Dear Emigration Canyon Home and Property Owner,
As you are aware, on September 12, 2018, Emigration Improvement District (“EID” aka ECID) filed permanent changes with Utah State Engineer Kent L. Jones in order to provide water service to a “Gun Range and Wedding Resort” proposed by the Butler Crockett & Walsh Development Corp. and for over 500 new homes in Emigration Canyon. EID’s development proposal was contrary to EID’s own 1996 buildout limit and Water Conservation Plans from 2003 and 2013 (see https://echo-association.com/?page_id=1524).
Along with 39 other Protestants, including Utah’s Hogle Zoo and Salt Lake City Public Utilities, the Emigration Canyon Home Owners Association (“The ECHO-Association”) filed protest and subsequently commenced legal action, which is currently pending with the Utah Court of Appeals (see https://echo-association.com/?page_id=6863).
During the protest hearing on December 19, 2018, in support of EID’s development plans for the Canyon, EID hydrologist Don Barnett cited a hydrology report, but failed to produce a copy of the study for independent review and verification. However, the following day a participant at the meeting contacted the The ECHO-Association and produced an original copy of the study given to them by former EID trustee Richard Clark.
Contrary to Mr. Barnett’s testimony to the Utah State Engineer, the July 2000 Barnett-Yonkee Study documented that Boyer Well Nr. 2 operated by EID had extracted more groundwater from the Canyon’s Twin Creek Aquifer than was replenished “in a good water year” of 1998, a destructive groundwater-extraction practice known as “groundwater mining” (see https://echo-association.com/?page_id=3310).
Groundwater mining often leads to earth fissures and subsidence, which can lead to serious damage to existing homes and other property damage (see “Investigation of Land Subsidence and Earth Fissures in Cedar Valley, Iron County, Utah”).
Unfortunately, in June 2019, ground subsidence and fissures, which appear to be associated with groundwater mining were documented in the Canyon’s Freeze Creek drainage system where EID has extracted millions of gallons of groundwater via Boyer Well Nr. 1 and the Upper Freeze Creek Well. Last week, a massive 700 foot long fissure between Emigration Oaks PUD lots 171 & 178 / 180 was observed and recorded by The ECHO-Association as evidence in the pending Emigration Canyon Water Litigation (see photo below).
There is other historical evidence of fissures and subsidence in the area. This past week, The ECHO-Association also recorded a 20-foot repaired fissure and circa 20 foot x 15 foot repaired ground subsidence, to include an undisturbed massive collapse of earth near the junction of Pioneer Ridge Road and Pioneer Ridge Circle in a heavily vegetated area (see https://echo-association.com/?page_id=3310).
Due to the inherent danger of further earth movement and possible collapse, The ECHO-Association EXPRESSLY WARNS AGAINST entering these areas by foot.
We ask all Canyon residents and property owners to immediately report cracks in concrete foundations, ground subsidence, earth movements, or water line breaks to the ECHO-Association via our direct-contact link.
We will continue keeping you updated regarding these developments.
Please feel free to contact us directly with any questions, concerns or comments.
Mark Christopher Tracy
qui tam Relator / ECHO President