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Chevron spokesman Greg Hardy said the leak — from a 168-mile pipeline that runs near the eastern shore of the Great Salt Lake from the Salt Lake City area to Idaho — was believed to have begun about 2:30 p.m., Monday, but was not confirmed until later in the day.
"We immediately shut the pipeline down [at valves placed along its length] and sent folks up to confirm the leak," Hardy said. "We then mobilized cleanup crews and implemented emergency procedures, including dispatching specially trained employees and contractors and their equipment."
Chevron has 30 days to provide federal pipeline regulators with a report on what happened. Meanwhile, a variety of local, state and federal agencies will be monitoring the cleanup, any effects on water and wildlife and possible enforcement action, including fines that take into account the two 2010 spills. In light of the north marina’s closure, Utah State Parks hopes to open the south marina by Wednesday.
The two 2010 leaks spilled 54,600 gallons of crude oil near Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City’s eastern foothills, and cost the company an estimated $43 million in cleanup costs, fines and other spill-related expenses. Monitoring is expected for years to come.
Lynn de Freitas, executive director of the Friends of the Great Salt Lake, said the latest spill raises broader questions about the cumulative impacts of all the pipelines snaking through Utah — not just this one, but all the others, including the 250-mile one that carries crude between Wyoming and the refineries on the lake’s edge and another along the south edge of the Great Salt Lake that transports fuel to Las Vegas.
"It’s part of a tapestry of habitats, and all of the habitats matter because they fill the needs of the wildlife and the birds that use it," she said.
"When is the next big one going to occur?"
Tribune reporters Brett Prettyman and Michael McFall contributed to this story.
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