FWS Opens 30-Day Public Comment Period on Draft Restoration Plan for Injured Natural Resource at Richardson Flat Tailings Site, Summit County, Utah

Last edited 09/25/2020

ponds and wetlands at the Richardson Flat Tailings Site, near Park City, Summit County, Utah
Ponds and wetlands at the Richardson Flat Tailings Site near Park City in Summit County, shown here in 2009, connect through surface flows to Silver Creek in northern Utah. Remedial activities at the Site have been designed to reduce hazardous substances exposure opportunities for wildlife receptors and recreational users. Photo credit: RMC.

On November 6, 2012, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service opened a 30-day public comment period on “Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment, Richardson Flat Tailings Site, Park City, Summit County, Utah.”

Department of the Interior, represented by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is the only natural resource trustee involved in this case.

The Richardson Flat Tailings Site, near Park City, in northern Utah, is owned by United Park City Mines Company. Since 1953, the Site has been used for the deposition and impoundment of mine tailings from various nearby mines and milling and smelting operations. Hazardous substances released from these tailings --including lead, zinc, silver and other metals -- have injured natural resources and natural resource services.

Under the terms of a 2007 Consent Decree with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, United Park City Mines Co. has conducted an investigation of contaminant risks at the Site and undertaken certain response and natural resource restoration actions. United Park City Mines Co. has been working cooperatively with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on natural resource damage assessment activities at the Site, however, a settlement of natural resource damage claims is still being negotiated.

Since 2007, United Park City Mines Co. has voluntarily restored approximately 12.7 acres of existing year-round wetlands and created or enhanced 10.4 acres of year-round compensatory wetlands and 25.7 acres of seasonal compensatory wetlands. A cooperative natural resource injury assessment and habitat equivalency analysis found that the restoration actions completed thus far sufficiently restore the equivalent of natural resources injured at the Site. The proposed, preferred restoration alternative in this Draft Restoration Plan involves no additional restoration actions at the Site.

Written comments on the Draft Restoration Plan must be received by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in West Valley City, Utah, by Thursday December 6, 2012.

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