Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding to spur cleanup at Jacobs Smelter Site in Stockton, Utah
Arsenic and lead cleanup among first $1B in investments to clear Superfund backlog
Stockton, Utah (Dec 17, 2021) -- Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the Jacobs Smelter Superfund Site in Stockton, Utah, will receive Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds to complete critical cleanup actions and protect human health and the environment. The Tooele County, Utah, site is among 49 sites across the nation that will benefit from a $1 billion investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to initiate cleanup and clear the backlog of previously unfunded Superfund sites and accelerate cleanup at dozens of other sites across the country.
These BIL funds will be used to remove approximately 70,000 tons of lead and arsenic contaminated surface and subsurface soils at the Waterman Smelter area of the Jacobs Smelter Site. The State of Utah will receive these funds through a cooperative agreement with EPA to conduct these cleanup activities, which are expected to be completed within a year to eighteen months, once groundwork is initiated.
“Today’s announcement ensures these funds are dedicated to a healthier environment for people who live and work in Tooele County”, said EPA Regional Administrator K.C. Becker. “I’m very excited that Congress and President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law could deliver to help cleanup lead and arsenic contamination at the Jacobs Smelter Superfund site.”
“I was proud to negotiate the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which will better position Utah and our country to meet the infrastructure-related challenges of the 21st century,” said Senator Mitt Romney. “Because of this legislation, we will be able to deliver long-needed resources to communities like Stockton, which have been awaiting funding to address environmental and health issues as a result of contaminated land.”
“We’re fortunate to be one of 49 Superfund Sites across the country receiving Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding,” said Utah Department of Environmental Quality Executive Director Kim Shelley. “The funding will help us better protect the health and environment of the Stockton community while bringing the Jacobs Smelter Superfund Site closer to completion. This funding fills an important cleanup need and at a critical time as we were previously unable to secure funding through a highly competitive priority process.”
As part of today's national announcement, EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan visited the Lower Darby Creek Area site in Pennsylvania, one of the many sites with ongoing work that will receive a boost from the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding. The community near the Lower Darby Creek site has faced long-standing environmental justice issues due to a very long history of flooding, displacement, hazardous waste dumping by local industry and failed government interventions to remedy these plights. Along with new construction projects, infrastructure funds will be used to accelerate ongoing work at sites like this one and begin cleanup at additional Superfund sites in various stages of pre-construction and planning throughout the country.
The funds will supercharge the Superfund program to address the toll contaminated sites have on communities. EPA is finalizing cleanup plans and preparing funding mechanisms to get construction work started as soon as possible. More information about funding for backlogged sites and accelerated cleanup sites will be available in the coming weeks.
In 1980, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, known as Superfund, was passed. The novel law gave EPA the authority and funds to hold polluters accountable for cleaning up the most contaminated sites across the country. When no viable responsible party is found or cannot afford the cleanup, funds appropriated by Congress are used. A tax on chemical and petroleum industries provided funds to the Superfund Trust fund for Superfund cleanups up until 1995. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law reinstates the chemical excise taxes and invests an additional $3.5 billion in environmental remediation at Superfund sites, making it one of the largest investments in American history to address the legacy pollution that harms the public health of communities and neighborhoods.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a once-in-a-generation investment that will create millions of jobs modernizing our infrastructure, turn the climate crisis into an opportunity, and put us on a path to win the economic competition for the 21st century.
For more information and to see a list of the 49 sites to receive funding for new cleanup projects, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-sites-new-construction-projects-receive-bipartisan-infrastructure-law-funding
For more information about EPA’s Superfund program, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund