Hazardous Areas

Hazardous areas are those with potential threat to human health or property. It is important to identify these areas to prevent development to take special precautions. Hazardous areas can relate to the natural environment such as seismic hazards, slopes, erosion hazard, and flood plain. In addition, landfills, waste disposal areas, railroad crossings, grain elevators, brown-field sites, and transportation of hazardous materials can be hazardous. Because of the flat area of Wendell, there are no slope dangers such as landslides, mud slides, avalanches, or snow slides.

Seismic Activity: The distribution of seismic activity near the City of Wendell shows that the Snake River Plain area has a low rate for earthquakes. The historical earthquake activity is significantly below Idaho state average. It is 96% smaller than the overall U.S. average.

Soil Erosion: Exposed surface soil materials are prone to erosion by wind and water. Ground-disturbing activities such as construction and tillage can increase soil erosion. Erosion needs to be controlled especially around buildings to prevent structural damage.

Flood Plain: Wendell is located on a large plain area with a natural gentle slope to the south. The combination of flat expanse and gentle slope to the river allows flood control to be of little concern and easily managed. The principal flood problems for the City of Wendell are low-lying areas to possible flooding from overflow of canal systems or from rapid snowmelt and/or rain.

Landfills: There is no active landfill in Gooding County. The City of Wendell and Gooding County belong to the Southern Idaho Regional Solid Waste District and use the Milner Butte Landfill located approximately 12 miles west of Burley.

Brownfields: Brownfields sites are defined as abandoned, idle, or underused industrial and commercial facilities’ where expansion of redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Possible brownfields in the City of Wendell are underground storage tanks that have not been removed or do not meet the new federal requirement to prevent leakage/contamination into the groundwater.

Hazardous Material Transportation: Hazardous materials are commonly transported by truck and rail. Most hazardous materials typically found within the city are flammable and combustible liquids and gasses, including gasoline, diesel, ammonium nitrates, ammonium hydroxide, sulfur, propane, and acetylene. High exposure areas are major streets, such as Idaho and Main Street.

Agricultural Uses: The City of Wendell is an agricultural community. The city realizes that the storage of grains, fertilizers, and farm chemicals can present some potential hazards.

Noise: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has developed criteria to assist noise levels and their degree of undesirability. The three components of noise are frequency, intensity, and duration. For analysis purposes, HUD uses the day-night average sound level system which is denoted as LDN. The LDN is an average noise level in a 24 hour period and weighing it by the addition of 10 decibels for noises occurring between 10:00 PM and 7:00 AM. Any area with noise levels below 65 LDN are considered acceptable. In Wendell, noise produced from railroad activity can be disturbing for residential areas located close to railways.

Hazard Response Readiness

The Gooding County Emergency Operation Plan was updated in January 2012. The EOP is a set of guidelines and procedures developed to assist in emergency response effort within Gooding County. The EOP is on file at the Gooding County Planning and Zoning office and the office of the City Clerk in Wendell.