Protecting Public Health and the Environment.

Proposed Snake River Animal Shelter - Idaho Falls

Site Background

The proposed Snake River Animal Shelter (SRAS) site is located at 3250 Lindsey Boulevard in Idaho Falls, Idaho. It is approximately 19 acres in size with about 9 acres of the property currently proposed for redevelopment.

The City of Idaho Falls acquired the site in 1959, and operated an animal control facility on the property until about 10 years ago when the facility was moved to another location. The site has been vacant since that time and currently has no structures or other development.

The SRAS is a nonprofit corporation with a memorandum of understanding with the City of Idaho Falls to develop and operate the site as a new animal shelter and dog park. SRAS contacted DEQ’s Brownfields Response Program (Program) and requested a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment after discovering buried municipal waste across much of the site while digging geotechnical test pits. 

Snake River Animal Shelter 1
Area designated for the proposed off-leash dog park.

Site Activities

A preliminary site investigation performed by the SRAS identified buried municipal-type waste materials. Prior to the site investigation, the existence of the buried waste was unknown to the SRAS, the City of Idaho Falls and DEQ. Potential chemicals of concern (COCs) related to the site’s former use as a landfill included: volatile organic compounds (VOCs); semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs); polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); pesticides; herbicides; and metals. The potential presence of hydrogen sulfide, ethane, ethene, and methane gas was also considered.

The DEQ Brownfields Response Program and its contractor conducted a limited Phase II Environmental Site Assessment in the areas of the proposed dog park, portions of the property where structures would be developed for the animal shelter, and public use areas. Multiple test pits were dug throughout the site to determine the vertical and lateral extent of buried municipal wastes. It was determined that the waste was contained throughout 90% of the site and extended at least 10 to 20 feet below the surface. Ground water and subsurface soil samples were collected and analyzed for the presence or absence of environmental contaminants. Surface soil samples were also collected and analyzed. Since a portion of the site would likely contain structures needed to operate the animal shelter, soil vapor samples were also collected and analyzed to determine the concentration of landfill gasses being released from the site. 

Results of the limited assessment were favorable for the proposed redevelopment, so long as basements and crawl spaces are not included in structural designs. The presence of landfill gasses at this property will preclude construction, which could allow landfill gasses to intrude and concentrate in buildings.

Development Activities

SRAS covered and regraded the dog park section of the property, installed an irrigation system, and constructed an asphalt parking lot and driveway.

The City of Idaho Falls provided the SRAS with a long-term, minimal rent contract, which frees up SRAS funds for development and operation costs. Local cash and in-kind charitable funding from private citizens and donor organizations in the amount of $708,000 allowed SRAS to fully fence and open the dog park.  Development of the animal shelter facility will begin in 2013. 

Snake River Animal Shelter 2
This sign shows a conceptual design of the shelter and amenities.

Staff Contacts

Brownfields Program Coordinator
Eric Traynor
DEQ State Office
Waste Management and Remediation Division
1410 N. Hilton
Boise, ID 83706
(208) 373-0565

Related Pages

Brownfields Assessment Program

Brownfields Grants

Voluntary Cleanup Program