Region 8

Jacobs Smelter

Jacobs Smelter site location map Site Type: Final NPL
City: Stockton
County: Tooele
Street Address: Smith & Johnson Streets
ZIP Code: 84071
EPA ID: UT0002391472
SSID: 082X
Site Aliases: Stockton Smelters
Congressional District: 1

What's New?

Updated May 2013

The EPA and the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (UDEQ) have performed a Remedial Investigation (RI) and are currently updating a Feasibility Study (FS) for Operable Unit 2 (OU2) of the Jacobs Smelter Superfund Site. An RI is a study of the nature and extent of contamination at the site and an FS is an evaluation of cleanup alternatives for addressing contaminants. Information collected in the RI and FS will be used to assist the EPA and UDEQ in proposing options to the public for additional cleanup actions at OU2.

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Site Description

The Jacobs Smelter Superfund Site is located in Tooele County, approximately five miles south of the city of Tooele, Utah. The site is approximately eight square miles in area and includes the town of Stockton and Rush Lake. The Utah Department of Environmental Quality (UDEQ) is the lead agency for implementing work at this site and the EPA is the supporting agency. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) partners with both agencies to address the contamination concerns on its property within the site.

The Stockton area was the center of a silver and base-metal mining, milling and smelting district from the 1860s until 1970. By 1886, several smelters were built within the Stockton area. Jacobs Smelter was located on the northeast end of Stockton and operated in the 1870s. The largest smelter in the Stockton area was the Waterman Smelting Works, which opened in 1871 and operated continuously until 1886. The Chicago Smelter opened on the eastern shore of Rush Lake, two miles south of Stockton, in 1873, and operated until the fall of 1880. Two Carson Buzzo smelters opened in 1873. They were located about a half mile south of the Chicago Smelter.

Other smelters operated for a few years and then shut down. The exact locations of these smelters are unknown, but several sites within the boundaries of Operable Unit 2 are suspected due to the presence of elevated concentrations of heavy metals detected during site sampling.

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Site Risk

Studies conducted by the UDEQ and EPA found high concentrations of lead and arsenic in area soils on all operable units.

Media Affected Contaminants Source of Contamination
soil lead, arsenic smelting wastes

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Cleanup Progress

In 1998 the site was divided into geographically-based areas called operable units (OUs). In 2005 the site was further divided into additional OUs. The site OUs are:

OU1 consists of residential properties within the town of Stockton.

OU2 consists of lead- and arsenic-contaminated soil, with groundwater and ecological impacts, located to the west and to the south of the town of Stockton (attributable to the Waterman, Chicago and Carson Buzzo smelters).

OU3, Stockton Yard, consists of land owned by Union Pacific Railroad Company along the railroad through a portion of the site.

OU4 consists of a parcel of land that lies between the Rawhide Ranchettes subdivision and OU3, owned by O&M enterprises, a division of Kennecott Utah Copper Corporation.

OU5 consists of land owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and is mainly located to the northeast of the town of Stockton. The BLM also owns a small strip of land west and north of the Waterman Smelter area.

Cleanup of OU1, OU3 and OU4 has been completed. Cleanup of portions of OU2 and OU5 has also been completed as described below.

OU1

In 1999, the EPA's Emergency Response branch cleaned up the former Jacobs Smelter location and 29 of the most heavily contaminated residential properties in Stockton (OU1). Contaminated soils were excavated from each property and transported to an off-site facility. The properties were then filled with clean soil and landscaped.

A Record of Decision (ROD) for the remaining residential properties in OU1 was signed on July 29, 1999. In 2000, UDEQ cleaned up an additional 126 properties in Stockton. Contaminated dirt alleys and roads were addressed. The final phase of work for the residential areas of Stockton was completed in December 2000. The cleanup included excavation of soils exhibiting average surface lead concentrations greater than 500 parts per million (ppm), average subsurface lead concentrations greater than 800 ppm or average surface arsenic concentrations greater than 100 ppm to a depth of 18 inches. The EPA deleted OU1 from the National Priorities List (NPL) in September 2001. The town of Stockton Ordinance #2000-4 (PDF) (5 pp, 279 K, About PDF) Exit covers excavation and development within OU1.

OU3

The railroad property in Stockton (OU3) also was cleaned up in 1999. Union Pacific Railroad, under an agreement with the EPA, placed a 16-inch soil cover over the contaminated soils in its right-of-way. OU3 was deleted from the NPL in 2005.

OU4

A settlement agreement with Kennecott Utah Copper Corporation (KUCC) and its wholly owned subsidiary OM Enterprises Company was signed in 2008. The agreement covered sampling and analysis work and removal of lead and arsenic contaminated soils on OU4, as well as compliance with institutional controls. The work was completed by KUCC in 2008 and 2009. An environmental covenant recorded with Tooele County covers controls required by Kennecott Utah Copper Corporation (KUCC) for this property.

OU2

In 2001, an Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) was issued for the Rawhide Ranchettes subdivision located within OU2. The AOC required the developer to remove contaminated soils with a surface lead concentration greater than 500 ppm and subsurface soils in excess of 800 ppm lead.

In 2004 the EPA and UDEQ completed a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) for residences outside of the OU1 area and the undeveloped areas within the site. A proposed plan for OU2 was issued in 2004; however, a ROD has not been issued. In addition, a cultural resources assessment was conducted as required by the National Historic Preservation Act.

In 2009, additional soil sampling was conducted by UDEQ at the request of residents in the Rawhide Ranchettes subdivision. The results showed contamination levels exceeding cleanup standards that were established for the 2001 removal action. As a result, in 2010 additional sampling was conducted in the Rawhide Ranchettes subdivision north of the Waterman Smelter area and the B&B subdivision south of Waterman Smelter. This sampling investigation resulted in an EPA-led removal action on four residential properties within the Rawhide Ranchettes subdivision. The removal (cleanup) action consisted of the excavation of soils with lead levels above 500 ppm on the surface and above 800 ppm from 2 to 12 inches below surface. The excavated soil was disposed of off-site at a landfill. The excavation areas were filled with clean soil and seeded.

Further sampling of the Waterman Smelter area was completed in 2011. The data collected from this sampling is being used to update the OU2 Feasibility Study.

OU5

The BLM prepared a draft Engineering Evaluation/Cost Assessment for property within the site under their jurisdiction in 2009. In 2011, the BLM conducted a clean up on their property north of Waterman Smelter area.

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Community Involvement

Community involvement plays an important role in the Superfund process. The 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

The UDEQ, in cooperation with the EPA, maintains regular contact with members of the community and implements a variety of community relations activities as new information becomes available. These include distributing fact sheets, meeting with community members and local officials, holding public meetings and comment periods, and sharing information with the local media.

The EPA established an information repository containing the Administrative Record and other information about the Jacobs Smelter site. The repository is available at the Tooele City Public Library at 128 West Vine Street in Tooele, Utah. The library is open Tuesday through Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The library phone number is 435-882-2182.

We want to hear from citizens who have questions or concerns about this site. You are encouraged to contact Lisa Lloyd, the EPA's Remedial Project Manager for this site.

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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. We use 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 site includes residential areas as well as properties used for grazing horses and cows. The areas remaining to be cleaned up are mainly non-residential open lands. Currently, there is no anticipated change in land use.

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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. ICs for Operable Unit 3 include:

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

The objectives of the ICs at this site are to ensure that contaminated soil, above unrestricted use levels, remaining after cleanup is characterized and disposed of appropriately if encountered during future development activities.

The town of Stockton adopted Ordinance #2000-4 (PDF) (5 pp, 279 K, About PDF) Exit to address excavation and development within OU1. The ordinance requires permit applications for all construction work that requires excavation below 18 inches, to ensure excavated material is tested and handled according to appropriate state and federal regulations.

With assistance from the UDEQ and EPA, the town of Stockton developed a soil management plan that describes how contaminated soils will be handled during the excavation and installation of a new sanitary sewer system. As part of the sewer project, Stockton designed and received a permit for a repository to accept contaminated soils excavated during construction activities, and to satisfy one of the outstanding requirements listed in the town ordinance. The town boundaries now include the Rawhide Ranchettes and B&B subdivisions.

As part of their IC requirements, Kennecott Utah Copper Corporation (KUCC) recorded a Memorandum of Environmental Covenant on OU4 with Tooele County on May 26, 2009. The environmental covenant puts controls on the KUCC property to assure remaining contamination will not be disturbed without the appropriate waste management controls.

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Five-Year Reviews

The 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 first five-year review was completed by the UDEQ in September 2005. The second five-year review, completed in September 2010, found that additional cleanup was needed at Rawhides Ranchettes (OU2), thus a time-critical removal action was completed as described in the Cleanup Progress section above. In addition, the five-year review concluded that ordinance revisions are needed to fully implement institutional controls.

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Site Documents

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

Note: Best way to open a very large file: right-click and save it to a folder.

Update to the Five-Year Review, January 2011

Second Five-Year Review Report (PDF), September 2010 (32 pp, 5.5 MB)

NPL Partial Site Deletion Narrative for OU3, November 29, 2005

Photos of Jacobs Smelter from the First Five-Year Review Report (PDF), September 2005 (6 pp, 6 MB)

NPL Partial Site Deletion Narrative for OU1, September 4, 2001

Remedial Action Completion Report for OU1, March 2001

Record of Decision (ROD) (PDF), July 29, 1999 (75 pp, 847 K)

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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:

Tooele City Library
128 West Vine Street
Tooele, UT 84074
435-882-2182

EPA Superfund Records Center
1595 Wynkoop Street
Denver, CO 80202-1129
303-312-7273
800-227-8917 ext. 312-7273 (toll free Region 8 only)
By appointment only

UDEQ

Tom Daniels
Project Manager
Utah Department of Environmental Quality
Environmental Response & Remediation Division
195 North 1950 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84116
801-536-4090
tdaniels@utah.gov

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

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Photo/Video Gallery

2010 soil sampling in residential area
2010 soil sampling in residential area
lead warning sign in waterman smelter area
Lead warning in Waterman Smelter area of OU2
access control fence, Stockton Yard, OU3
Access control fence, Stockton Yard, OU3

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Links

The following links exit the site Exit

Tooele County Health Department

Utah Department of Environmental Quality

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