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Willard Bay Spill Settlement Finalized with Call for Expanded Mitigation Projects

Dan Bammes

A settlement in the Chevron Pipeline diesel fuel spill at Willard Bay State Park has been finalized between the company, Utah State Parks and Recreation, and the Utah Department of Environmental Quality. Nearly 21,000 gallons of fuel spilled following a Chevron Pipeline Company pipe failure on March 18th, 2013. The DEQ announced Tuesday that with the Utah Water Quality Board approval, the 5-point 3 million dollar settlement becomes official. John Whitehead, assistant director of the Division of Water Quality, says with most of the cleanup work done, the agency is now accepting proposals for expanded mitigation projects.

“We’re looking for project proposals that will enhance and protect water ways, environmental areas that might have been affected by the spill or adjacent to the spill,” says Whitehead.

In addition, Whitehead says, funds may be used for general water quality education or research with a focus on improving the quality of natural systems and are not limited to the Willard Bay area itself. Whitehead says Chevron officials have also agreed to possible future negative impacts of the spill on Willard Bay with a longer time limit compared to a similar spill in Red Butte Creek in June of 2010. The $90,000 cost of rehabilitating a large number of beavers injured by the spill was also covered by the pipeline company.

Bob Nelson is a graduate of the University of Utah with a BA in mass communications. He began his radio career at KUER in 1978 when it was still in Kingsbury Hall. That’s also where he met his wife, Maria Shilaos, in 1981. Bob left KUER for commercial radio where he worked for 25 years, and he is thrilled to be back at KUER. Bob and his family are part of an explorer group, fondly known as The Hordes and Masses, which has been seeking out ghost towns and little-known places in Utah for more than twenty years.
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