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EPA Administrator, Utah Governor kickoff redevelopment of Park City mine site

Release Date: 04/17/2007
Contact Information: Kathryn Hernandez, USEPA, 720-352-7497 Laura Gentile, EPA HQ, cell 202/297-4942 Richard Mylott, USEPA, 303-312-6654

      Partnership to transform mine site and dump into "green" resort facility

(Denver, Colo. -- April 17, 2007) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Stephen L. Johnson and Utah Governor Jon Huntsman joined public officials and business leaders to kick off the first Environmentally Responsible Redevelopment and Reuse (ER3) project in the nation. This pilot effort removes liability obstacles to encourage environmentally beneficial redevelopment projects.

“Through the work of EPA and our partners, Empire Canyon will be a success story of restoring contaminated properties back into community assets,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “Formerly a mine that extracted precious resources, this site will soon add to the environmental and economic well-being of this area.”

"This is a great example of the types of cleanup outcomes that EPA is increasingly striving to achieve -- one where we not only remove environmental risks, but where we work with local interests to create a productive community asset," said EPA regional administrator Robert E. Roberts. "EPA is committed to finding collaborative ways to revitalize contaminated properties, instead of just fencing them off."

Today's event highlights the redevelopment of the once-contaminated Daly West Mine site in Park City into an environmentally sensitive resort and spa facility. EPA’s ER3 initiative provides liability relief to parties that improve environmental conditions and minimize the impacts of redevelopment projects. Through the initiative, EPA works with developers to specifically encourage and incorporate green principles into proposed projects. By incorporating sustainable practices and principles into their projects, developers of contaminated sites can minimize environmental impacts without sacrificing profitability.

As an ER3 participant, DV Luxury Resort will incorporate extensive green features into the design, construction and operation of the development. Examples of planned environmental and resource-saving features include: a 750-block wind energy purchase through Utah's Blue Sky partnership; a 2800-acre open space easement; use of native vegetation, a constructed wetland and groundwater treatment system; and the use of chlorine alternatives for resort pools and spas. Construction of the resort’s 178 guest rooms and 94 resort residences is scheduled to begin this summer, with completion expected in 2010.

Upon completion, the Montage Resort complex is expected to qualify for a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver rating -- a green building rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council that recognizes sustainability performance in the areas of site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

Empire Canyon is a former silver mining area with a legacy of heavy-metal contamination in waters and soils related to nearly 1,200 miles of mine tunnels, tailings dumps, and waste rock piles. Located in the Upper Silver Creek watershed in Park City, Summit County, Utah, the former mining district area is owned by United Park City Mines. In December 2003, EPA and United Park City Mines entered into an agreement to clean up mine-related contamination in Empire Canyon. Since that time the company has invested more than $3 million in removing contaminated sediments and improving surface water quality in Empire Canyon and nearby drainages.

EPA, along with partners at the Utah Department of Environmental Quality and Park City, has worked closely with United Park City Mines on the restoration of the Daly West Mine site. The 16-acre site is formally the location of a historic silver, lead and zinc mine. Although mineral extraction activities ceased in the 1920s, the site was subsequently used as a mine waste dump until 2003. To date, the cleanup of the site has included the removal of contaminated sediments and waste piles, the placement of a cover, water diversions and other containment measures.

With these activities near completion, United Park City Mines recently agreed to lease the Daly West site to DV Luxury Resort, LLC, for the purpose of building a Montage Resort and Spa complex. To help facilitate the redevelopment project, EPA and the Department of Justice agreed to provide the company with liability relief in exchange for the company's commitment to develop the resort complex in an environmentally sensitive manner.

For more information on ER3 projects, visit: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/cleanup/redevelop/er3/index.html
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