Buckhorn Baths Environmental Studies
The City of Mesa received a Brownfields Grant issued through
the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) and
overseen by the United States Environmental Protection Agency
(USEPA). This grant provides funding for the City to
conduct environmental studies involving several property parcels
located at 5802, 5812, and 5900 East Main Street, including
parcels associated with the former Buckhorn Baths facility.
The project is generally located on the northwest corner of
Recker Road and Main Street in Mesa, Arizona.
Study area surrounded with red
Current Project Status
As of December 4, 2013, the status of the environmental
studies is as follows:
- Asbestos Survey – The Sampling and Analysis Plan has
been approved by the ADEQ and USEPA. An inventory of
materials that are required to be sampled has been developed
and a site map of each building has been completed. The
sampling of suspect asbestos material was completed on
November 15. The draft asbestos survey report is
expected to be submitted for review to the ADEQ and USEPA
- Lead Paint Assessment - The Sampling and Analysis Plan
has been approved by the ADEQ and USEPA. The initial lead
assessment and sampling was completed on November 15. The draft lead paint assessment report is expected to be
submitted for review to the ADEQ and USEPA mid-December
- Phase I ESA - The Phase I ESA was submitted to the ADEQ and
USEPA for review on November 25, 2013.
- Phase II ESA - The Sampling and Analysis Plan has been
has been approved by the ADEQ and USEPA. A geophysical
survey was conducted on October 24. Soil sampling activities were completed on December 3, 2013. The draft Phase II
ESA is expected to be submitted for review to the ADEQ and
USEPA mid-January 2014.
Through the City’s iMesa program, residents suggested a
desire to expand park systems and provide additional amenities.
On November 6, 2012 Mesa voters approved the Parks Bond Program.
Possible acquisition of property parcels associated with the
former Buckhorn Baths facility was incorporated into the iMesa
New Park Development Projects established under that bond
The City has been in negotiations with the owners of the
properties for the purposes of purchasing said properties.
In order to determine an appropriate value as well as completing
their due diligence in purchasing such properties, the City
conducted a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) of the
property in May 2012. That ESA identified several
environmental issues with the property that the City must assess
prior to purchasing the property.
The City applied for and received a grant from the ADEQ to
conduct the additional studies necessary to determine any
current or future environmental liabilities associated with
purchasing these properties.
The scope of work for these studies includes the following:
- Updating the Phase I ESA as required by Environmental
Protection Agency rules;
- Conducting a Phase II ESA to address recognized
environmental conditions (RECs) identified at the Site;
- Conducting a comprehensive asbestos assessment and lead
paint survey of all structures located on the properties;
- Collecting samples representative of the waste from the
demolition of the structures for lead analysis to determine
if the waste stream would be a hazardous waste; and,
- Sampling soils around structures with exterior surfaces
that are determined to be coated with lead-based paint.
The City has contracted Adams & Wendt, Inc. of Mesa, Arizona
to conduct the asbestos and lead studies and Cardno ATC to
update the Phase I ESA and conduct the Phase II ESA. The
project is expected to be completed by early 2014.
The environmental studies being conducted at the Buckhorn
Baths properties not only benefit the City in determining any
environmental risk prior to purchasing the properties, but also
benefit the surrounding community. By identifying
environmental issues, the properties will actually be more
likely to be purchased for redevelopment even if ultimately the
City does not purchase the properties. As the properties
stand right now, there are many unknowns for currently
interested parties and the cost of conducting these types of
studies is a deterrent for many investors. Banking
institutions traditionally require these types of studies prior
to approving any loans for purchasing these types of properties.
My iMesa idea is...
If you have any comments regarding the environmental studies
taking place at the Buckhorn Baths properties, or if you have
any ideas you would like to share,
we would love to hear from you.
For more information pertaining to the environmental studies
being conducted at the Buckhorn Baths facility, please contact
John H. Meyer, City
of Mesa Environmental Programs Specialist, at (480) 644-6967.
For more information on the Parks and Recreation 2012 Bond
Program, please contact
Andrea Moore, PRCF Development and Operations, at (480)
For more information on the ADEQ’s Brownfields Program, please
contact Linda Mariner,
Sustainability Programs Unit Manager, at (602) 771-4294.
John H. Meyer
of Mesa Environmental Programs Specialist
Parks and Recreation 2012 Bond Program
PRCF Development and Operations
ADEQ’s Brownfields Program
Sustainability Programs Unit Manager
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Then (circa 1940)