Remediation Of Historical Smelter Contamination Midvale Slag Superfund Site - Operable Unit One Midvale, Ut - Introduction - Preprint 09-012

Wilson, D.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2009
The Midvale Slag Site covers 300 acres in Midvale, Salt Lake County, Utah. Midvale (population 10,000) is part of the Salt Lake City metropolitan area (population 936,000). Between 1902 and 1971, United States Smelting, Refining and Mining Co. smelted ores on the site to produce copper, gold, lead, and silver. Figure 1 shows a picture of the historical Midvale smelter operations. [ ] When operations ceased, the site was estimated to contain 2 million tons of slag from these operations. The smelter no longer exists. In 1971, Valley Materials, Inc., acquired the site to process the slag into materials for railroad beds and asphalt highways. During the 1980s, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) raised concerns regarding environmental impacts associated with the historical site operations. The Midvale Slag Superfund Site was listed on the NPL in 1991. The Site consists of two Operable Units (OUs): OU1 covering the properties north and adjacent to former ore smelting operations; and OU2 covering the smelter site itself. OU1 had historically been affected by wind blown slag dust and stack emissions occurring on OU2 and the Sharon Steel site further to the south. These emissions resulted in elevated levels of arsenic and lead in the native soils. The EPA issued the final Record of Decision (ROD) for the OU1 Site in 1995. The OU1 ROD required the implementation of institutional controls for the undeveloped portions of OU1 in order to restrict future land use to commercial/industrial purposes unless additional remediation was performed. Hence, the land comprising OU1 was originally considered in the ROD to be suitable for commercial or industrial purposes without the need for remedial action. However, development of OU1 for other land uses, including residential or recreational, would require additional assessment and probable remediation. The OU2 parcel was remediated by EPA to allow future land development, and the Sharon Steel site was remediated by EPA and deleted from the NPL. PROPERTY TRANSACTION AND REDEVELOPMENT In February 2006, a private development company, Mercer Bingham Junction, LLC. (MBJ) purchased 130 acres of the OU1 property for the purpose of performing environmental remediation, and developing mixed residential and commercial real estate. Development of the property was conducted in cooperation with USEPA Region 8 (EPA), the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (UDEQ) and Midvale City. The guidelines under which residential development could occur were defined by EPA. The 130 acres was to be developed for open space, residential and commercial use as part the Midvale City Bingham Junction development. Figure 2 shows the general layout of the proposed land uses. [ ] In May 2005, MBJ began pre-acquisition due diligence activities to purchase the 130 acres of OU1 north of 7200 South Street, which now comprises the Bingham Junction Development. This included the completion of Phase I and limited Phase II investigations. The Phase II investigations were performed to evaluate arsenic and lead concentrations in the planned residential areas of the site, and to explore the contents of the historic landfill on the property. The historic landfill area was on the far west side of OU1, adjacent to the Jordan River. Soil samples collected during the Phase II investigation showed that the planned residential parcels did not currently meet the criteria established in the Tech Memo and that additional placement of fill or soil excavation would be required for residential development in this area. An evaluation performed by the previous owner of the property, Littleson, Inc., showed similar results.
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