Region 8

Denver Radium Site

Denver Radium site location map

Site Type: Final NPL
City: Denver
County: Denver
Street Address: Various places in Denver
ZIP Code: 80204
EPA ID: COD980716955
SSID: 0801
Site Aliases: Various
Congressional District: 1

What's New?

Updated September 2013

EPA and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment have completed the fourth five-year review for the Denver Radium Superfund Site. The review confirms that remedial actions at all operable units remain protective of human health and the environment.

In order to ensure future protectiveness at OU9-B, a new groundwater monitoring well network should be installed and sampled annually, once the construction project at Interstate-25 is complete.

The fourth five-year review report is available for download in the Site Documents section below.

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Site Description

The Denver Radium site, located in Denver, Colorado, consists of over 65 properties along the South Platte River Valley. These properties were contaminated by radioactive residues derived from the processing of radium in the early 1900s. The site was added to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) in September 1983. The properties were divided into eleven operable units (OUs), based on their location, to simplify the cleanup process.

OU1: W. 12th Ave. and Quivas St.
OU2: W. 11th Ave. and Umatilla St.
OU3: 1000 W. Louisiana Ave.
OU4, 5, 9-B: 500 S. Santa Fe Dr.
OU6-A: 2301 15th St.
OU6-B: 1190 Yuma St.
OU6-C: 1271 W. Bayaud Ave.
OU6-D: S. Pecos St. and W. Arizona Ave.
OU6-E: W. Jewell Ave. and S. Platte River Dr.
OU6-F: W. 61st Ave. and Clear Creek
OU6-G: Alley (between Mariposa and Lipan)
OU7: Denver Streets
OU8: 1805 S. Bannock St.
OU9-A: 2000 E. Colfax Ave.
OU10: 1314 W. Evans Ave.
OU11: 1295 S. Santa Fe Dr.

Map of Denver Radium Superfund Site boundaries

The EPA published a Federal Register notice on September 9, 2010, partially deleting from the NPL each of the 11 OUs at the Denver Radium site. Groundwater contamination associated with OU8 will remain on the NPL.

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Site Risk

The site-wide Remedial Investigation, completed in April 1986, focused on radium and uranium processing residues discarded in the early 1900s. These residues contained uranium, radium, and thorium. Of prime interest is radium-226 (Ra-226), its associated radioactivity (gamma radiation and radon-decay products) and its tendency to decay to radon gas, which constitutes the primary health risk associated with residues from processing facilities.

Media Affected Contaminants Source of Contamination
air, soils, groundwater radium, thorium, uranium, arsenic,
lead, radon gas
ore processing for radium

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Cleanup Progress

Cleanup is complete. Contaminated soil was excavated and disposed of off-site to prevent radiation exposure due to inhalation of radon gas and its daughter products, radiation exposure due to inhalation and ingestion of long-lived radionuclides, and direct exposure to gamma radiation. Ventilation systems were installed to mitigate any radon gas. Groundwater monitoring wells were installed and are sampled to monitor natural attenuation. The results of groundwater sampling events indicate that groundwater contamination is decreasing over time and is migrating in a northwest direction. The South Platte River is not impacted.

The Final Close Out Report for the site was completed September 25, 2006.

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Community Involvement

Community involvement plays an important role in the Superfund process. EPA uses a number of different tools and resources to promote effective, on-going, meaningful community involvement. The goals of the Superfund community involvement program are to:

  • Keep communities affected by sites informed throughout the cleanup process.
  • Provide opportunities for communities to comment and offer their input about site cleanup plans.
  • Facilitate the resolution of community issues tied to a site.

The EPA will publish a public notice, asking for public comment during the next five-year review. Community interviews will be conducted and discussed in the five-year review report. The fourth five-year review will be completed prior to September 2013.

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Reuse

EPA places a high priority on land reuse as part of its Superfund response program mission. The agency tries to select cleanup options that encourage and support future use of a site. EPA uses two fundamental methods to facilitate reuse of Superfund sites:

  • Exploring future uses before the cleanup remedy is implemented, an approach that gives the Agency the best chance of designing cleanup remedies to support the likely future use of a site.
  • Working with landowners and communities to remove barriers not considered necessary for the protection of human health or the environment at those sites where remedies are already in place.

One option for reuse is the siting of clean and renewable energy projects on contaminated (or formerly contaminated) lands. As part of this effort, EPA is evaluating the potential for energy projects on these properties and working with landowners and communities to identify ways to remove barriers to such projects.

Redevelopment has occurred at several of the cleaned up properties. Most of the properties within the site are either commercial or industrial, although there are a few residential properties and some open space included in the site, as well.

Denver Radium Site: Reuse Fact Sheet, September 2013

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Land Use Controls and Other Institutional Controls

Land use controls are the most common type of institutional control (IC). ICs are administrative or legal controls that help reduce the likelihood for human exposure to contamination. ICs can also help protect the integrity of the remedy. Examples of ICs are:

  • Zoning ordinances.
  • Environmental covenants.
  • Deed notices.
  • Well-drilling restrictions.
  • Building permits.
  • Informational advisories.

Map of Denver Radium Superfund Site Operable Units and Institutional Controls

At some properties, small volumes of contaminated soils were left in place. ICs have been placed on these properties to ensure long-term protectiveness.

OU2: Pursuant to the terms of an administrative settlement agreement, the current owner of the former DuWald property, Atlas Umatilla, LLC, has prepared and is implementing an O&M Plan and signed and executed an environmental covenant on June 25, 2006. The environmental covenant restricts disturbance of the concrete cap and subsurface soil and prohibits use of the groundwater for the 1100 Umatilla Street property. In addition, ICs are provided at both properties that have wastes left in place by a City and County of Denver municipal ordinance (Denver Ordinance) that has created special zoning for these properties and prohibits disposal of these materials in Denver without payment of a fee.

OU4, 5, 9-B: An informational IC was established for groundwater in the vicinity by the Colorado State Engineer. If any person seeks to drill a well into groundwater in this area, the State Engineer notifies that person that the groundwater is contaminated. They are also notified that they should contact EPA and CDPHE and that the State Engineer will send a copy of the well permit to EPA and CDPHE. In addition, the Prospective Purchaser Agreement (PPA) requires that any breaches of the soil cap system over the consolidated metals-contaminated soil will be reported to EPA and CDPHE with the requirement that new construction, remodeling and site repair generally will not be conducted in this area.

OU8: An informational IC was established for groundwater in the vicinity by the Colorado State Engineer. If any person seeks to drill a well into groundwater in this area, the State Engineer notifies that person that the groundwater in this area is contaminated. They are also notified that they should contact EPA and CDPHE and that the State Engineer will send a copy of the well permit to EPA and CDPHE.

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Five-Year Reviews

EPA or the lead agency conducts five-year reviews following the start of a Superfund cleanup when contamination is left on the site. These reviews are repeated every five years. We use these reviews to determine:

  • How the remedy is working.
  • If the remedy remains protective of human health and the environment.

Since waste is left in place, EPA will continue to conduct five-year reviews to ensure that the remedy remains protective. The most recent five-year review was completed in September 2013. The review confirmed that remedial actions at all operable units are remain protective of human health and the environment.

In order to ensure future protectiveness at OU9-B, the review recommended that a new groundwater monitoring well network should be installed and sampled annually, once the construction project at Interstate-25 is complete.

The fourth five-year review report is available for download in the Site Documents section below.

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Site Documents

Fourth Five-Year Review Report (PDF), September 2013(71 pp, 4.5 MB, About PDF)

Maps of Operable Units and Institutional Controls, March 9, 2012

Final Close Out Report, September 25, 2006

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Contacts

EPA

Kerri Fiedler
Environmental Engineer
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8
1595 Wynkoop Street (EPR-SR)
Denver, CO 80202-1129
303-312-6493
800-227-8917 ext. 312-6493 (toll free Region 8 only)
fiedler.kerri@epa.gov

John Dalton
Community Involvement Coordinator
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8
1595 Wynkoop Street (8OC)
Denver, CO 80202-1129
303-312-6633
800-227-8917 ext. 312-6633 (toll free Region 8 only)
dalton.john@epa.gov

Site Information Repository:

EPA Superfund Records Center
1595 Wynkoop Street
Denver, CO 80202-1129
To request copies of administrative record documents call:
303-312-7273
800-227-8917 ext. 312-7273 (toll free Region 8 only)

CDPHE

Mark Rudolph
State Project Manager for Denver Radium Sites
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver, CO 80246-1530
303-692-3311
888-569-1831 ext. 3311 (toll-free)
mark.rudolph@state.co.us

Fonda Apostolopoulos
State Project Manager for Shattuck
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver, CO 80246-1530
303-692-3411
888-569-1831 ext. 3411 (toll-free)
faaposto@cdphe.state.co.us

Jeannine Natterman
State Community Involvement Coordinator
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver, CO 80246-1530
303-692-3303
888-569-1831 ext. 3303 (toll-free)
jeannine.natterman@state.co.us

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Photo/Video Gallery

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Links

Denver Radium Streets Program (City and County of Denver) Exit

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