Great Salt Lake

Environment & Public Lands
5:39 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Causeway Could Be the Key to Controlling the Great Salt Lake

The Utah Division of Water Quality's chart showing key points along the Union Pacific Railroad causeway
ESRI Map Service / Utah Division of Water Quality

  The railroad causeway across the Great Salt Lake was built in 1959, and since then it’s permanently altered the lake’s natural water flow.  Making changes to it could have unanticipated consequences for the lake environment.  But Union Pacific Railroad officials say they have to do something now or it won’t be safe to run trains across the lake.

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Environment & Public Lands
1:50 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Railroad Repairs Will Cut Water Flow in the Great Salt Lake

Separated by the Union Pacific railroad causeway, the north and south arms of the Great Salt Lake differ in salinity and biology.
NASA - International Space Station

  The Union Pacific Railroad is planning to start repair work on its causeway across the Great Salt Lake.  But it means closing off the culverts that allow water to pass between the north and south arms of the lake. 

The causeway was built in the 1950’s, cutting off much of the natural flow between the two arms of the lake.  As a result, the north arm is much saltier and about a foot lower in elevation than the south arm.

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Environment & Public Lands
1:21 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Utah Companies Hit By Drop in World Potash Market

Sulfate of potash dries in the sun at Great Salt Lake Minerals in Ogden, Utah
Dan Bammes

  The world market for potash took a hit last week when a Russian marketing consortium fell apart.  That could cause some difficulty for companies doing business in Utah.

Potash is used for fertilizer, and it was selling in the range of $400 a ton last week when a big producer in Russia said it would quit working with its marketing group and increase its output.  That led some traders to predict the price could drop below $300 a ton.

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-KUER News Pod
11:53 am
Wed April 24, 2013

KUER News Pod: Wednesday April 24, 2013

The public turns out in droves to discuss the Sugar House Streetcar, Great Salt Lake Minerals is scaling back their expansion plans, and the Medicaid Community Workgroup meets at the capitol for the first time.

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Environment & Public Lands
4:58 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Great Salt Lake Minerals Scales Back Expansion

Sulfate of potash is loaded into trucks at Great Salt Lake Minerals
Dan Bammes

  Great Salt Lake Minerals is scaling back its expansion plans along the eastern and western shores of the lake – and environmentalists are applauding.  

In 2009, Great Salt Lake Minerals asked the Army Corps of Engineers to approve a 91-thousand acre expansion of its evaporation ponds.  Today it submitted a new application asking for just 52-thousand acres.  Lynn DeFreitas with Friends of the Great Salt Lake says the new plan avoids some critical wildlife habitat.

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-KUER News Pod
10:39 am
Wed January 16, 2013

KUER News Pod: Wednesday January 16, 2012

Utah’s Attorney General calls for an investigation into the bribery allegations brought against him, KUER’s Bob Nelson goes shrimping on the Great Salt Lake, and Utah schools see the lowest participation in the free breakfast program in the nation.

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Environment & Public Lands
6:30 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Great Salt Lake Brine Shrimp Attract Unique Blend of Public and Private Regulation

Great Salt Lake Ecosystem Management Boat
Credit Utah Department of Natural Resources / Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The Great Salt Lake occasionally smells strange during the summer and then there’s the “lake effect” in the winter. But within the waters of North America's most salty lake lies a unique variety of brine shrimp species that has spawned a rare public/private partnership between the Utah Department of Natural Resources and more than a dozen businesses.

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Environment & Public Lands
9:41 am
Wed June 20, 2012

Setting New Standards for the Great Salt Lake

A sailboat glides through the placid Great Salt Lake
Dan Bammes

The Utah Division of Water Quality has begun a long-term project to set new pollution standards for the Great Salt Lake.  The lake contains significant levels of toxic pollutants such as arsenic, lead, selenium and mercury, among other things.  Jeff Ostermiller, the chief of the Water Quality Management Section at the division, says some of that comes from industries surrounding the lake.  But he says there are many other sources as well, including urban runoff from streets along the Wasatch Front.

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