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Kennecott Utah Copper LLC

The operational and environmental cleanup activities at Kennecott Utah Copper LLC’s (Kennecott) Bingham Canyon Mine, Copperton Concentrator, Smelter, Refinery, Tailings Facility and the various ancillary facilities are regulated under a number of federal and State programs with authority to oversee the work pursued by Kennecott and other third parties. The federal and State agencies draw their authority from a number of federal statutes, including the Comprehensive, Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980, the Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1972, and the Clean Air Act (CAA) of 1970, as well as State of Utah environmental protection acts.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 8 has the authority under CERCLA (i.e., Superfund) to oversee the cleanup of historical mining contaminated areas at the Kennecott properties. The Utah Division of Environmental Response and Remediation (DERR) works in partnership with EPA to oversee Kennecott’s environmental cleanup activities.

Starting in the late 1980s, the State of Utah Natural Resource Damage Trustee (NRD Trustee) has overseen the investigation of mining influenced groundwater and the implementation of cleanup actions performed by Kennecott and the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District (JVWCD) to address two groundwater plumes located in Southwest Salt Lake County. The plumes were caused by historic mining practices in the Kennecott South Zone. The NRD Trustee’s authority is derived from Section 107(f) of CERCLA.

As authorized by the State Legislature under the Utah Water Quality Act (Title 19, Chapter 5 of the Utah Annotated Code), the Division of Water Quality (DWQ) enacted rules for the protection of groundwater. DWQ regulates potential discharges to aquifer systems within the State of Utah, including a number of locations at Kennecott under the Utah Ground Water Protection Program (GWPP).

DWQ implements the Utah Pollution Discharge Elimination System program (UPDES), which oversees the discharge of water from a number of outfall locations at Kennecott. DWQ is authorized under the CWA to implement the UPDES program.

As authorized by the State Legislature, under the Utah Air Conservation Act (Title 19, Chapter 2 of the Utah Annotated Code), the Division of Air Quality (DAQ) regulates the emissions from Kennecott’s Bingham Canyon Mine, Copperton Concentrator, Power Plant, Laboratory, Tailings Impoundment, Smelter, and Refinery facilities.

The Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control (DWMRC) provides oversight of the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste regulated under the Utah Hazardous Waste Management Act or RCRA, as it pertains to the Kennecott facility. This includes oversight of rules related to hazardous substance or materials that when released or spilled become a hazardous waste.

2020 Public Notices: Water Quality

Kennecott Utah Copper, LLC – Settlement Agreement – Docket # UGW19-06

Kennecott Utah Copper, LLC – Settlement Agreement – Docket # UGW19-05

Kennecott Utah Copper, LLC – Magna, UT

Kennecott Utah Copper, LLC – Bingham Canyon Mine

2019 Public Notices: Water Quality

Kennecott Utah Copper LLC, Smelter Facility

2018 Public Notices: Water Quality

Kennecott Barneys Canyon Mining Company

Kennecott Utah Copper LLC – Draft Stipulation and Consent Order (SCO)

  • Public Notice
  • Settlement of Agreement and Order of Consent
  • Close of Comments: March 12, 2018
  • Public Hearing: March 28, 2018
  • Contact (Email): Brian Hamos
  • Type: Enforcement Actions

2017 Public Notices: Water Quality

Kennecott Utah Copper LLC (KUC)

  • Public Notice
  • Statement of Basis
  • Groundwater Discharge Permit
  • Appendix A
  • Close of Comments: December 18, 2017
  • Public Hearing: None
  • Contact (Email): Brian Hamos
  • Type: Groundwater Permits

Rio Tinto Kennecott Copper East Abutment Extension

  • Public Notice
  • Close of Comments: May 26, 2017
  • Public Hearing: None
  • Contact (Email): William Damery
  • Type: 401 Water Quality Certification

Kennecott Utah Copper, LLC, Permit UT0000051

  • Public Notice
  • Newspaper Publication
  • Close of Comments: April 17, 2017
  • Public Hearing: None
  • Contact (Email): Nate Nichols
  • Type: General Water Quality

2016 Public Notices: Water Quality

Kennecott Utah Copper, LLC, Permit UT0000051

Kennecott Utah Copper, LLC, Permit UGW350011

2015 Public Notices: Water Quality

Rio Tinto Kennecott Copper, Permit UGW350006

Rio Tinto Kennecott Copper, Docket No. UGW13-02, Permit UGW350017

Rio Tinto Kennecott Copper, UGW350015

Kennecott Utah Copper Ground Water Discharge Permit, UGW350010

2014 Public Notice: Air Quality

January 13, 2014: (DAQ) Notice of Intent

Kennecott Utah Copper LLC (KUC) is requesting a modification to the Bingham Canyon Mine (BCM) Approval Order DAQE-AN0105710032-13 to add a crushing and screening operation that will be located outside the pit. The crushers will process mined material while the pit is being restored after the slide in April 2013. The production of material from the crushing and screening will be included in the current limits as applicable. The Potential to Emit emissions from the BCM will not increase from the operation of the crushing and screening operation. Offsets for PM10 are not required for this modification in accordance with R307-403-5.

KUC is also requesting approval to add a concrete batch plant that will be used to supply concrete for onsite use, to add propane-fired emergency generators, and to replace an existing baghouse. The emissions from the concrete batch plant will be controlled by a baghouse. The generators will provide back-up power for the communications network. A more efficient baghouse will replace the existing Sample Preparations Building baghouse.

Salt Lake County is a nonattainment area of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for PM10, PM2.5 and SO2, and is a maintenance area for ozone. New Source Performance Standards, Subpart LL, (Standards of Performance for Metallic Mineral Processing Plants) and Subpart OOO (Standards of Performance for Nonmetallic Mineral Processing Plants) apply to the BCM. The BCM is an area source and is not a major Title V source. The point source emissions from the concrete batch plant and stock piles for the batch plant (in Ton Per Year at the BCM) are estimated as follows: PM10 = +0.35, and PM2.5 = +0.10.

KUC has an emissions limit for the BCM for the combined emissions of PM10, SO2, and NOx (7,350 TPY) and combined emissions of PM2.5, SO2 and NOx (6,205 Tons Per Year) encompass facility wide emissions. These limits include point sources and fugitive sources and these limits will not be increased as a result of this modification. The total Potential to Emit from the BCM, at maximum production, including point sources and fugitive sources, is as follows (in Tons Per Year): PM10 = 1,513, PM2.5 = 368, NOx = 5,830, SO2 = 7, CO = 1,682, VOC = 314, and HAPs = 1.37. The total GHG emissions from point sources is 327 TPY CO2e.

2013 Public Notices: Water Quality

Kennecott Smelter UGW350008

Kennecott Utah Copper Tailings Impoundment Draft Permit Modification

Kennecott Barneys Canyon Mining Company Draft Permit Renewal

  • Public Notice (12.25 KB)
  • Close of Comments: June 3, 2013
  • Public Hearing: None
  • Contact (Email): Dan Hall
  • Type: Groundwater Permits

Kennecott GW Permit Modification and East Waste Rock Extension

  • Public Notice
  • Close of Comments: April 26, 2013
  • Public Hearing: Informational: March 21, 2013; Information with Public Hearing: April 8, 2013
  • Contact (Email): Dan Hall
  • Type: Groundwater Permits

Kennecott Utah Copper Stipulation and Consent Order

2011 Public Notice: Air Quality

June 27, 2011: (DAQ) Approval Order Modification

On June 27, 2011, the Division of Air Quality has approved Kennecott’s request to modify its Approval Order, outlined in a Notice of Intent (NOI). The NOI centered on a requested increase in the limit of the material moved from 197 to 260 million tons per year.

The public comment period ended on March 20, 2011. As a result of comments received, Kennecott and DAQ negotiated permit conditions that go beyond NSR rules to provide validation of emissions from the pit and augment the fugitive dust control plan. Specific additional conditions that have been incorporated into the permit include:

  • Fugitive Dust Control Measures—DAQ has taken key provisions from the fugitive dust control plan and incorporated those conditions into the permit. This will provide assurance that these key provisions for minimizing dust from the mine will be subjected to public review in order to be modified.
  • PM10 Ambient Air Monitoring—New permit conditions will require Kennecott to monitor for PM10 at two locations. The monitors will be placed at locations that DAQ determines to be modeled as the highest impacted. These stations will provide validation that PM10 NAAQS are not being violated as a result of mine operations. Kennecott will submit quarterly monitoring reports.
  • Pit Retention—The permit will require Kennecott to conduct a study to validate the pit retention factors that were used in establishing the combined emissions caps. Kennecott must validate the pit retention factors used in the Approval Order for PM10 and PM2.5. Though the caps are not required by regulation, they have been incorporated into the permit to further control and monitor emissions.

Related documents:

Comments received either in writing or by Email during the public comment period are posted below. Although DEQ is not required to post these comments on its Website, it has done so to aid the public discourse.

2011 Public Notices: Water Quality

Kennecott Utah Copper—Bingham Canyon Mine—Draft Permit Modification

Kennecott Utah Copper—North Concentrator—Draft Permit Modification

2010 Public Notices: Air Quality

(DAQ) Approval to Modify

Kennecott Utah Copper LLC (KUC) has requested approval to modify four processes at the smelter and has requested a production increase at the Bingham Pit. The four smelter process requests are supported by the Division of Air Quality but the production increase at the Bingham Pit is not an Approval Order issue. DAQ has determined that Kennecott will need to apply for an increase through the State Implementation Plan (SIP) process.


If you have questions, comments, or require more information, contact the following DEQ representatives: