Why was this project necessary?

In order to protect the environment and restore the site, a $50M+ project is nearly complete  at the former Geneva Steel property. Environmentally sensitive by-product materials were  deposited at the site from decades of steel mill operations. Modern environmental standards warranted the removal and permanent disposal of these by-products.

Previous Restoration

Restoration activities began in 2004 with the initiation of site investigation activities. Environmental restoration work was first completed for the former pipe mill area of the site (north of 1600 North), and this restored area is now home to new industrial buildings, warehouses, and related manufacturing and shipping facilities.

Other areas requiring limited restoration were completed next, including areas south of 800 North (Vineyard Connector).  This area was not as impacted as the current work areas; however, it was brought up to necessary standards to accommodate the development now enjoyed by many thousands of people.

 

A significant amount of restoration has already taken place. New businesses, restaurants and housing are community benefits that resulted from these previous restoration efforts.

Current Plan

All environmental restoration has been done in conjunction with work plans approved by the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (UDEQ). Since work began in 2004, approximately 70% percent of the full restoration has been completed. Previously restored areas are now home to the MegaPlex movie theatre, commercial businesses, retail shops, residential housing and soccer/lacrosse fields.

 

With health and safety in mind, our goal was to complete current work as quickly as possible, minimize work-associated odors, and restore the area for future beneficial reuse.

 

Along with other work in this area, crews have removed tarry waste materials (a thick taffy like substance), then stabilized the materials and placed them in a state-of-the-art, permanent disposal unit. This engineered disposal unit includes a bottom and side liner system consisting of a layer of clay geocomposite, a thick plastic barrier and a drainage collection and treatment system. The permanent disposal unit is being sealed with a cap, similar in design to that of the bottom liner. The unit and area around it will be monitored going forward.

 

After the area is restored, future development could include commercial and industrial use. Residential development will be prohibited by deed restriction on portions of the site.

Status & Progress

Restoration activities were suspended in late 2019, to address community concerns about the odors generated from the stabilization process. Since then, the team conducted extensive air monitoring and implemented several updated work processes to address the odors coming from the work. Odors from this work were continually monitored and UDEQ approved air sampling showed the average off-site concentrations remained below site specific risk-based concentration levels  considered by EPA to be protective for humans, including sensitive groups, over the duration of the project. It has taken less than six months to remove the tarry wastes. Capping the permanent disposal unit will be complete in September.

We have nearly completed all restoration, with our commitment to completing the project as quickly as possible, while minimizing odors and maintaining the safety of our workers and the public. We have met our time frame goal for the removal of contaminated soils and tarry wastes in all areas, which are now complete. (See map).

All remaining activities will be focused on capping and closing the unit during daytime hours.  

  • Final sampling and confirmation documentation will take place in all of the excavated areas. Backfill activities to final grade will take place through the end of the year, or as weather permits.

  •  We appreciate your comments and feedback. Our hotline and  email remain active to ask questions or report issues. 

We appreciate your comments and feedback. Our hotline and  email remain active to ask questions or report issues. 

Health & Safety

Health and safety were prioritized during the restoration process. All restoration activities were conducted with Utah Department of Environmental Quality (UDEQ) oversight. We listened and heard concerns about odors experienced by some of our neighbors. We took immediate action, halting work while further health and safety evaluations were performed in conjunction with EDEQ. We developed additional monitoring capabilities, and other measures were  incorporated to reduce potential odors.

We worked closely with UDEQ, the county health department, other agencies and the cities of Vineyard, Lindon and Orem to ensure the successful completion of this project, minimizing odors when possible.

Measures incorporated on this project included:

At the site: All restoration work at the site was completed in compliance with the applicable standards set by Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA).

 

Air Sampling Areas: Samples from the site perimeter and off-site locations were  sent to an independent laboratory for analysis. Air monitoring data collected showed the average off-site concentrations in downwind residential areas remained below site specific risk-based concentration levels  considered by EPA to be protective for humans, including sensitive groups, over the duration of the project.