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May 12, 2014

Chevron to pay $875,000 penalty for Utah spills

Texas-based Chevron Pipe Line has been penalised by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over two spills at its facilities in Utah.

Texas-based Chevron Pipe Line has been penalised by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over two spills at its facilities in Utah.

A settlement was reached between EPA and Chevron , with the company agreeing to pay a civil penalty of $875,000 for violations associated with the spills.

The civil penalty comes from Clean Water Act violations for the June 11 2010 spill of 800 barrels of oil into Red Butte Creek in Salt Lake City and the March 18 2013 pipeline break that dumped 499 barrels of diesel fuel into a creek on Willard Bay State Park lands.

The penalty will be deposited into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, a fund used by federal agencies to respond to oil spills.

"The penalty will be deposited into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, a fund used by federal agencies to respond to oil spills."

Oil from the company’s Rangely to Salt Lake Crude System No. 2 pipeline entered Red Butte Creek and flowed downstream to Liberty Lake, a centerpiece of Liberty Park in downtown Salt Lake City, causing the lake to close for nearly a year while cleanup and restoration activities took place.

In the second instance, diesel spillage from the company’s Northwest Products System No. 1 oil line in Box Elder County impacted wetlands adjacent to Willard Bay, a reservoir connected to the Great Salt Lake. Soil, surface water and groundwater contamination at the spill site required extensive containment and clean-up measures.

The spill also affected wildlife, forcing the temporary closure of Willard Bay State Park. Chevron Pipe Line , however, no longer owns the Northwest Products System.

Chevron signed a settlement agreement with the State of Utah in December 2013, which includes penalties and funds for specific damages and restoration and mitigation activities associated with the Willard Bay spill.

The settlement follows several recent penalties and compliance actions associated with the Red Butte Creek spill, including agreements between Chevron Pipe Line and the State of Utah, Salt Lake City and the US Department of Transportation ‘s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

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