Region 8

Tooele Army Depot (North Area)

Tooele Army Depot site location map Site Type: Federal Facility Final NPL
City: Tooele
County: Tooele
Street Address: 3 miles south of Tooele on Hwy 36
ZIP Code: 84074
EPA ID: UT3213820894
SSID: 0861
Site Aliases: None
Congressional District: 1

Site Description

Tooele Army Depot has been an active Army base since the early 1940s. The 23,732-acre site is located in northeastern Tooele County, Utah, about 35 miles southwest of Salt Lake City. Environmental contamination occurred during the depot's 50-plus years of storing ammunition and repairing equipment. The site was placed on the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) in October 1990.

The U.S. Army, Utah Department of Environmental Quality (UDEQ) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are cooperatively investigating and cleaning up contamination at the site.

In March 1993, part of the site (1,663 acres) was placed on the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) list. As a BRAC site, 41 acres were transferred by the U.S. Army for private use in 1996. The remaining 1,622 acres of the BRAC parcel were transferred to the Redevelopment Agency of the city of Tooele in January of 1999. The property was subsequently sold by Tooele City to a commercial developer. Contaminated areas in the 1,663-acre parcel are being cleaned up by the U.S. Army. The remaining 22,069 acres of the depot will be retained by the Army for continued storage of conventional ammunition.

An initial environmental assessment of the site, completed in 1979, found potential contamination at an area where explosives were burned or detonated in the open. Further studies showed contamination in soils and groundwater, because of equipment maintenance, munitions disposal and other industrial activities. Some contaminants of concern are explosives, lead, cadmium, barium, pesticides, hydrocarbons, solvents, waste oils and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Between 1991 and 1993, the Army constructed one of the country's largest groundwater treatment plants to address a contaminant plume that had migrated off-base. This plume has now retreated near the Depot boundaries. A second contaminant plume is being investigated on the northeastern side of the base. Most other contamination is on-site.

There are ten operable units (OUs), containing 57 solid-waste-management units (SWMUs). SWMUs are contaminated or potentially contaminated areas. An OU is a group of SWMUs with similar contaminants or hazards, addressed together in a single remedy. OUs 4–10, which contain 17 SWMUs, are being cleaned up under the Superfund program. OUs 1–3, which contain 40 SWMUs, are being addressed under Utah Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) authority.

Top of Page

Site Risk

Media Affected Contaminants Source of Contamination
soil, solid waste, debris, groundwater explosives, lead, cadmium, barium, pesticides, hydrocarbons, solvents, waste oils, PCBs equipment maintenance, munitions disposal and other industrial activities

Top of Page

Cleanup Progress

Three interim removal actions were completed in 1997 at RCRA sites and two at CERCLA (a.k.a. "Superfund") sites in 1998 and one RCRA site in 2000. Superfund is the shorthand term for CERCLA—the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act—passed by Congress in 1980 to address the dangers of abandoned or uncontrolled sites contaminated with hazardous substances.

The interim removal actions included:

  • Removal of soil contaminated with explosives.
  • Removal of expended crowd-control devices (such as tear gas) from a trench.
  • Removal and decontamination of equipment at two sites.
  • Removal of a sump and contaminated soil at the battery-maintenance building, where soil was contaminated with lead and battery acid.
  • Closure and removal of a waste-disposal sump.

All investigations have been completed with the exception of several Military Munitions Response Program (MMRP) sites. The remedial investigation for those sites should begin in 2009. Final remedies have been selected and approved for all sites with the exception of SWMU 58 and SWMU 2 which are the contaminated groundwater plumes and source area. Final remedy selection for the groundwater sites is expected to be completed later in 2010, after public meetings and/or hearings are held to get community response. Notice of hearings will be sent out and printed in local newspapers about 30 days prior to the hearings.

The final remedies at sites where the remedies have been completed included such actions as the following:

  • Excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated soils at a permitted hazardous waste treatment and disposal facility; and treatment and placement at the old landfill as a corrective action management unit.
  • Implementation of site management plans, some of which included fences, signs and other administrative controls.

Until the final groundwater remedy has been selected and approved, treatment and investigation of groundwater contamination will continue, along with evaluation of ways to effectively manage the contamination and source areas.

Top of Page

Site Documents

Update to the Five-Year Review, June 2012

Second Five-Year Review Report (PDF), March 28, 2008(219 pp, 6.7 MB, About PDF)

Top of Page



Pat Smith
EPA Remedial Project Manager
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8
1595 Wynkoop Street (8EPR-F)
Denver, CO 80202-1129
800-227-8917 ext. 312-6907 (toll free Region 8 only)

U.S. Army

Troy Johnson
U.S. Army
Tooele Army Depot
Tooele, UT 84074

Vicky Henderson
U.S. Army Contractor
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
1325 J Street
Sacramento CA 95814-2922

April Fontaine
Project Manager
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
1325 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95814-2922


Helge Gabert
Project Manager
Utah Department of Environmental Quality
Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste
195 North 1950 West, 2nd Floor
Salt Lake City, UT 84116

Michael Storck
Project Manager
Utah Department of Environmental Quality
Division of Environmental Response and Remediation
195 North 1950 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84116

David Allison
Community Involvement Coordinator
Utah Department of Environmental Quality
195 North 1950 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84116

Site Information Repositories:

Tooele City Public Library
128 West Vine Street
Tooele, UT 84074

Tooele Army Depot
Environmental Management Division
Building T-8
Tooele, UT 84074

Grantsville Public Library
429 East Main Street
Grantsville, UT 84029-9568

J. Willard Marriott Library
Special Collections Department
University of Utah
295 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0860

Top of Page


Tooele County Exit

Utah Department of Environmental Quality Exit

Tooele Army Depot

Top of Page