Residents on alert after poisonous chemicals dumped in Lyons

7:32 PM, Nov 18, 2013   |    comments
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LYONS - The Boulder County Sheriff's office is investigating two incidents of illegal chemical dumping in the flood zone.

On Nov. 7, police say someone dropped off a 30-gallon barrel containing zinc cyanide, an extremely poisonous chemical, at Black Bear Inn in Lyons. The barrel was found next to flood debris.

Four days later, police say a similar discovery was made at an Environmental Protection Agency dump site on 36th and 66th streets. It was later determined the chemical inside the 20-gallon barrel was copper cyanide, which is also extremely toxic.

Both cyanides are used to fabricate or coat metals. Police believe someone is dumping the toxic waste next to flood debris hoping no one will notice.

"Maybe [they are] trying to save money, so they don't have to do the disposal properly," Boulder County Sherriff's Sgt. Nick Goldberger said.

He adds that authorities are concerned about what may happen if the chemical dumping continues.

"Anyone who's inquisitive, like children and so forth could open up the barrel," he said.

Sgt. Goldberger says it's likely the same person or persons are responsible. The EPA, along with the FBI and district attorney's office are investigating the illegal drop offs.

The criminal investigation unit with the EPA is examining the barrels. Following the investigation, the chemicals will likely be shipped out of state for disposal.

Police are asking anyone with information to call the Boulder County Sheriff's office (303) 441-3650.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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