WILLARD -- As cleanup continues on the fuel spill at Willard Bay State Park, the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is cracking down on Chevron.
The agency on Friday filed a Corrective Action Order against Chevron to "protect the public, property and the environment from potential hazards associated with the recent failure" of the company's pipeline, which caused the spill.
The order requires approval from the PHMSA before Chevron can re-open the pipeline. The company must submit to the agency a plan that includes measures to ensure a similar leak doesn't happen again at Willard Bay or other sections of the pipeline.
Additionally, when Chevron is given approval to re-open the line, the order states, the failure site must operate at only 80 percent pressure until the PHMSA lifts the restriction.
"Chevron Pipeline Company (CPL) is continuing to review the order, and will cooperate with PHMSA to address the requirements outlined in the order. CPL is committed to work with PHMSA for incident-free operations of our pipeline," Chevron spokesman Gareth Johnstone said Saturday in an emailed statement.
Chevron last conducted an in-line inspection of the 60-year-old pipeline in 2007, according to the order. The PHMSA, however, had checked the line multiple times in the last two years, resulting in a Feb. 14 letter to Chevron that outlined several safety concerns.
The order was issued as authorities released estimates putting the amount of fuel spilled at the site at 25,200 to 27,300 gallons. As of Friday evening, the Willard Bay Unified Command estimated 21,252 gallons had been recovered. Chevron spokesperson Santana Gonzalez said Saturday there won't be revised figures until Monday afternoon.
The leak in the 8-inch pipeline, which runs from Salt Lake City to Spokane, Wash., was discovered Monday. A beaver dam kept the fuel in a retention pond and stopped it from reaching the bay.
A Friday news release from the Willard Bay Unified Command stated trace levels of fuel compounds had been found in the water outside the containment zone.
It is Chevron's third leak in Utah in the last three years. A June 2010 leak spilled more than 30,000 gallons of crude oil near Red Butte Gardens in Salt Lake City, and in December 2010, another leak near the same site gushed around 21,000 gallons.
According to the order, the exact cause of the leak is still unknown, though it is believed to involve a failure of the longitudinal seam.