The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday announced a settlement with Chevron Pipe Line Company for oil spills in Utah.
The $875,000 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.
“We were aware that the EPA and Chevron were discussing a settlement, but we have had no involvement,” said Walt Baker, director of the Utah Division of Water Quality. “It looks like the EPA has finally tied a bow around it and lumped them together.”
The $875,000 will not be sent to Utah, but will be deposited in the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, used by federal agencies to respond to oil spills.
Baker said Utah elected to pursue civil penalties to be paid to the state separately from the federal agency.
Utah received $4.45 million from Chevron in December 2013, with $600,000 slotted for ongoing and future projects at Willard Bay. Civil penalties of $350,000 were provided to the DWQ and $550,000 was directed to the Utah Department of Natural Resources and Utah State Parks for the lost use of the park facilities during the spill and the cleanup.
The remaining money will be used on mitigation projects chosen by the DWQ and may not all be in the area of the spill.
The state received $3.5 million for the Red Butte Creek incident.
Willard Bay grand re-opening
Utah State Park officials are holding a grand re-opening celebration on Saturday, May 24, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The park was closed most of the summer of 2013 after a pipeline owned by Chevron ruptured in March 2013. Willard Bay State Park reopened about four months later, but will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony on a new nature trail to celebrate improvements and restoration efforts. Entry to the park will be free. Activities include live music, food vendors and educational booths.