Boulder Colorado Real Estate Historic Ground Contamination

logo_epaseal.gifThere are two areas in Boulder County that are listed on the US EPA website as Superfund sites. One is the Marshall Landfill. The other is the Captain Jack Mill.

The 160-acre Marshall Landfill site is located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, about three miles southeast of Boulder. The Marshall Reservoir is immediately west of the site.

In 1981, water that collected contaminants as it leached down through the landfill was discovered seeping into the open Community Ditch. The ditch carries drinking water from the reservoir to the City of Louisville and irrigation water to downstream ranchers.

These cleanup activities were completed in 1993 by the potentially responsible parties:

  • Constructed a groundwater collection and treatment system.
  • Regraded and revegetated the landfill soil cover.
  • Drained and treated leachate from lagoons.
  • Installed a pipeline to convey water from the Community Ditch through the landfill to prevent further contamination of the groundwater.

Cleanup construction was completed in August 1993.
The Captain Jack Mill site is located at the headwaters of upper Left Hand Creek about 1.5 miles south of Ward in Boulder County, Colorado. The site is in a arrow valley known as California Gulch. Mining for gold and silver in the region began in 1860 and ended in 1992.

The site is comprised of the Big 5 Mine (the upper mine), Captain Jack, Ltd. mill, the Black Jack Mine (the lower portal), and other mines and waste features in the immediate surrounding area. The Big 5 Mine, located about 500 feet upstream from the mill, consists of an adit (tunnel), a large tailings pile and a settling pond. The mill works area includes several lagoons previously used for settlings tailings from the mill. The lower portal includes the Black Jack adit and the contents of a shed.

Other mine wastes include waste material in Left Hand Creek and waste rock from the mine tunnels. In the 1890s there was a mining community known as Camp Frances.

With the completion of the remedial investigation and feasibility study for the site this spring, CDPHE and EPA will present a proposed plan for alternatives for the design and construction of the site remedy for public review and comment. After public comment, a remedy will be selected and a Record of Decision (ROD) produced. Following the ROD, design and construction of the remedy will begin.

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-Zachary Epps, full-time professional Realtor® and EcoBroker®

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