The Gold Hill Tailings Site had mills from 1905 to 1949 that processed ore to obtain gold. This produces tailings which are a by-product of the process. Most of the ore that was processed came from the Cripple Creek mining district in Colorado. When tested in 1994 the tailings had levels of lead and arsenic higher than natural or background concentrations found in El Paso County, Colorado.
In the nearby Gold Hill Mesa neighborhood, historic tailings piles were capped with clean soils. After the capping activities were complete, homes were built on the site. The week of May 16, 2022, EPA will sample nearby properties to determine whether contamination from the operation of the historic gold processing activities could have spread to nearby properties before the current remedy was implemented. EPA will sample soils in the A-1 Mobile Home Village to determine if the soils around the mobile homes have levels of lead or arsenic that could pose a risk to children or other residents.
EPA conducted sampling in the A-1 Mobile Home Village in 1994 and 1995 and determined that the levels of metals found were not high enough to be a health concern and no cleanup was necessary. Since then, EPA and other agencies have determined that more stringent cleanup guidelines should be used to protect children from lead exposure. Therefore, EPA will re-sample soils at the mobile home village to determine if any soil cleanup is needed.
Why does EPA need to sample soils?
Soil samples are needed to see if there is lead, arsenic or other metals in the soil around homes which could be a problem for you and your family’s health.
The owner of the mobile home village has granted EPA permission to take soil samples around homes. EPA will take samples of surface soils, typically 0-1 inch deep, and 1-6 inches deep. EPA will also take photos and make sketches to record the sampling process and sample locations.
Do I need to be home when EPA collects samples?
Residents do not need to be home when outdoor soil samples are collected. However, you are welcome to observe the sampling if you like. If you have pets outdoors, EPA will work with you and the mobile home village manager to ensure that they are not disturbed by the sampling process.
What happens after EPA is finished sampling?
Once the testing of the soil is complete, EPA will provide results to each residence that is sampled.
What if the sample results show that arsenic or lead is found at a property?
If the sampling shows a cleanup is needed, we will contact you to discuss the next steps and process for EPA to clean up your yard.