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Why is a Phase 1 different in Salt Lake City, Utah?

Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) for commercial real estate in Salt Lake City, Utah may differ in several ways compared to other areas. Some potential differences could include:

Climate: Salt Lake City has a semi-arid climate, which can affect the potential for soil and groundwater contamination.

Historical land use: Salt Lake City has a long history of mining, industrial, and agricultural activities, which may have impacted the local environment.

Environmental regulations: Utah has specific environmental protection and remediation regulations, which could affect the scope and findings of a Phase I ESA.

Topography: Salt Lake City is located in the Wasatch Mountains and is prone to earthquakes and landslides, which could impact the site conditions and potential risks.

Soil and groundwater conditions: Salt Lake City has unique soil and groundwater conditions, which could affect the potential for contamination and the necessary remediation efforts.

Local experts weigh in on Salt Lake City’s Phase 1 variations over other municipalities:

  1. The Salt Lake City area has historically been used for mining activities and processing of mining materials creating many areas with impacted groundwater and soils. Plumes have covered several acres and are located underneath many residential and commercial areas. Air pollutants have settled on soils downwind of smelting areas requiring remediation of surface soils as well.
  2. The Salt Lake area has elevated levels of arsenic in many native soils. Several release cases have found that arsenic levels may be above residential levels, but the levels are similar to background levels, so, further remediation may not be needed.
  3. Salt Lake City has shallow groundwater allowing contaminants to move quickly in groundwater from the source. As such, the DEQ has mapped several plumes of dry-cleaning solvents in groundwater throughout the valley but has been unable to determine a source due to the high mobility of the contaminant. Many of these cases have not been fully delineated.

Overall, a Phase I ESA in Salt Lake City may need to consider these unique factors to accurately assess the environmental risks and liabilities of a commercial real estate property. Hiring an experienced professional for your commercial real estate due diligence is important.