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EPA Fines Chevron Pipe Line $875,000 for Past Utah Spills

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reached a settlement with Chevron Pipe Line Co. to resolve Clean Water Act violations from two oil pipeline spills at the company’s Utah facilities in 2010 and 2013. As part of the settlement announced May 12, the Bellaire, Texas-based company will pay a civil penalty of $875,000, which will be deposited into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund that federal agencies use to respond to oil spills.

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On June 11, 2010, a discharge of approximately 800 barrels of oil from the company’s Rangely to Salt Lake Crude System No. 2 pipeline led to the Red Butte Creek Spill in Salt Lake City. The oil entered Red Butte Creek and flowed downstream to Liberty Lake, a centerpiece of Liberty Park in downtown Salt Lake City. The lake was closed for nearly a year while cleanup and restoration activities took place.

On March 18, 2013, a discharge of approximately 499 barrels of diesel fuel 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 cleanup measures. The spill also affected wildlife and caused the temporary closure of Willard Bay State Park. Chevron Pipe Line no longer owns the Northwest Products System.

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 U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. In December 2013, the company reached a settlement with the state that includes penalties and funds for specific damages, restoration and mitigation activities associated with the Willard Bay spill.

The agreement is subject to a 30-day public comment period, which will begin on the date the notice of the proposed settlement is published in the Federal Register. A copy of the agreement will be posted online at usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.

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