Environmental Response and Remediation
2020 State of the Environment Report

The Division of Environmental Response and Remediation (DERR) protects public health and the environment by cleaning up chemically contaminated sites, ensuring that underground storage tanks are properly managed, and making important chemical usage and emission data available to local response agencies and the public.

DERR’s programs provide a wide variety of cleanup and environmental response services. The Division:

  • Manages the state’s Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) and Brownfields programs, services that facilitate the cleanup of contaminated properties for development
  • Oversees cleanups under the Comprehensive Environmental Response Liability Act (CERCLA), better known as Superfund
  • Prevents and minimizes releases from underground storage tanks (USTs)
  • Manages the DEQ Spills line
  • Helps communities respond to chemical emergencies through its participation in the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC)
  • Develops tools such as the Interactive Map and spills database that make information readily available to the public
  • Conducts and assists with community outreach on Superfund cleanups

“The City of Green River reached out to the State of Utah Department of Environmental Quality for some assistance on the EPA Brownfield Assessment Grant application. That was the best decision we could have made. The DERR VCP/Brownfields Team were amazing. They provided great advice and counsel. They spent hours of their time to make sure we even had the possibility of a decent application. The Team had a way of bringing out of us the story that we needed to tell without revealing exactly what to say. They coached us through every step of the process and we now have a much better understanding of what to expect. We are very grateful to them for their time, knowledge, expertise, experience and advice.”

–Conae Black, Green River City Administrator/City Recorder

15 Brownfield Tools Issued
Underground Storage Tank Rate of Compliance at Time of Inspection

Success Story

Thanks to the Division of Environmental Remediation and Response (DERR) and their assistance connecting localities to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Brownfields Program grants, the abandoned lots, old gas stations and worn down structures in Utah’s cities have a chance at a second act.

Brownfields — property, including industrial or commercial sites, where future use is affected by real or perceived environmental contamination, pose considerable challenges for communities redeveloping blighted, abandoned, or underutilized properties. EPA’s Brownfields Program grants may be used to assess and clean up sites contaminated by hazardous substances and petroleum.

To make communities aware of this annual funding opportunity, DERR’s Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) and Brownfields Section reached out to community officials to educate them on the grant opportunities and help them prepare grant applications. Key to a successful application is a support letter from DEQ.

This year, support letters were issued to the Salt Lake County Brownfields Coalition, which includes Salt Lake City, Murray and other areas of Salt Lake County, Spanish Fork City and Green River. If awarded the grant money, applicants will be able to use funding to conduct Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments — one of the first steps in cleaning up land and returning the property to a productive use for the community.