State issues violation notice to Chevron for Willard Bay spill

Apr 12 2013 - 7:31pm

Images

A "French" filter cleans out any potential desiel fuel from water before it reaches Willard Bay, Wednesday April 10, 2013. (REYNALDO LEAL/Standard-Examiner)
A "French" filter cleans out any potential desiel fuel from water before it reaches Willard Bay, Wednesday April 10, 2013. (REYNALDO LEAL/Standard-Examiner)

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Division of Water Quality issued a Notice of Violation and Compliance Order to Chevron Pipeline Company as a result of the diesel fuel spill near Willard Bay on March 18.

The state is asking Chevron to provide a report on cleanup activities and its response plan for the pipeline rupture that leaked approximately 21,000 gallons of diesel.

The state said the notice is not a penalty.

"Rather, it details findings of fact regarding the spill, violations based on these findings, and mandatory compliance provisions for cleanup and monitoring," the division said in a news release.

"Chevron has the opportunity to review the document, and submit a response or challenge to the NOV within 30 days of receipt."

Chevron will also have 60 days to submit a response to the Compliance Order. Once Chevron's response to the notice has been received and reviewed, the state will begin a process to determine whether a penalty will be levied for the spill.

"We are working with the Attorney General's Office to ensure Chevron is held accountable for the spill and its impacts," said DWQ Director Walt Baker. "This release has had a significant effect on a fragile ecosystem. The popular bird-watching and recreational area has been closed because of this spill."

Gareth Johnstone, a spokesman for Chevron, said Friday the company is reviewing the Notice of Violation.

"We are committed to cooperating with the Utah Division of Water Quality and responding to the notice in the required time frame," he said in an email.

So far, 408 barrels of diesel have been recovered and an estimated 70 barrels remain in the surrounding soil and water.

The Willard Bay spill marks the third time in the last three years Chevron has been issued a Notice of Violation for pipeline problems.

"Significant progress has been made in removing the spilled diesel and remediating the areas impacted by the spill," said John Whitehead, assistant director of DWQ, who has been overseeing the spill cleanup.

Chevron gave an on-site tour of the spill site Wednesday to state officials and the media.

From Around the Web

  +