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Jacobs Smelter

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Site Description

The site is in Stockton (pop. 40,800), about 35 miles south west of Salt Lake City, in Rush Valley, Tooele County, Utah. The Stockton area was the center of silver and base metal mining, milling, and smelting from the 1860s until 1970. Because of soil contamination, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) listed the site on its National Priorities List (NPL) in January 2000.

There are three operable units (OUs) at the site: OU1 addressed residential soils within the town limits; OU2 is primarily undeveloped or previously disturbed land and is used for agriculture but also includes two small residential developments; and OU3 includes the soils within the Union Pacific railroad right-of-way. OU2 encompasses approximately 3700 acres.

Current Site Status and Cleanup Actions to Date

  • The site was listed on EPA's National Priorities List (NPL) on February 4, 2000.
  • In 1999, under emergency response authority (OU1), EPA cleaned up the former Jacobs Smelter location and 29 of the most heavily contaminated residential properties. The properties were then backfilled with clean soil and landscaped. The Record of Decision (ROD) for this activity was signed on July 29, 1999.
  • In 1999, Union Pacific Railroad, under an agreement with EPA, placed a 16-inch soil cover over the contaminated soils in their right-of-way as part of the OU3 cleanup.
  • In 2000, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (Utah DEQ) cleaned up an additional 126 residential properties in Stockton. This included contaminated dirt alleys and roads. The cleanup of the residential areas of Stockton was completed in December 2000. EPA deleted the residential portion of the site from the NPL in 2001.
  • A proposed plan for OU2 was issued in July 2004. The risk assessment identified unacceptable risk to people under residential and recreational exposure scenarios. The risk is mainly due to lead and arsenic. There is also risk posed to terrestrial animals. The ecological risk is from lead.

Current Funding Status

  • There are two portions of OU2: residential and non-residential. The projects did not complete the design phase in Fiscal Year 2004; therefore, construction funding was not needed.

For more information on the projects at this site, please read the Jacobs Smelter Fact Sheet on the Region 8 Superfund Web site.

Key Accomplishments

  • A total of 155 residential properties have been cleaned up. These include 29 of the most heavily contaminated residential properties, and 126 additional properties including the former Jacobs Smelter location.
  • The Union Pacific railroad property Operable Unit 3 (OU3) was also cleaned up in 1999.


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