Park City outlines concept to store contaminated soils along entryway
Park City is continuing to take steps to build a facility along the S.R. 248 entryway to store soils containing contaminants from the community’s silver-mining era, an effort that has drawn attention in recent days months after leaders held public talks about the issue that appeared to draw limited interest from Parkites.
City Hall is considering building what is known as a repository on municipal land located at the S.R. 248-Richardson Flat Road intersection. Materials containing lead, arsenic and other contaminants would be stored there. The repository would ultimately have space for 140,000 cubic-yards of material with officials projecting it would take between five and 15 years to fill. The construction cost is estimated at approximately $2.7 million.
The repository would be used by City Hall as it excavates locations for municipal developments like a planned arts and culture district stretching inward from the intersection of Kearns Boulevard and Bonanza Drive as well as housing projects. It would also be available to private homeowners for noncommercial purposes.
The Utah Department of Environmental Quality is reviewing the City Hall application.
Park City was founded in the 19th century as a silver-mining camp and contaminants dating from the mining era remain in the soil in certain locations. The public and private sectors for decades have contended with contaminants, but the current talks about developing a repository is an especially notable move by City Hall.
The municipal government previously used another repository at Richardson Flat, but it has not been available since 2010. It dates to the mining era and lacks a protective lining, according to City Hall. Officials instead have the materials moved from Park City to a facility in Tooele County. City Hall says transporting the materials to Tooele County is expensive, burdens that community and would increase vehicle emissions as the trucks drive between the two locations.
A City Hall-drafted overview of the repository concept notes the facility would be located within the municipal limits and that “Park City is taking responsibility for its soils and not ‘exporting’ them to another jurisdiction.” The overview notes other arguments by City Hall in support of the construction of a repository. They include the location is not next to neighborhoods or commercial development and the location is “mostly shielded from view” along S.R. 248. Other arguments made by City Hall include that the location is “not in an environmentally sensitive location in terms of habitat, water supply, wetlands, or other ecological considerations.” It also says the location could eventually be used for something else once the repository is full, possibly for recreation purposes or unspecified municipal services.
The repository would be lined at the bottom with plastic that is not permeable and would be capped with the same method once it is closed.
The prospect of City Hall developing a repository has drawn attention. Many are opposed to the concept of storing contaminated materials at the location. Public discussions months ago did not draw the same response.
More information is available from City Hall at: engageparkcity.org/park-city-soils-repository-overview. Additional information is also available from the state Department of Environmental Quality under the heading Park City Soil Management Facility Class I Landfill Permit at: deq.utah.gov/waste-management-and-radiation-control/waste-management-radiation-control-public-notices.
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