The University of Utah will build its $1 million hazardous waste packaging facility near the university's ballpark, according to a university official.
Apparently nobody has objected to building it there, but it will cost nearly twice as much as at the controversial site that was chosen first.The building will be a temporary storage depot for radioactive and hazardous waste en route to an approved facility in the Pacific Northwest. The university generates about 26,000 pounds of chemical waste and 3,000 cubic feet of low-level radioactive waste per year.
An earlier plan to build it on Guardsman Way near Seventh South was abandoned when neighbors complained. A consultant then selected three alternative sites - near the University Services complex on campus, close to Fort Douglas, and near the ballpark.
Col. Fred Hillyard, Fort Douglas' commander, objected to putting it close to the historic fort. He said it would be within 400 feet of military housing.
William Loos, director of governmental relations for the U., told the Deseret News that the on-campus site was rejected because the university might want to build there some day.
The ballpark site "was fairly close to the Medical Center, where some of the waste has been produced," he said. It is near the mouth of Red Butte Canyon, just south of the Med Center dormitory.
Loos said the Guardsman Way facility would have cost about $500,000 to $600,000. Construction on the new site will be more expensive because utilities must be brought in, a road must be built, and the site must be leveled.