Region 8

Wasatch Chemical Co. (Lot 6)

Wasatch Chemical site location map Site Type: Final NPL
City: Salt Lake City
County: Salt Lake
Street Address: 1987 South 700 West
ZIP Code: 84104
EPA ID: UTD000716399
SSID: 0872
Site Aliases: Great Western Chemical Co., Huntsman-Christensen Corp.
Congressional District: 2

What's New?

Updated June 2014

A focused investigation of shallow soil is being conducted to determine if there is contamination and how much.

Characterization of contamination in a deeper groundwater plume is being investigated.

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Site Description

The Wasatch Chemical Co. site lies in an industrial area of Salt Lake City, Utah near the intersection of 700 West and 2100 South Street. Current boundaries comprise 18 acres, extending onto the adjacent Steelco property, the former Wasatch Chemical property and other adjacent property owners. This area sits within the center of the Jordan River Valley and is located over an aquifer that serves as a regional source of potable water. Groundwater occurs at a shallow depth (less than five feet) flowing north-northwest.

From 1957 to 1971 Wasatch Chemical Co. used the site for warehousing, producing and packaging industrial chemical products. Throughout the 1970s and into 1992, operations included blending and packaging pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, industrial chemicals and cleaners. The agricultural chemical business moved off-site in the late 1970s. Other uses included vehicle storage, warehousing and office space. The location currently houses a plumbing supply business. Releases of hazardous substances occurred over the years due to past disposal practices and spills contaminating soils and groundwater. The site was added to EPA's Superfund National Priorities List in 1991. The Record of Decision that documents the cleanup decision was also issued in 1991.

Map of the Superfund site boundary, operable units and institutional controls

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Site Risk

The main contaminants of concern are herbicides, pesticides and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) (carbon-based substances that evaporate easily). Also, the onsite groundwater is contaminated with hydrocarbons, particularly xylene and toluene.

These contaminants have the potential to cause liver and kidney damage. They cause cancer in mice. Dioxin compounds can have harmful effects on human reproductive and immune systems.

Media Affected Contaminants Source of Contamination
air, surface water, groundwater, soil, liquid waste, solid waste herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, dioxin, and hydrocarbons process of making pesticides, herbicides and various chemical products

The main contaminants of concern are herbicides, pesticides, dioxin and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are carbon-based substances that evaporate easily, such as trichloroethene (TCE) and tetrachloroethene (PCE). These contaminants have the potential to cause liver and kidney damage and may cause cancer. Dioxin compounds can have harmful effects on human reproductive and immune systems.

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Cleanup Progress

Wasatch Chemical property looking west
Wasatch Chemical property looking west

In 2003, the groundwater extraction and treatment system (pump and treat) was discontinued and monitoring of natural attenuation processes began. In May 2004 and July 2006 enhanced biodegradation (implementation of a hydrogen reducing compound to enhance natural attenuation of chlorinated hydrocarbons) activities began. Contaminants that remain above the maximum contaminant limit for drinking water include pentachlorophenol (PCP), 1,1-dichloroethene (DCE), vinyl chloride (VC), TCE and PCE. Much of the mass of contamination has been removed and current data indicates that the groundwater contamination has not extended off-site.

The potentially responsible party (PRP) completed the following remedial actions in 1995 – 1996:

  • Land farming using biodegradation of hydrocarbon-contaminated soil to break down the organic materials.
  • In-situ vitrification – the process of melting dioxin and other chemically contaminated soil and sludge into vitrified (glass-like) material free of organic content.
  • Installation of a groundwater extraction and treatment system.

Institutional controls or land-use controls have been placed on the site to limit site access and assure that future uses do not create an unacceptable risk.

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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.

EPA conducts community interviews as part of the five-year review process. These interviews are included in the most recent five-year review report, which was completed in 2012. The report is available in Site Documents below.

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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. EPA uses two fundamental methods to facilitate reuse of Superfund sites:

  • Wasatch Chemical property
    Wasatch Chemical property
    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.

Portions of the site are currently in use by a metal servicing and distribution company. A wholesale plumbing business and its offices are also located on the site.

Wasatch Chemical Co.: Reuse Fact Sheet, September 2013

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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.

Institutional controls for the site consist of access and land-use restrictions. The responsibility for implementation of these restrictions belongs to the owner of the property, Questar InfoComm, Inc., and includes:

  • Maintaining fencing to restrict access to the site.
  • Posting associated warning signs along the site perimeter.
  • Informing potential future owners of the site’s Superfund status and legal requirements, including that the site is subject to a consent decree that contains property-use restrictions.
  • Prohibiting residential use of the property.
  • Objecting to any well permit applications by other parties for use of groundwater at the site.

Environmental Covenant, January 14, 2009

Consent Decree, September 30, 1991

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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 fourth five-year review was completed in September 2012 and is available in Site Documents below.

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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.

Wasatch Chemical Co.: Reuse Fact Sheet, September 2013

Fourth Five-Year Review Report (PDF), September 2012(85 pp, 5.1 MB)

Explanation of Significant Differences (PDF), November 30, 1995(7 pp, 18 K)

Consent Decree, September 30, 1991

Record of Decision (PDF), March 29, 1991(37 pp, 89 K)

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Sam Garcia
Remedial Project Manager
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8
1595 Wynkoop Street (EPR-SR)
Denver, CO 80202-1129
800-227-8917 ext. 312-6247 (toll free Region 8 only)

Site Information Repositories:

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

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)


Tony Howes
State Project Manager
Utah Department of Environmental Quality
Environmental Response & Remediation Division
195 North 1950 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84116

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

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Photo/Video Gallery

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

Looking east toward the Wasatch Mountains
Water treatment facility building
Plumbing supply business on the site
Monitoring well
Vitrification residual material is free of organic content

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Utah Department of Environmental Quality Exit

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