Region 8

Murray Smelter

site location map Site Type: Proposed NPL
City: Murray City
County: Salt Lake
Street Address: 5300 South Main Street
ZIP Code: 84107
EPA ID: UTD980951420
SSID: 08Q9
Site Aliases: Murray Smelter
Congressional District: 2

Site Description

The Murray Smelter Superfund site is the former location of a large lead smelter in Murray City. The smelter operated for about 77 years, from 1872 until 1949. ASARCO operated it from 1902 to 1949. The lead smelting and arsenic refining operations affected the soil, groundwater, surface water and sediment at the 142-acre site and the surrounding area.

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Site Risk

Media Affected Contaminants Source of Contamination
groundwater, surface water, soils sediment, debris lead, arsenic smelting operations

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Cleanup Progress

EPA proposed including the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in January 1994. In 1995, EPA began working with ASARCO and the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (UDEQ) to investigate it under the terms of an Administrative Order on Consent. EPA and Murray City entered into a unique agreement which established a formal role for the city in identifying potential future land uses at the site; participating in the development of cleanup options; and implementing institutional controls required by EPA's cleanup decision. The site listing on the NPL was never finalized because of these agreements and because cleanup was already underway.

In April 1998, EPA issued the Record of Decision for the site. Cleanup included:

  • Excavation and off-site disposal of soils containing the highest levels of arsenic
  • Excavation and on-site consolidation of 90,000 cubic yards of soil containing lower levels of arsenic that were the source of groundwater contamination
  • Reducing levels of arsenic in groundwater and surface water gradually by natural attenuation
  • Installing monitoring wells to track the progress of the natural attenuation
  • Demolition of two smoke stacks on the site
  • Removal and replacement of lead contaminated soils in off-site residential properties

Today, construction on the cleanup project is complete and consistent with EPA's land revitalization goals. Once an underutilized industrial property, this site has been transformed into a property with important commercial and retail uses.

  • A portion of this site now contains a Utah Transit Authority light rail station with a 300-space parking lot
  • Intermountain Health Care Health Services purchased the majority of the site with plans to construct an innovative, world-class $362.5-million hospital campus. Construction began in 2003 and was completed in 2007.
  • Another section of the site is being redeveloped for retail use. A Costco store has been constructed and is open for business. The economic impact of revitalization is expected to boost property values throughout the community and lead to a wave of new, complementary office and commercial development.

In 2003, EPA completed the first five-year review that indicated that the remedy was protective of human health and the environment. In 2014, the third five-year review was completed.

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Community Involvement

During the evaluation of cleanup options, a working group that included community members, UDEQ, ASARCO, property and business owners, Murray City, and EPA considered redevelopment plans and discussed alternative cleanup strategies that would facilitate revitalization as well as protection of public health and the environment. For example, the on-site repository system required for site cleanup was designed to form the base of a new north-south roadway corridor and a new light rail facility parking lot, two site features that were keys to site redevelopment.

The working group effort was assisted by Murray City, which received a brownfields assessment grant from EPA in January 1997 and used the funds to contract with a real estate consultant to provide advice about the land value implications of various remedial strategies; EPA provided the facilitation services for the group. The working group participants made key commitments to the success of both cleanup and reuse of the property. Knowledge of revitalization opportunities helped inform EPA in the remedy selection process.

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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.

Third Five-Year Review Report (PDF), September 29, 2014 (79 pp, 5.9 MB)

Murray Smelter: Reuse Fact Sheet, March 2013

Record of Decision (PDF), April 1, 1998 (67 pp, 139 K)

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Erna Waterman
Remedial Project Manager
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8
1595 Wynkoop Street (EPR-SR)
Denver, CO 80202-1129
800-227-8917 ext. 312-6762 (toll free Region 8 only)


Michael Storck
State Project Manager
Utah Department of Environmental Quality
Environmental Response & Remediation Division
195 North 1950 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-4840

Dave Allison
State Community Involvement Coordinator
Utah Department of Environmental Quality
Environmental Response & Remediation Division
195 North 1950 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-4840

Site Information Repositories:

Murray Library
166 East 5300 South
Murray, UT 84107-6075

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

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The following links exit the site Exit

Utah Department of Environmental Quality

Murray Library

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