Potentially hazardous amounts of wastes abound at the abandoned U&I Sugar plant near Garland, but it hasn't been determined whether the site warrants federal cleanup money, a health official says.
Jason L. Knowlton of the state Bureau of Environmental Health said samples taken from monitoring wells and soil in late 1990 showed levels of arsenic, lead, asbestos and polychlorinated biphenyls.A final analysis of the samples could be ready in about six weeks, which will determine whether the site qualifies for a Superfund ranking and cleanup by the Environmental Protection Agency, he said.
Garland Mayor Andrew Funk said most of Knowlton's report to the Box Elder County Commission is not new to city officials, except for information about arsenic levels.
In 1989, the EPA ordered the site fenced off because of leaking transformers that possibly contained the cancer-causing PCBs. Officials also were concerned about the presence of asbestos, also known to cause cancer.
In addition, the EPA found large drums containing possible toxins and pesticides.
"Still, we don't know much more today than what we knew two years ago," Funk said, adding that no one has initiated action to clean up the site.
"Now there is a potential buyer for the property, and we'd really like to get a final determination. The interested buyers are not going to hang around for months," Funk said.
An Idaho Falls couple recently expressed interest in turning the site into a residential and industrial waste disposal unit.
Knowlton acknowledged that it was taking time to get final results, but said there are more than 200 Utah sites under investigation as part of the Superfund program.