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Holladay Chemical/Mercury Response

Site Contact:
Taylor Bowker


Site Location:
Holladay, UT 84121
NRC#: 1397057

On April 22, 2024, personnel from the Salt Lake County Health Department reported the discovery of abandoned mercury, other chemicals, and shock sensitive materials at the home in Holladay, UT. Salt Lake County inspected the home and found elevated airborne levels of mercury (>16 micrograms per cubic meter) as well as a litany of other chemicals (including acids, bases, flammables, ethyl ether, and other solvents) in the basement and a storage shed at the residence.

Salt Lake County Health Department requested that EPA assess the situation, abate the elevated mercury levels, and properly remove and dispose of the chemicals. EPA Region 8 deployed a Federal On-Scene Coordinator and a support contractor to the incident. EPA staff arrived on Site  on April 23, 2024. 

As the assessment of chemicals within the site continued, more shock sensitive and explosive materials were discovered and EPA became part of Unified Command with Salt Lake County and the Unified Fire Authority. Approximately 200 containers of chemicals were removed and safely stored away from the residence and Unified Fire Authority Bomb Squad determined that the explosives needed to be detonated on site.

At approximately 4:00am on April 24, the explosive chemicals and dynamite were detonated on site as two detonations occurring ten minutes apart. The detonations caused the house to catch fire which was then controlled by the Unified Fire Authority. The UFA was able to protect the shed from catching fire, where other chemicals were known to be located.

Once the fire had been extinguished, the remaining chemicals in the shed were removed and the ash foot print was assessed for remaining containers and hazards.