WILLARD BAY -- Cleanup operations continue at the Willard Bay fuel spill, but the pipeline that caused the leak is back in service.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency spokesman Matthew Allen said the Chevron-owned pipeline has been back in use since last weekend. According to the latest projections from Chevron, 14,994 gallons of fuel have been recovered from the site. The EPA last month estimated that 25,200 to 27,300 total gallons spilled.
In the wake of the spill, the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a Corrective Action Order against Chevron, forcing the company to comply with a set of regulations before the pipeline could be re-opened.
Among other requirements, the order stipulated Chevron had to submit a plan to ensure a similar leak doesn't happen again. Additionally, the pipeline could be opened at only 80 percent pressure, a level at which Allen said the pipeline is currently operating.
With the fuel still being cleaned up, a large section of Willard Bay State Park is still closed.
Phil Douglass, conservation outreach manager of Northern Utah for the Division of Wildlife Resources, said the North Marina is expected to remain off-limits for several weeks.
The smaller South Marina is open to campers, though much of the northern half of the bay is blocked by buoys and patrol boats, he said.
"There are people who have an affinity toward the North Marina and its convenience," Douglass said. "But the South Marina is a little more out of the way and secluded. Personally, I prefer it."
Three of the six beavers whose lodge contained the spill in a retention pond, keeping it from leaking into the bay, are still in critical condition.
DaLyn Erickson-Marthaler, executive director of the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah in Ogden, said the three beavers in critical condition have hundreds of dangerous sores on their skin from exposure to the fuel.
"Until we get that under control, it's scary," she said. "It could go bad at any time."
Three additional beavers, found before the others, are expected to make a full recovery, Erickson-Marthaler said.
Douglass said the beavers' role in containing the spill brings attention to the benefits wildlife provide. The community's support for the beavers, who have been dubbed as heroes, is gratifying, he said.
"It's great to see people express their interest in wildlife. It's needed and appreciated. We want to see Utahns to continue to appreciate the wildlife."
The overall environmental impact of the spill is expected to be low. The Department of Water Quality's latest tests near the spill showed trace amounts of hydrocarbons, not dangerous to humans or wildlife, in a minority of water samples.
The Willard Bay leak is the third Chevron spill in the last three years in Utah. Two spills in 2010 near Red Butte Gardens in Salt Lake City leaked a combined 51,000 gallons of crude oil.