Park City councilor declines to join other officials in signing statement about disputed soils facility
Nann Worel keeps name off the City Hall release, saying ‘full picture’ not addressed
A member of the Park City Council opted against joining the other elected officials in signing a statement centered on the controversial concept to build a facility along the S.R. 248 entryway to store soils containing silver-mining era contaminants.
City Councilor Nann Worel’s name was left off the one-page statement, which was published under the municipal logo. Mayor Andy Beerman and the other four members of the City Council signed the statement.
City Hall has taken steps to develop a facility known as a repository on municipal land located at the intersection of S.R. 248 and Richardson Flat Road with the intention of storing soils containing contaminants like lead and arsenic at the location. The concept of building a repository there has spurred controversy in recent weeks as critics argue it is not the proper location to store contaminated soils. There have also been questions about whether there has been wide enough publicity.
In an interview, Worel said the statement “did not go far enough” as she explained her decision against joining the other elected officials in signing the statement. She said the statement could have included additional background about the process that led to City Hall seeking bids from firms interested in a contract to build the first cell of a repository.
“I didn’t feel like the … press statement addressed the full picture,” Worel said.
The statement, released on Monday:
“Park City has a rich mining history, but unless you are a longtime local or historian, chances are you haven’t heard much about its environmental legacy and ongoing mitigation efforts. These efforts are a reality of living in or around Park City, where cleanup is focused on mine-impacted soils and water.
“Acknowledging recent concerns regarding a potential soils repository along SR-248, we want to assure residents that the City intends to provide ample opportunity for additional public engagement and information. On Thursday (5/13), City Council will discuss next steps, which could include additional public hearings, online Q&As, a forum to review technical plans/analysis, and ways to gather additional citizen input before a decision is made. Today, we launched a comprehensive project website that we hope you will review.
“For the past year and a half, Park City has worked with the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (UDEQ), environmental engineers, and other specialists to analyze the siting of a soils repository near Quinn’s Junction. The UDEQ’s permitting process was created to safeguard and improve our air, land, and water, through balanced regulation and collaboration.
“Ultimately, we have too much history not to consider all environmentally responsible alternatives. These complex and difficult matters require public input and feedback, so please continue to engage with us by visiting engageparkcity.org or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.”
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Park City readies gathering about contaminated soils amid continued worries about health, environment
Park City next week has scheduled an informational event centered on the municipal government’s controversial efforts to develop a facility to store soils contaminated during Park City’s silver-mining era.