Complaints over bad odor cause U.S. Steel to halt cleanup efforts, for now

Dec 20, 2019, 6:07 PM | Updated: 6:28 pm
(Photo Credit: Deseret News. The Former Geneva Steel site is behind Rocky Mountain Power's gas fire...
(Photo Credit: Deseret News. The Former Geneva Steel site is behind Rocky Mountain Power's gas fired plants.)
(Photo Credit: Deseret News. The Former Geneva Steel site is behind Rocky Mountain Power's gas fired plants.)

UTAH COUNTY – It’s been a messy, stinky problem in Utah County for weeks, but, residents in Orem and Vineyard are going to get a break from the bad smell lingering in the air near the old Geneva Steel plant.

U.S. Steel no longer owns the land where the Geneva Steel Mill used to be, however, they are in charge of cleaning it up.  Environmental officials say they had been cleaning up a coal tar pond since November.  The residue had been dumped in one spot from the 1940s to the mid-1980s.

Department of Environmental Quality Spokesman Jared Mendenhall says, “The way they’d been cleaning it up is they go in there, they dig it out and they mix it with cement kiln dust.” That would cause the tar to solidify so it can be transported and placed into a more secure storage area.

However, the DEQ was taken aback by how many complaints they received about the foul smell.  Crews with U.S. Steel were already planning to stop their cleanup efforts over Christmas, but, officials say the stench caused so many complaints, they asked the company to shut down earlier than expected.

“During the coming weeks, negotiate a different plan to address this,” Mendenhall says.

Workers had been wearing sensors on their uniforms, and U.S. Steel set up sensors around the site to see if emissions crossed into dangerous levels.  Mendenhall says they haven’t, yet.

“Just because they are within the limits and they hadn’t crossed that fair/foul line, it doesn’t mean people weren’t experiencing headaches or nausea,” he adds.

Mendenhall says other sensors have been placed closer to residential areas to see if emissions are a public health concern.  Samples from those sensors have not been collected, yet.

Today’s Top Stories


the salt lake city skyline is pictured, utahns can take a survey about the increasing utah populati...
Chris Jacobs

New survey asks how the state should handle Utah’s population increases

The goal is to gather feedback as Utah's population grows and then the responses and ideas to create a plan for handling that growth.
5 hours ago
Mike Valerio, CNN

Long-lost American remains retrieved from Pacific WWII battlefield

Byrd said the average time to identify an individual is 2.5 years, but can be as quickly as two weeks.
1 day ago
tax increase...
Mark Jackson

Tax increase in Salt Lake County for the library system

Salt Lake County Residents will see a slight tax increase. The county approved a budget for 2022-2023 the will help update the library system.
1 day ago
The VA Salt Lake City Health Care System's new pantry opens on Wednesday, Dec. 7. (VA Salt Lake Cit...
Mark Jackson

New VA food pantry aims to curb food insecurity among veterans

A new VA food pantry is opening a a new food pantry for veterans. The pantry aims to help veterans facing food insecurity.
1 day ago
Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock speaks during an election day canvass launch on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 20...
The Associated Press

Democratic Sen. Warnock wins Georgia runoff against Walker

The Associated Press has projected Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock as the winner of the Georgia runoff election.
2 days ago
Student loan forgiveness on hold...
Samantha Herrera

Student loan forgiveness resolution on hold until 2023

Jason Iuliano, associate professor of law for the University of Utah spoke to Dave and Dujanovic about the student loan forgiveness block.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Complaints over bad odor cause U.S. Steel to halt cleanup efforts, for now