Compass Minerals Recognized for Conservation-Oriented Project
Compass Minerals has been honored with a 2016 “Earth Day Award” from the Board of Directors of Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining. In addition, the Board has selected Compass Minerals as the first recipient of a special award for noteworthy projects, “Best of the Best,” for exceptional environmental improvement work.
The Earth Day Awards are presented annually to companies, organizations or individuals that go beyond what is required by regulation to protect the environment while developing Utah’s natural resources. Compass Minerals’ Ogden site was nominated for its conservation-oriented West Pond Sustainability Project and Reclamation Plan. While the merits of the project and associated water savings provided the primary basis for the award, the company’s efforts to directly engage numerous Great Salt Lake stakeholder groups and regulatory agencies in the projects were applauded as well.
Compass Minerals sought to improve the functionality of its solar evaporation ponds by sealing them with inert materials to reduce leakage. While the effort has clear operational benefits, the project also results in a substantial reduction in brine consumption from the Great Salt Lake. The project, which is currently in the midst of construction, will result in an approximately 20 percent reduction in annual brine consumption and enhance the operational sustainability of the ponds situated in the Great Salt Lake.
“We believe we need a holistic, collaborative and comprehensive approach to protecting our valued resources while facilitating smart growth. This project highlights the positive results you can achieve when a project of this magnitude is approached in such a manner,” said Joe Havasi, director of natural resources with Compass Minerals. “This project was successful because of the collaborative efforts of our employees and stakeholder groups, and our healthy working relationships with state and federal regulatory agencies dedicated to keeping the Great Salt Lake ‘great.’”
Havasi added that Compass Minerals worked closely with FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake and state and federal agencies, including Utah Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Utah Department of Environmental Quality, State of Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region VIII, Great Salt Lake Technical Advisory Team, Great Salt Lake Advisory Council, the Governor’s office, as well as state and local politicians, to mitigate operational impacts and advocate for the lake’s preservation and protection.
During the design of the sustainability project, Compass Minerals collaborated with lake stakeholder groups to develop a sustainable plan to restore ponded areas to productive and useful avian habitats. The revised reclamation plan will enable the restoration of an area within the Bear River Bay and Clyman Bay regions of the Great Salt Lake while creating additional productive avian habitat.
“Through our collaboration with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake, we developed a plan to provide for the development of more than 30 isolated nesting islands for shorebirds that will protect against predator access, while creating new habitat in the Great Salt Lake along a migratory bird flyaway of international importance,” said Havasi.
“Compass Minerals has done exceptional work and the Board wanted to recognize their efforts with a new category highlighting them,” said Mike Bradley, environmental scientist III/reclamation specialist, Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining. “Their willingness to listen and become engaged and receptive to the important ecosystem of international significance on the other side of their operations is admirable and worthy of such an honor. They have taken improving the environment to a new level.”
The photo to the right features Compass Minerals representatives, members of the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining board of directors and others from the Utah Divison of Oil, Gas and Mining. Pictured from left, bottom row: Mike Bradley, Division of Oil, Gas and Mining; Joe Havasi, Compass Minerals; Denise Hubbard, Compass Minerals; top row: Board of Directors of Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining: Chris Hansen, Ruland Gill, Carl Kendell and Gordon Moon