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Management of Solid and Hazardous Waste in Utah

Mission of the Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control

The Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control, under the Department of Environmental Quality, ensures the proper management of solid and hazardous waste and operates under the authority of the following legislative acts:

  • Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
  • Utah Solid and Hazardous Waste Act
  • Utah Used Oil Management Act
  • Waste Tire Recycling Act

Division Programs

  • Solid Waste Landfills and Waste Tires
  • Used Oil
  • Hazardous Waste Management
  • Chemical Warfare Agent Demilitarization
  • Commercial/Federal Waste Facilities
  • Noncommercial Hazardous Waste Facilities

Used Oil Program

Management practices are designed to protect the environment and conserve oil resources. The Division’s goals are to eliminate or reduce the obstacles to proper collection, recycling, and disposal of used oil generated through household activities, including maintenance of personal vehicles. A broad and extensive public education program, making used oil collection centers more accessible, and maintaining pertinent standards and regulations are used to achieve the Division’s goals.

Commercial/Federal Waste Facilities Section

This section in the Division is tasked with issuing and maintaining treatment and storage permits, conducting compliance evaluation inspections, providing oversight during corrective action, and when applicable, ensuring that the facilities are properly closed.

The commercial facilities for which this section is responsible are: Safety-Kleen (Aragonite, Grassy Mountain, Clive, and Pioneer Road); Envirocare of Utah; and Ashland Chemical, Inc. Federal facilities include Hill Air Force Base, Tooele Army Depot, and the Utah Test and Training Range.

Disposing Solid and Hazardous Wastes

Various means are used to either treat, store, or dispose of solid and hazardous waste. Disposal or destruction of hazardous waste is usually accomplished through incineration or landfilling at permitted facilities. The Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control has responsibility for regulating the generation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste in Utah.

Chemical Warfare Agent Demilitarization Program

The Deseret Chemical Depot operates the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility. Under a congressional mandate as well as a chemical arms treaty with the former Soviet Union, this facility is charged with destruction of the U.S. chemical munitions stockpile. A five-incinerator complex operates to dispose of chemical agents used in rockets, land mines, mortars, artillery projectiles, cartridges, bombs, spray tanks, and ton containers. The five incinerators used in their destruction are two liquid incinerators, a metal parts furnace, a deactivation furnace, and a dunnage incinerator.

Deseret Chemical Depot was established in 1942 to store World War II supplies, ammunitions, and combat vehicles. In 1996, the Depot began incinerating the chemical agents in the munitions. At the start of the disposal program, the Depot stored approximately 42 percent of the U.S. chemical munitions stockpile. To date, approximately 50 percent of the stockpile has been disposed.

Deseret Chemical Depot operates under a hazardous waste permit issued by the Utah Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control and an air quality permit issued by the Utah Division of Air Quality. Incinerator stacks and agent handling areas are all monitored continuously for the presence of agent and to ensure that each incinerator is achieving good combustion conditions.