Environmental regulator leaves City Hall | ParkRecord.com

Environmental regulator leaves City Hall

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

City Hall’s environmental coordinator tendered his resignation from the position recently, City Manager Tom Bakaly said, leaving a post that has wide-reaching duties in a community with a history of contaminated soils and water.

Jeff Schoenbacher had worked for City Hall since 2001 and had been the chief environmental regulator for the municipal government, working under the umbrella of the Building Department.

Bakaly said Schoenbacher’s assignments had included managing an area of the Prospector neighborhood where soils had been contaminated years ago with leftover material from the silver-mining era. City Hall tightly regulates that area, known as the soils district. Schoenbacher had also worked on geographical information systems, commonly referred to as GIS, and databases involving the contaminated areas, the city manager said.

Meanwhile, Bakaly credited Schoenbacher with managing what is known as a biocell. The biocell, located off the Rail Trail in Prospector, treats the water in Silver Creek for zinc and other minerals.

He had been a key figure in City Hall’s long-running discussions with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Bakaly said he wished Schoenbacher the best in his future endeavors.

The city manager said he expects to talk to Mayor Dana Williams and the Park City Council about staffing options to handle the workload Schoenbacher had been assigned. He said City Hall will not immediately advertise to hire someone for the position.

Park City leaders see environmental protection as a key City Hall role, and there are several staffers assigned to environmental issues. While Schoenbacher held a regulatory position, others are charged with reducing emissions through a variety of programs like installing solar-power systems on municipal buildings and outfitting buses with cleaner-burning engines.

Schoenbacher said he left City Hall to take a job in the private sector in New Mexico. He said a "great deal" was accomplished by the municipal government during his tenure.

"There’s a lot to be proud of," he said.