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.

Buckhorn Baths
Study area surrounded with red


Project Overview

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 program.
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:

  1. Updating the Phase I ESA as required by Environmental Protection Agency rules;

  2. Conducting a Phase II ESA to address recognized environmental conditions (RECs) identified at the Site;

  3. Conducting a comprehensive asbestos assessment and lead paint survey of all structures located on the properties;

  4. 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,

  5. 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.


Adams and West           Cardno ATC


Project Results

Asbestos Survey –The final Comprehensive Asbestos Inspection Report of Findings was issued February 7, 2014.

Lead Paint Assessment -The final Lead-Based Paint Inspection Report of Findings was issued January 23, 2014. 

Phase I ESA - The Phase I ESA was issued January 21, 2014.  The Phase II ESA addressed all the RECs identified in the Phase I ESA.

Phase II ESA - The Phase II ESA was issued March 7, 2014. 

Project Benefits

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


Contact Information

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) 644-2643.
For more information on the ADEQ’s Brownfields Program, please contact Linda Mariner, Sustainability Programs Unit Manager, at (602) 771-4294.



John H. Meyer
City of Mesa Environmental Programs Specialist
(480) 644-6967

Parks and Recreation 2012 Bond Program
Andrea Moore
PRCF Development and Operations
(480) 644-2643.
ADEQ’s Brownfields Program
Linda Mariner
Sustainability Programs Unit Manager
(602) 771-4294

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1940 photo
Then (circa 1940)