Regulating “Sensitive Lands”

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Geologic hazards, defined in §10-9a-103 of Utah State Code (as amended), include surface fault ruptures, shallow groundwater, liquefaction, landslides, debris flow, unstable soil, rock fall, or any other geologic condition that presents a risk to life, or substantial loss of or damage to real property.  

According to the Utah’s Hazard Mitigation Plan

  • Geologic hazards affect Utah, negatively impacting life safety, health, property, and the state’s economy.
  • While many geologic hazards are not life threatening, they are often costly when not recognized and property accommodated in land-use management and project planning and design, and result in additional, significant construction or future maintenance costs, economic losses, and injury or death. 
  • Since 1847, at least 6,075 deaths, as well as a significantly larger, but undetermined number of injuries and an undetermined financial cost, have been attributed to geologic hazards in Utah.  Radon gas exposure causing lung cancer has been Utah’s most deadly geologic hazard, with over 5,630 fatalities (1973-2015), followed by landslide hazards with 342 documented fatalities, and flooding hazards accounting for 101 documented fatalities.  

Special Note: The Office of the Property Rights Ombudsman has provided funding for this training program from the 1% surcharge on all building permits in the State of Utah.

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