Region 8

Rose Park Sludge Pit

Rose Park Sludge Pit site location map Site Type: Deleted NPL
City: Salt Lake City
County: Salt Lake
Street Address: 1420 North 1100 West
ZIP Code: 84116
EPA ID: UTD980635452
SSID: 0807
Site Aliases: Rose Park Sludge
Congressional District: 1

What's New?

Updated May 2015

The Rose Park Sludge Pit Superfund site remains protective of human health and the environment. Long-term monitoring of the groundwater continues and Salt Lake City is looking to partner with a community group or business to fund and maintain a dog park on the site.

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Site Description

The Rose Park Sludge Pit site covers approximately five acres at 1300 North Boy Scout Drive (1200 West) in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is bordered by vacant/undeveloped land to the north, Interstate 15 to the east, and Rosewood Park to the south and west. Rosewood Park is maintained by Salt Lake City Corporation and includes tennis courts, soccer and baseball fields, a skate park, picnic areas, parking lots and restrooms. Residential neighborhoods are located south of Rosewood Park.

The Utah Oil and Refining Company disposed of acidic waste sludge in an unlined pit on site from the 1930s until 1957. This waste material was generated from the petroleum refinery located east of the site. Salt Lake City purchased the property in 1957 in response to citizens’ complaints against the disposal. In 1960 Salt Lake City Corporation removed 40 to 100 truck-loads of sludge and covered the remaining waste sludge with a soil cap.

Salt Lake City rediscovered the site in 1976 when a bulldozer, being used for expansion of recreational facilities at the park, broke through the soil cap exposing the acidic sludge waste. Due to state and local concerns, EPA and Amoco conducted a number of site investigations between 1979 and 1981 focusing on physical contact with sludge extrusions, the release of acidic vapors from the site and, to a lesser extent, groundwater contamination. The site was considered the State of Utah’s top priority and was listed on EPA’s National Priorities List (NPL) on September 8, 1983.

Map of the Superfund site boundary

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Site Risk

Refinery sludges are very acidic and contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and sulfur dioxide. Site health risks included the potential for burns to people and animals that came in contact with the sludge or breathed gases from the pit. There was also the potential for groundwater contamination from the unlined sludge pit.

Media Affected Contaminants Source of Contamination
soil, solid waste, groundwater acidic refinery sludges with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and sulfur dioxide petroleum wastes disposed of from refinery

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Cleanup Progress

Salt Lake City Corporation, Salt Lake City/County Health Department, the Utah Department of Health, EPA, and Amoco Oil Company signed an Intergovernmental/Corporate Cooperation Agreement (ICCA) on October 29, 1982. The ICCA required Amoco to conduct remedial activities at the site with the primary objectives of preventing exposure to the acid waste sludge, eliminating potentially unhealthy odors and vapors, and preventing off-site migration of the sludge through surface and groundwater.

The following cleanup activities were completed in 1985 by the potentially responsible parties, with oversight by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

  • Construction of a slurry wall around the pit to isolate the wastes and prevent groundwater contamination.
  • Installation of a clay cap on top of the pit to prevent the wastes from coming in contact with park visitors, and to keep water from seeping through the pit and contaminating groundwater.
  • For additional protection, traffic barriers were placed around the perimeter of the cap to prevent damage.
  • Installation of several groundwater wells to monitor the ongoing effectiveness of the slurry wall.

Operation and maintenance (O&M) requirements for the site were also included in the ICCA. O&M activities included groundwater monitoring, site inspections, and well integrity testing. Salt Lake City Corporation conducted O&M activities from 1984 through 1992. Amoco assumed responsibility for O&M in 1992. The site was ultimately deleted from the NPL on June 30, 2003.

With the ICCA due to expire in 2015, Salt Lake City Corporation and British Petroleum (successor in interest to Amoco) negotiated a new agreement titled Governmental/Corporate Cooperation Agreement in April 2014. The agreement assures groundwater monitoring for the site for the next twenty years.

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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

Community involvement activities for the last five-year review consisted of interviews with representatives from the Rose Park Community Council, Salt Lake City Council, and Salt Lake City Engineering and Parks Maintenance staff. Notices for the review were published in the Salt Lake Tribune.

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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, 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.

In coordination with the stakeholders of the site, Salt Lake City completed a “lightweight” parking area in 2008 on a portion of the site that does not compromise the remedy. The location and size of the new parking area enhanced the surveillance of the site, since the previous parking area was limited to only one side of Rosewood Park. In addition to the new parking area, the city converted a property adjacent to the west side of the site into a skate park with new exercise equipment, sidewalks, landscaping and a playground. Currently, the city is looking to partner with a community group or business to fund and maintain a dog park on the site.

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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.

The ICCA incorporated the original ICs for the site and was recorded in the Salt Lake County Clerk and Recorder’s office on October 29, 1982. The parties to the ICCA agreed to update the ICs for the site by drafting and recording a comprehensive environmental covenant with the appropriate activity and use restrictions on September 21, 2010. The updated activity and use restrictions are broad-based and found in Section 6 of Part B of the covenant.

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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.

EPA completed the fifth five-year review of the site remedy in September 2012. The review concluded that the remedy continues to be protective of human health and the environment. The next five-year review is scheduled for completion in 2017.

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Site Documents

Rose Park Sludge Pit: Reuse Fact Sheet, August 2013

Fourth Five-Year Review Report (PDF), September 2007(70 pp, 3.8 MB, About PDF)

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Armando Saenz
Remedial Project Manager
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8
1595 Wynkoop Street (8EPR-SR)
Denver, Colorado 80202-1129
800-227-8917 ext. 312-6696 (toll free Region 8 only)

Site Information Repositories:

Utah Department of Environmental Quality
Environmental Response & Remediation Division
195 North 1950 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84116-4840

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)


Katie Crane
Project Manager
Utah Department of Environmental Quality
Environmental Response & Remediation Division
195 North 1950 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84116-4840

Dave Allison
Community Involvement Specialist
Utah Department of Environmental Quality
Environmental Response & Remediation Division
195 North 1950 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84116-4840

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Photo/Video Gallery

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The following links exit the site Exit

Salt Lake City, Utah

Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City

Utah Department of Environmental Quality

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