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Chevron pipeline oil spill is third major leak in Utah in three years

26 March 2013

Chevron’s third pipeline spill in Utah in as many years on March 25 released hundreds of barrels of oil, polluting a river and leading to the closure of a state park and the evacuation of campers. Dozens of cleanup workers are now mopping up the fuel along the north-eastern edge of the Great Salt Lake in an attempt to avert a wildlife disaster.

An estimated 4,200 to 6,300 gallons of fuel leaked after a pipeline laid in 1950 ruptured.

The 29,400 barrel-per-day (bpd) diesel and jet fuel pipeline between Chevron’s Salt Lake City, Utah, refinery and Boise, Idaho, was shut down after the leak was detected. Diesel was blocked from flowing into the wildlife-rich waters of Willard Bay by a series of beaver dams.

The Salt Lake Tribune quoted Utah Division of Wildlife official Phil Douglass, who expressed concern about the impact on local wildlife and fisheries. One of the major concerns of wildlife officials is that in three weeks' time millions of migrating birds will arrive in the area.

The Tribune also noted that Chevron’s pipelines leaked oil into Utah twice in 2010 leaking 54,600 gallons of crude oil near Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City’s eastern foothills, which cost the company an estimated $43 million in cleanup costs, fines and other spill-related expenses. 

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