity is the existence of elevated levels of lead concentrations in residential soils in the Town of Rico. The Environmental Protection Agency has expressed concern about the potential health risks associated with elevated levels of lead concentrations in soils. The Town of Rico, Atlantic Richfield Corporation, Rico Renaissance, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Environmental Protection Agency are currently working together cooperatively to conduct comprehensive soil sampling, understand the actual health risks present, and establish a plan for clean-up of soils that pose a health risk. This web page contains general information on the health risks associated with lead as well as a copy of the voluntary clean-up application submitted to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

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