Park City asks county for space in new landfill
June 26, 2015
Park City Municipal has offered to help finance the construction of the new Summit County landfill if city residents can dump certain types of contaminated soils there.
The city’s request comes as part of its efforts to explore more cost-effective solutions for disposing of Bevill classified soils, which contain leftover minerals from the mining process and other hazardous materials.
Diane Foster, Park City manager, said the city’s current options are "really expensive" and have skyrocketed since the Environmental Protection Agency prohibited city residents from dumping at Richardson Flats in 2010. Since then, the soils have been taken to a repository in Toole.
"It could cost you a couple hundred bucks now, so we are working with the city and the EPA to figure out what is the best thing to do with that," Foster said. "We want to figure out a long-term solution."
Summit County is slated to start construction of the new landfill cell this summer. The county approved an increase to the landfill tipping fees in December to help finance the new landfill cell and closure of the current landfill. As previously reported in The Park Record, officials have estimated the new cell will cost $1.2 million over the course of several years.
The city’s is offering to pay for half of the construction costs to build the landfill, if the residents can use 10 percent of the space, Foster said.
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"Summit County is interested in helping us find a reasonable option for our residents," Foster said. "
City officials sent a letter to Summit County earlier this month outlining its proposal. County Manager Tom Fisher recently introduced the topic to the County Council.
Fisher said the county hasn’t yet responded to the city’s offer. Fisher said officials need to have a more "advanced discussion" as it relates to the potential impacts and liability concerns associated with the contamination levels Bevill-exempt soils contain. These types of soils are subject to regulation by local jurisdictions and are exempt from federal law and state statute.
"We probably need to very quickly decide whether that option of bringing this type of soil to that landfill is even something we should consider," Fisher said. "In the overall subject of trying to find a place for this to go, is that our only option?"
Some of the concerns associated with the acceptance of those materials in the landfill center on their potential to contaminate the Weber River watershed. The soils also shorten the overall life of the landfill.
"Even if we properly build and line a cell, what are the possibility of things that can happen and what does that mean? That’s the due diligence we have to go through," Fisher said.
The city’s financial offer came in just prior to the County Council’s meeting June 10, Fisher said. County Councilors haven’t had an opportunity to discuss the offer since then.
"We prefer to put that on the shelf, not ignore it, but until we understand all the options available to Park City, set it aside," Fisher said.
Fisher said the county and city’s conversations on the topic are just now starting. He said he simply wanted to introduce the topic to the County Council and inform them of what direction he thinks the discussions should go.
"I want to know what all the options are," Fisher said. "That’s what I believe the next step is or what I encourage the next step to be. Let’s get the whole range of options out on the table before we analyze it. What I wanted to make sure of was that the County Council was very up to speed about where we are at."