Environmental Protection Agency officials are proposing that the Utah Power & Light-American Barrel site at Sixth West and South Temple should be added to the Superfund National Priorities List.
The EPA said the site, which was used as a creosote wood-treating facility and then as a drum storage area, is contaminated with chemicals down to at least 16 feet below the surface of the ground."Among the contaminants found in the shallow ground water are styrene, which may be from the barrel recycling activities, and several polyaromatic hydrocarbons and phenolic compounds, which may be from the creosote operations," said EPA spokesman Thomas Burns.
"The shallow groundwater under the site is connected to a deeper aquifer that provides drinking water to about 377,000 people via the Salt Lake City Water System." Another 1,400 are served by private wells within three miles of the site.
Proposing to list the two-acre site makes the area eligible for more extensive cleanup studies. The EPA will accept public comments on the proposal for 60 days.
In July 1988, EPA and Utah Power agreed to have the site secured. It is now fenced, locked and posted. EPA officers say it poses no immediate health threat.