West Valley City inspectors are investigating a chemical company they believe may have violated laws designed to protect human health and the environment.

Brody Chemical, 4825 S. 6200 West, was the target of a search warrant executed by the city two months ago.City building and fire inspectors took samples of chemicals and sent them away for analysis, said Keith Stoney, chief city prosecutor.

"These chemicals could come back and everything will be OK, or they could come back and say, `Hey, the city's going to get nuked anytime,' " said Stoney. "I tend to believe it's going to be the first."

But Stoney said the city still has serious concerns about what kind of chemicals are being used at Brody and how they are being stored and handled.

Brody Chemical, owned by Jon Liddiard, began its "custom blends" operations last summer. City officials immediately began wondering about the safety of the operations. During an Aug. 26 visit, inspectors found "questionable safeguards" in place, according to the affidavit filed in support of the search warrant.

On subsequent visits, inspectors observed:

- Dangerous chemicals stored on a high-rack storage system, which was not secured to the wall and whose shelves did not have guards to prevent the chemicals from sliding off in the event of an earthquake.

- Incompatible chemicals were stored together, creating a high hazard in the event of a spill or fire.

- Inadequate spill control or containment systems. "We are concerned that chemical spills may have been dumped into the sewer systems since there were no spill-control measures or collectors on site" in violation of fire regulations, the affidavit states.

Brody also was operating without a city business license.

City officials asked Liddiard to submit information about his operation, but "careful review of the material found it to be insufficient and erroneous."

But using a specialized computer program developed by a co-author of the national fire code, the city was able to determine that on any given day Brody had several amounts and types of chemicals on its property, including:

- 20 pounds of explosives;

- 8,000 pounds and 2,200 gallons of corrosives;

- 3,300 pounds and 3,800 gallons of toxics;

- 160 pounds of "highly toxics";

- 100,000 pounds of irritants.

Stoney refused to speculate on whether he would prosecute Brody for possible violations of state building and fire laws, saying it depends on the pending chemical analyses.

Deseret News phone calls to Brody went unreturned, but Stoney said Liddiard has been cooperative.