STOCKTON, Utah (ABC4) – Thousands of lead and arsenic contamination will be cleared from a smelter site in Utah.
Funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been approved for cleaning up toxins from the Jacobs Smelter Superfund Site in Stockton. The funding is made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal (Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act), a bill negotiated by Senator Mitt Romney and his colleagues.
The infrastructure act allocates billions towards rebuilding Utah roads, upgrading airports, expanding broadband, mitigating drought conditions, fulfilling critical water needs, wildfire response and more.
The Jacobs Smelter site saw smelting and mining activities throughout the 1860s and 1870s, which officials say left behind heavy soil contamination, mill tailings and smelter wastes.
“Lead and arsenic contamination at the site is present at concentrations that pose a significant risk to human health and the environment,” city officials say.
“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.”
About 70,000 tons of lead and arsenic-contaminated surface and subsurface soils will be removed from the site area.
The Utah location is among 49 sites across the country that will benefit from the $1 billion dollars to be distributed for cleanup. Once groundwork is initiated, cleanup efforts will be completed within 12-18 months, officials say.
“This is a big victory for the health and safety of Stockton residents and visitors,” said Stockton Town Mayor Thomas Karjola. “I want to thank Senator Romney for ensuring that this project was included in the BIL [Bipartisan Infrastructure Law].”
“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 clean up lead and arsenic contamination at the Jacobs Smelter Superfund site.”
To learn more about how the infrastructure bill will help Utah, click here.