Willard pipeline passes second test

May 3 2013 - 5:50pm

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WILLARD -- The Chevron pipeline that failed a stress test Monday, required after its March diesel fuel spill of at least 20,000 gallons near Willard Bay State Park, passed a second test Thursday and is set to resume operation.

Chevron spokesman Gareth Johnstone said crews repaired the part of the pipeline that caused the failure during Monday's test. The tests, which required the pipeline to hold 2,600 pounds per square inch of water for 30 minutes, were mandated by a corrective action order from the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Johnstone said in an email Monday that the pipeline's normal operating pressure is 1,870 psi.

Chevron "has now received permission from the PHMSA to place the line back in service under terms of the corrective action order issued to CPL by PHMSA," Johnstone said in an email statement on Friday. "The pipeline is being prepared to resume operations at a reduced capacity and is targeted to commence operating (today)."

Johnstone declined to say when the pipeline will resume full-capacity operation. It had been operating at 80 percent pressure since early April.

Overall damage to the environment from the leak, which was discovered March 18, is expected to be low. According to the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, trace amounts of contaminants from the leak were still being found in the water near the spill as of Tuesday, but the amounts are not threatening to humans or wildlife.

Six beavers, whose dam is credited with containing the spill in a retention pond, received injuries from exposure to the fuel and are still recovering.

Restoration efforts of the area the fuel spill affected are expected to continue into June, according to the DEQ. The North Marina at Willard Bay State Park remains closed, though the South Marina is open to the public.

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