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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has added the U.S. Magnesium site in Tooele County to the federal Superfund list.
The EPA's announcement Monday makes the site's cleanup a national priority.
EPA officials say the company's 4,525 acres on the southwest edge of the Great Salt Lake are contaminated with heavy metals, acidic wastewater, polychlorinated biphenyls and uncontrolled waste products. The agency says contaminants have been released into the air, soil and water.
A message seeking comment from U.S. Magnesium was not immediately returned Monday.
The site about 40 miles west of Salt Lake City has been used for magnesium production since 1972.
The EPA said blood tests of workers in 2002 and 2004 found elevated levels of dioxin and hexachlorobenzene. Other data showed that many birds die after having contact with contamination at or near the site, and tests on bird eggs found concentrations of contaminants.
EPA officials proposed adding U.S. Magnesium to the Superfund list more than a year ago.
Company officials fought the designation and have said the federal agency has overstated any hazards.
U.S. Magnesium will now be eligible for federal funds to assist with cleanup.
EPA spokeswoman Jennifer Chergo said Monday there is no estimate on how much a Superfund cleanup at the U.S. Magnesium site might cost.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)