Stop Toxic Burn Pits

Northrop Grumman/ATK Launch Systems has been openly burning toxic and potentially explosive waste on the west side of the Salt Lake Valley for decades. This open burning pollutes our air shed with dangerous chemicals and is completely unnecessary as new technology offers safer options for both the environment and human health.

UPHE is one of many groups asking the Utah Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control to not renew the 10 year permit that allows this polluting practice to continue.

It’s time to stop burning volatile propellants at Salt Lake Valley rocket facility, groups say

(Photo courtesy of Utah Department of Environmental Quality) For decades, highly reactive waste has been burned at the Naval Industrial Reserve Ordnance Plant (NIROP) in West Valley City. This Google Earth image depicts the 17 burn pans in which up to 160,000 pounds of rocket propellant and other dangerous waste is burned each year with no emission controls. Environmental groups are asking Utah regulators to require defense contractor Northrop Grumman to dispose of this material in safer ways. The image is included in Northop’s draft permit, now under review by the Utah Department of Environmental Quality.

“Why on earth, in this day and age, are we allowing one of these toxic burn pits to operate in the Salt Lake Valley? It is such an anachronism,” said Dr. Brian Moench to the Salt Lake Tribune. “Combustion of toxic materials is an inappropriate way to deal with it.”

“ATK operates NIROP under contract with the Navy. Its state permit allows the military contractor to burn up to 160,000 pounds of explosives, propellant and other reactive waste each year, but on average it burns about 100,000 pounds annually, according to DEQ spokesman Jared Mendenhall.”

Read full Salt Lake Tribune article here to learn more about Northrop Grumman/ATK.