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News Releases from Region 08

EPA, VA and Utah DEQ agreement moves East Side Springs cleanup forward

VA investigates extent of PCE Plume at Superfund site in Salt Lake City

Contact Information: 
Jasmin (Valeria) Guerra (guerra.valeria@epa.gov)
Lisa McClain-Vanderpool (mcclain-vanderpool.lisa@epa.gov)

CONTACT: Mark Aguilar 303-312-6251, Jasmin Guerra 303-312-6508

(Denver, Colo. – Nov. 16, 2016) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Veteran’s Administration (VA), and the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (UDEQ) have signed a Federal Facility Agreement (FFA) for the 700 South 1600 East (East Side Springs) PCE Plume Superfund site that sets out the roles and responsibilities of each party in conducting cleanup activities at the site. A 45-day public comment period for the FFA will end on December 31st, 2016.

The FFA requires the VA, as the lead agency, to follow the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) to ensure a thorough investigation and cleanup of the site, which is located in the northeast quadrant of Salt Lake City. CERCLA, also known as Superfund, is the federal program that investigates and cleans up the country’s hazardous waste sites to protect public health and the environment. 

“The signed Federal Facility Agreement with EPA, VA and UDEQ takes us into the next major phase of the Superfund process at this site. With the good work of the VA, the community has been involved and well informed throughout this process and we are pleased with the progress,” said Shaun McGrath, EPA Regional Administrator.  

VA was identified as a potential responsible party due to historic use of PCE in a dry cleaning facility at the George E. Wahlen VA Medical Center in the 1970s. Tetrachloroethylene (also known as perchloroethylene or PCE), which was used at the facility, has been found in groundwater and springs at the site. The site was added to the Superfund National Priorities List in 2013.

In coordination with EPA and UDEQ, VA is currently conducting the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study that will determine the nature and extent of contamination at the site, identify technologies available to address this type of contamination, and evaluate performance of technologies that may be used to clean up the site.

VA has begun the remedial investigation (RI) with an accelerated study near the intersection of 900 South and 1200 East, known as the East Side Springs, to address possible vapor intrusion. The accelerated study is to assess if PCE is found in indoor air spaces or shallow groundwater and will inform future remedial actions. Phase I was completed in 2015 and phase II was completed in September 2016.

For more information, visit: http://www2.epa.gov/region8/700-south-1600-east-pce-plume