Region 8

Davenport and Flagstaff Smelters

Davenport-Flagstaff site location map Site Type: Final NPL
City: Sandy
County: Salt Lake
Street Address: 1 mile W of intersection US Highways 209 and 210
ZIP Code: 84092
EPA ID: UTD988075719
SSID: 082M
Site Aliases: Davenport Smelter, Hawkeye Smelter, McKay & Revolution Silver Mining Co.
Congressional District: 2

What's New?

Updated November 2012

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality (UDEQ), Division of Environmental Response and Remediation, in cooperation with the EPA, conducted a five-year review of the remedial actions implemented at the Davenport and Flagstaff Smelters Superfund Site. The five-year review included a review of documents, risk assumptions, community interviews and a site inspection. It indicates that the remedies at Operable Units 1, 2 and 3 (OU1, OU2 and OU3) are functioning as intended. The five-year review report is available in Site Documents below.

In July 2012 an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) was issued to document the significant differences between the remedy selected in the Record of Decision (ROD) on September 16, 2009 and the remedy implemented for OU2. The ESD is available in Site Documents below.

An important milestone for the site was achieved on August 30, 2012, when the site was declared construction complete. Reaching this milestone means that all physical construction is complete for the entire site as a result of one or more removal and/or remedial actions. The report (Preliminary Close Out Report) designating this status was signed by the EPA Assistant Regional Administrator and received concurrence from EPA headquarters.

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Site Description

The Davenport and Flagstaff site is located about 15 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, Utah, in a mostly residential and commercial area at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon. It is east of the town of Sandy, in an unincorporated area of Salt Lake County. The area includes the remains of three former smelters. In the late 1800s, they were called the Davenport and the McKay. The Flagstaff smelter was located less than a quarter mile to the north, near 9500 South Wasatch Boulevard, on the north side of Little Cottonwood Creek.

In 1992, the EPA conducted on-site soil analyses and found high levels of lead and arsenic. To further define the extent of contamination, more sampling was done in the area in 1994, 1996, 1998 and 2001. The EPA proposed the site for its National Priorities List in December 2000.

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Site Risk

Smelting operations were inefficient a century ago. Smelting byproducts emitted from the smokestack included lead and arsenic. These contaminants were deposited in soils around the smelters. Slag was also left behind from the process. Ingestion of lead- and arsenic-contaminated soils and household dust presents the primary risk to residents.

Media Affected Contaminants Source of Contamination
soils lead, arsenic smelting

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Cleanup Progress

Excavating contaminated soil near residence (OU1)
Excavating contaminated soil near residence (OU1)
Residential yard during cleanup(OU1)
Residential yard during cleanup (OU1)
Residential yard after cleanup(OU1)
Residential yard after cleanup (OU1)
OU3 during cleanup ofcontaminated soils
OU3 during cleanup of contaminated soils
Part of the watershedprotection area prior to cleanup in 2011
Part of the watershed protection area prior to cleanup
in 2011.

About 500 people reside within the area impacted by the former smelter activity. Since the start of investigations, the site has been divided into three operable units. Operable Unit 1 (OU1) addressed residential properties with lead and arsenic contamination in surface and subsurface soils. The OU1 cleanup was conducted from 2004 to 2008. Operable Unit 3 (OU3) addressed agricultural land proposed for future residential use near the Flagstaff Smelter. OU3 was cleaned up in 2006 by a private entity with EPA and UDEQ oversight. Operable Unit 2 (OU2) covers approximately 29 acres and consists of a mixture of commercial and undeveloped land. Physical construction of the OU2 remedy was completed on November 29, 2011.

OU1

A Record of Decision (ROD) for OU1 was signed in September 2002. The ROD outlined the way the properties would be cleaned up and established the clean levels for residential properties of 600 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) lead and 126 mg/kg arsenic. The remedy selected in the OU1 ROD was excavation and off-site disposal of all material above the cleanup levels, with treatment for all contaminated soils that were principal threat wastes. Principal threat wastes were defined as soils that were characteristic hazardous wastes.

From 2004 to 2008 a Removal Action was conducted at OU1. The EPA Removal Program conducted cleanup activities on properties that contained soils impacted with elevated levels of lead and arsenic. Contaminated soils were removed and landscapes restored at 26 properties. A total of 33,290 cubic yards of lead and arsenic impacted soils were removed and transported to the Salt Lake Valley Solid Waste (SLVSW) Management Facility, a Resource Conservation and Recovery (RCRA) Subtitle D facility.

An Explanation of Significant Difference (ESD) for OU1 was signed in November 2005. The ESD extended the remedy that had been selected for the residential properties in OU1 to an area that was non-residential at the time of the ROD signing, but planned for development in 2008. It created a new operable unit, OU3, for the work done in this planned residential area.

OU3

The removal action cleanup of OU3 was completed by a private party under an agreement and oversight by the EPA and UDEQ. Under the agreement, the private party cleaned up approximately 49 acres of undeveloped property to the OU1 residential cleanup levels for use as 28 private single family residential lots. A total of 77,466 tons of contaminated soil were excavated, treated and disposed of at the Allied Waste Wasatch Regional Landfill located in Tooele County, Utah.

OU2

UDEQ began the Remedial Investigation of the nonresidential areas of the site in 2006. The investigation covered the areas not addressed by the above cleanups. It consisted of surface and subsurface soil sampling, groundwater and surface water sampling, and sediment sampling. During the investigation, three residential properties within the boundaries of OU2 were found to contain lead and arsenic concentrations greater than the residential cleanup levels established for OU1. As documented in the OU2 ROD, these three properties were incorporated into the OU1 removal cleanup through an Action Memorandum and were addressed during the 2008 construction activities.

The ROD for OU2 was signed in September 2009. The ROD established cleanup levels of 1,000 mg/kg lead for commercial areas, 3,000 mg/kg lead for undeveloped areas and 1,000 mg/kg arsenic for both commercial and undeveloped areas. The remedy selected in the OU2 ROD was excavation, on-site treatment of principal threat waste, and off-site disposal of material above the cleanup levels. Soils with leachable levels of lead and arsenic above 5 milligram per liter (mg/L), based on the Toxicity Characterization Leaching Procedure (TCLP), were designated as principal threat waste.

The cleanup work at OU2 was conducted from August 2011 to December 2011. A total of 7,156 tons of contaminated soil were excavated and disposed of at the Salt Lake County Landfill. A total of 6,607 tons of that soil were characteristically hazardous and were stabilized on-site prior to disposal as non-hazardous waste. Site seeding and planting was completed to restore the construction areas.

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Community Involvement

Community involvement plays an important role in the Superfund process. EPA uses a number of different tools and resources to promote effective, on-going, meaningful community involvement. The goals of the Superfund community involvement program are to:

  • Keep communities affected by sites informed throughout the cleanup process.
  • Provide opportunities for communities to comment and offer their input about site cleanup plans.
  • Facilitate the resolution of community issues tied to a site.

Throughout the investigation and cleanup of the three OUs at the site, extensive community involvement has occurred. Community interviews were conducted as part of the five-year review and responses are summarized in the five-year review report.

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Reuse

The EPA places a high priority on land reuse as part of its Superfund response program mission. The agency tries to select cleanup options that encourage and support future use of a site. The EPA uses two fundamental methods to facilitate reuse of Superfund sites:

  • Exploring future uses before the cleanup remedy is implemented, an approach that gives the Agency the best chance of designing cleanup remedies to support the likely future use of a site.
  • Working with landowners and communities to remove barriers not considered necessary for the protection of human health or the environment at those sites where remedies are already in place.

One option for reuse is the siting of clean and renewable energy projects on contaminated (or formerly contaminated) lands. As part of this effort, the EPA is evaluating the potential for energy projects on these properties and working with landowners and communities to identify ways to remove barriers to such projects.

The properties cleaned up in OU1 remain residential. OU3 is currently under development as a residential area. The restaurant operation, with surrounding grounds and vineyards, continues on the commercial area of OU2. The remaining portion of OU2 is comprised mostly of a designated watershed protection zone. It is unlikely this use will change.

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Land Use Controls and Other Institutional Controls

Land use controls are the most common type of institutional control (IC). ICs are administrative or legal controls that help reduce the likelihood for human exposure to contamination. ICs can also help protect the integrity of the remedy. Examples of ICs are:

  • Zoning ordinances.
  • Environmental covenants.
  • Deed notices.
  • Well-drilling restrictions.
  • Building permits.
  • Informational advisories.

Environmental covenants are being drafted for the two properties cleaned up under OU2. An ordinance is also being drafted that will cover OU1 and OU2. These actions will assure the protectiveness of the remedies. The objectives of the ICs for OU1 and OU2 are to:

  • Restrict residential development without proper assessment of risk to human health and the environment.
  • Ensure that contaminated soil, above unrestricted use levels, remaining after cleanup is characterized and disposed of appropriately if encountered during future development activities.
  • Provide information regarding the nature of cleanup activities and contamination left in place to future property owners.

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Five-Year Reviews

EPA or the lead agency conducts five-year reviews following the start of a Superfund cleanup when contamination is left on the site. These reviews are repeated every five years. We use these reviews to determine:

  • How the remedy is working.
  • If the remedy remains protective of human health and the environment.

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality issued the first five-year review report in July 2012, assessing the protectiveness of the remedial actions implemented at the Davenport and Flagstaff site. The review of documents, risk assumptions and of the site inspection indicates that the remedies at Operable Units 1, 2 and 3 (OU1, OU2 and OU3) are functioning as intended by the OU1 and OU2 Records of Decision (RODs) and the OU1 and OU2 Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD).

During the five-year review, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (UDEQ) conducted a number of interviews with local officials and property owners to obtain their opinion and concerns about the site. Community interviews were conducted by UDEQ from May 26, 2011 to July 28, 2011.

None of the interviewees expressed any health or environmental concerns with the remedy conducted over the last five-year period and felt the remedy remains protective. No concerns were expressed with existing property values and overall, individuals interviewed felt the Superfund work was successful.

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Site Documents

You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA’s About PDF page to learn more.

Preliminary Close Out Report, August 30, 2012 

First Five-Year Review Report, July 2012

OU2 Explanation of Significant Differences, July 2012

OU2 Record of Decision (PDF), September 16, 2009 (129 pp, 6.6 MB)

OU1 Explanation of Significant Differences (PDF), November 15, 2005 11 pp, 33 K)

OU1 Record of Decision (PDF), September 30, 2002 (84 pp, 2.9 MB)

Additional site documents are available in this public FTP folder.

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Contacts

EPA

Lisa Lloyd
Remedial Project Manager
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8
1595 Wynkoop Street (EPR-SR)
Denver, CO 80202-1129
303-312-6537
800-227-8917 ext. 312-6537 (toll free Region 8 only)
lloyd.lisa@epa.gov

Site Information Repositories:

Sandy Library
10100 South Petunia Way (1405 East)
Sandy, UT 84092-3624
801-944-7574
801-943-4636 (Salt Lake County Library Customer Service)

Utah Department of Environmental Quality
Division of Environmental Response and Remediation
195 North 1950 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-4840
801-536-4100

EPA Superfund Records Center
1595 Wynkoop Street
Denver, CO 80202-1129
To request copies of administrative record documents call:
303-312-7273
800-227-8917 ext. 312-7273 (toll free Region 8 only)

UDEQ

Thomas Daniels
State Project Manager
Utah Department of Environmental Quality
195 North 1950 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84116
801-536-4090
tdaniels@utah.gov

Dave Allison
State Community Involvement Specialist
Utah Department of Environmental Quality
195 North 1950 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84116
801-536-4479
dallison@utah.gov

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Photo/Video Gallery

Click on a thumbnail below to view the full size image.

Excavating contaminated soils in a residential back yard (OU1)
Residential back yard showing area of excavated contaminated soils (OU1)
Excavation at residential back yard
Excavation at residential back yard (OU1)
Excavating contaminated soils during cleanup (OU1)
Placing erosion control mat during restoration (OU1)
Excavating contaminated soil in OU2 watershed protection area
Landscaping OU2 watershed protection area after cleanup
OU2 Watershed protection area after cleanup and showing biodegradable erosion control blanket near Gambel oak
Drainage ravine after cleanup and restoration in OU2
Replacing trees after cleanup in OU2 commercial area

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Links

Salt Lake County Library – Sandy Branch Exit

Utah Department of Environmental Quality Exit

ATSDR Health Consultation for the Davenport and Flagstaff Smelters Superfund Site

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