Park City, Utah Remediation

[Liza Simpson, Former Park City – City Council Member] One of the things that Park City has always been concerned with as well as the county is the watershed and the
drainage along silver creek. The main focus of the EPA coming back to
town was to look at that watershed and focus on a clean up that would
effectively address the source areas that are high up on the mountain that
were continuing to put contamination in the watershed and having it flow
downstream. We’re really pleased that the working
relationship with the EPA has been such that the source areas are being
addressed first and foremost and then we move on to other areas that need more
attention, like the school district properties. [Martin McComb, EPA On-scene Coordinator]
My name is Martin McComb on-scene
coordinator with EPA’s Emergency Response and Removal Program. We
basically deal with those type of projects that should happen in the short
term; what we call time-critical removals
or emergency response actions. So we came to town, started partnering
immediately with Utah Department of Environmental Quality and Park City Municipal to identify those areas a little bit further, that is, we tried to
look at the entire watershed and see what areas of priority were and then we
went out and collected some additional sampling additional information from the
source areas. Were partnering with United Park City mines, who’s performing the work. The goal is to put in different features
that will stop those sediments from flowing downstream. We’ll be putting in
things like water bars, culverts, moving the streams away from some of these
waste rock piles and a lot of it will be doing with revegetation so trying to get
some vegetation to grow on top to some of these areas to really hold that soil
in place Park City Municipal brought to our
attention a specific area that is the Treasure Mountain Junior High that they
suggested we should really go in and take a look at. The school was developed
in an area that had been impacted by mine tailings before. It’s a well-known
tailings deposit in Prospector Square. We took some very extensive samples and
we are showing that the soils at the school are impacted, especially the
closer you get to Kearns, the closer you get to some of these historic
tailings that elevations of lead in the soil are fairly high. Because they’re kids
involved and because the contaminants of concern really do impact kids the most
that we want to take the most conservative approach moving forward. Now
that school’s out, partnering with the school district is
go in and remove the most contaminated soil. They’re really going to be
targeting those areas along Kearns Boulevard where those historic tailings
were located. Go in and go ahead and remove those
soils and make sure that we have a protective cap on them. Biggest impact people can expect, is along Kearns Boulevard. We’ll have large trucks getting on and off of the road
and we are taking that material just a short distance down to Richardson Flat
about a mile away so our haul route is going to be short
and won’t be going through town but people can expect some delays as we have
flaggers out there trying to get our truck safely on and off of that fairly
major road in town. We have matured into a community that
cares deeply about the environment, cares deeply about our open space, and cares
deeply about living lightly on the planet, and being as healthy a community as we
can be. We are no longer a mining community. We’re a recreation community and we all
love living here and because of that, the City Council’s
vision in the time that I was on City Council and I think it continues to this
day was that we’re a mature enough community to accept the fact that we
have areas that are contaminated and need to be cleaned up. And there’s no
fear in that position there’s just a recognition that there
are some less than pleasant legacies from our mining history that we need to
address and I believe the community is fully behind the City Council and the
EPA moving forward in a conservative and cautious approach and cleaning up as
much as we possibly can.

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