The Environmental Protection Agency has been conducting an emergency cleanup at a waste site where industrial chemicals were apparently abandoned.

It is restricting public contact with the unidentified chemicals and trying to locate parties responsible for the situation at the Livingston Property Drum Site, near 32nd West and 7690 South, West Jordan."We felt the severity of this situation warranted immediate action," said Hays Griswold. "It was obvious from pathways at the site that children frequently went through the area on their way to and from school."

Drums there contained industrial construction coatings, he said. Some of the drums had no lids, "and there were wastes scattered in and around three trailers on the site."

Dennis R. Downs, assistant director of the Utah Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste, said Friday, "We think the site's been secured and there's no immediate danger."

A three-phase cleanup is taking place. The first phase was construction of a fence around the area, which was completed in late April. The second will include a thorough inventory of the site and the drums, including sampling.

In the third, wastes will be removed to a treatment and disposal facility. Meanwhile, further attempts are being made to locate whoever is responsible for the drums, said Griswold.

The problem came to officials' attention after a complaint from a local resident whose child played at the site and developed a rash. Salt Lake County health experts contacted the Utah State Health Department, which investigated, found the chemicals, and contacted the EPA.

Waste containers ranging from a gallon to drums that would hold 55 gallons were left at the site, he said. They have all been sealed inside the trailers and locked behind a new fence.

Many of the chemicals are paints and solvents. "There are a lot of containers in there that are mislabeled or unlabeled," Downs said. "We don't know everything that's in there."