News Releases from Region 08
EPA, Utah DEQ, Midvale City, Salt Lake County celebrate the removal of the former Midvale Slag site from Superfund list
Midvale City receives EPA award for site reuse and economic redevelopment at Bingham Junction
(Denver, Colo. - April 20, 2015) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Shaun McGrath joined state and local officials and business leaders in Midvale City, Utah on Monday, April 20 to announce the removal of the former Midvale Slag site from the Superfund National Priorities List. McGrath also presented Midvale City Mayor, JoAnn Seghini, with an Environmental Achievement Award for Excellence in Site Reuse. The 446-acre property, a former ore processing and smelting facility adjacent to the Jordan River, has been the subject of intensive cleanup activity and is now a thriving mixed-use redevelopment known as Bingham Junction.
"Removing the Midvale Slag site from EPA's Superfund list is an example of the dramatic transformations that can happen when the Superfund program meets a strong and engaged community committed to redevelopment," said EPA's Regional Administrator, Shaun McGrath. "The quality of life and the economic value that Bingham Junction represents today is a stark contrast with the contaminated conditions we confronted in the 1980s. This transformation didn't happen by accident, it is a result of our ability to work together."
The removal of the former Midvale Slag site from the Superfund list is a major milestone. The site encompasses an area where, from 1871 to 1971, five lead and copper smelters operated. EPA has determined, with concurrence from the state of Utah, that all appropriate response actions have been completed at the site. EPA listed the Midvale Slag Superfund site on the National Priorities List, commonly known as the list of Superfund sites, in 1991. Potential human health threats included exposure to toxic metals in contaminated groundwater, soil and on-site wastes.
"The deletion of the Superfund site is a great accomplishment for the EPA, for the developers of Bingham Junction, and for the state of Utah," said Midvale City Mayor, JoAnn Seghini. "In the fall of 1986, during my first term as a city council member, a representative from the EPA informed us that Midvale had two Superfund sites. He described the steps that must be taken to remediate the properties and the time it would take to complete each process. As I added up the years it appeared that the city would be in the remediation process for 81 years. Today, thanks to excellent project managers, we have not only completed the remediation, we have also developed vibrant properties that supply homes, employment, and commercial centers here at Bingham Junction."
The celebration event focused on the results of years of collaboration between EPA, the state of Utah, Midvale City, Salt Lake County, and local community and business leaders to address contamination and redevelop the property into a thriving residential and business area featuring open space, trails and access to a restored riverfront.
"The cleanup of this area of the Jordan River is a win for all Salt Lake County residents who come here to enjoy the great outdoors in the middle of our growing community," said Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams. "The work that was done here is another step towards building safer and healthier communities that can be enjoyed for years to come."
During today's ceremony Mayor JoAnn Seghini of Midvale City received EPA's Environmental Achievement Award for Excellence in Site Reuse. The city's leaders have been instrumental in transforming the Midvale Slag site into a national example of Superfund redevelopment. The site, now called Bingham Junction, supports single- and multi-family residences, retail stores, office buildings, a hotel, recreational walking and biking trails, a Utah Transit Authority light rail station and a restored on-site habitat surrounding the Jordan River. Employers at the Bingham Junction site include FLSmidth USA, Savage, and Overstock. Salt Lake County and the Utah Department of Environmental Quality were also recognized for their efforts and participation in the success of this project.
The economic benefits associated with the cleanup and redevelopment of the Midvale Slag site are striking. Bingham Junction now supports more than 2,000 jobs and a tax base exceeding $300 million, with new business development expected in upcoming years.
Today, more than 850 Superfund sites across the nation support some type of continued use, active reuse or planned reuse activities. After a review of 450 of these sites, EPA found that in fiscal year 2014 alone, the ongoing operations of approximately 3,400 businesses are generating annual sales of more than $65 billion and employing more than 89,000 people.
Find out more at: http://www2.epa.gov/region8/midvale-slag