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Park City To Host Panel Discussion On Contaminated Soils Repository Tuesday


  Park City is weighing options on what to do with its toxic soil. Right now it’s looking like the soil could be stored in a repository near Quinn’s Junction, which has angered many residents.





Park City is hosting a panel discussion with the city council, staff, environmental experts and community members as an effort to share more information on the proposed toxic soils facility. 

The contaminated soils are from Park City’s mining days, which left them filled with chemicals like arsenic and lead. Contaminated soil must be removed before construction can begin on the new arts and culture district at Kearns and Bonanza.

Discussion on where the soils should go has been ongoing for the past year. Park City Economic Development Director Jonathan Weidenhamer said the city has been waiting for a permit from the Utah Department of Environmental Quality for a panel discussion. 

"So as we progressed with that discussion, and came up on the public input process of that, almost a year long permit, it seemed like the right time now to bring the community together," Weidenhamer said.

The proposed facility has the capacity to house 140,000 cubic yards of soil. That’s significantly more than the 110,000 current projects are expected to generate. 

Weidenhamer said the soils repository would be a temporary fix while the city seeks out a long-term strategy. 

"We've been diligently looking for a short and or long term solution to deal with our mine influenced soils," he said. "And we've explored numerous options and numerous possibilities and negotiated with the EPA and the county and the UDEQ. And ultimately, we have a project that can address a number of immediate issues that we believe is in the best interest of the community."

One of the other options the city has considered is sending the contaminated soils out of the area to existing regional repositories. 

However, Weidenhamer said that would be a more expensive option due to transportation costs. 

"If we were to haul them to the closest facility that would be about $4 million," he said. "And to haul the soil that we also were anticipating unearthing for some future housing and arts and culture project, we've got another $17-17.5 million of soil that we would have to move out."

The city also has to consider how long they want to keep the repository open. Keeping it open too long could expose residents to contaminated dust. But it could be beneficial to keep it open to dispose of soil from future projects. 

"If we want to open it for people who are in the soils boundary or district and Park City, which largely includes the Prospector residents, it would stay open for a number of years by appointment," he said. "And you could call up when you build a deck in your backyard or swimming pool. And then you could haul that dirt here."

The discussion is scheduled Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. with a Q&A session following. The city is taking questions in advance, which can be sent to linda.jager@parkcity.org.


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