Click on the image below to view the Site Update detailing EPA's progress at the Site.
The Site is between the communities of Stockton and Tooele in Tooele County, Utah. It comprises over 150 acres of tailings ponds and waste deposits that were generated by a large milling facility that operated from the 1920s until 1979. The tailings and waste left behind are over 15 feet deep and contain high levels of lead and arsenic. The Site includes large tailings impoundments which hold water after precipitation events. Winds consistently carry contamination off-site and the area has been heavily trespassed for decades.
A second former facility is contiguous to the Site to the North. This facility processed coal derivatives with solvent to extract resin for adhesives. Waste deposits from this facility spontaneously combusted as recently as 1985 when two children were burned and seriously injured. At that time, the State of Utah ordered the property owner to remediate the source area. EPA suspects waste from this former facility has also migrated off-site.
Trespassers are at risk for exposure to unhealthy levels of arsenic, lead and other chemicals. The Site is a construction area characterized by dangerous equipment and unsafe conditions. The remnant structures at the facility are structurally unsound and also contain confined spaces and dangerous fall hazards.
EPA is conducting a CERCLA Time-Critical Removal Action to mitigate the threat from two large areas of tailings and mine waste at the former milling facility that are without vegetation. EPA's Response Team is currently removing the tailings impoundments, regrading the waste and capping the deposits.
When EPA completes the Removal Action in April 2022, extensive areas of surface contamination will remain at the milling facility where EPA is working and downwind of both the milling facility and the former resin extraction facility to the north.
EPA and Utah DEQ are currently conducting a CERCLA Site Re-Assessment to investigate the nature and extent of contamination in the area. The Team is actively engaging stakeholders, requesting feedback on land use and highlighting the following programs that are available to address the contamination being left behind:
- Brownfields Grants.
- Volunteer Cleanups under the authority of the State.
- Consent Decrees for property owners to conduct additional Removal Actions under the authority of an EPA On-Scene Coordinator.