Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker has released a settlement between the city and Utah’s Department of Environment Quality – Division of Water Quality over two 2010 crude oil spills. Chevron is agreeing to a $4.5 million settlement – $3 million to the city for mitigation, $1 million to Salt Lake City to cover loss of use – both environmental and social, plus $500,000 to cover a civil penalty imposed by the state. The settlement is between Chevron and the city and state, and does not include or exclude future settlements with residents affected by the spills.
Mayor Becker said, “Salt Lake City’s position has remained constant since the date of the first spill: to hold Chevron accountable for damage to the health of our City’s residents and natural environment. I am hopeful that as the requirements of the settlement and agencies are met and the assessment of the affected areas is complete, the concerns of our residents will be satisfied and the repair and restoration of the damaged riparian corridors will be accomplished.”
Becker says the money will be used repair Red Butte Creek, its banks, and other waterways impacted by the June and December spills. Chevron has already spent more than $75 million cleaning up, repairing, and upgrading a pipeline that spilled more than 30,000 gallons of crude oil, and maintains it claims full responsibility for both spills, and is committed to a complete and thorough clean-up.
The larger June spill sent 33,000 gallons through neighborhoods from behind the University of Utah through Liberty Park’s duck pond to the Jordan River. That spill killed fish, insects, plants and trees. The December spill started near the first but was smaller in scale and detected before it reached Red Butte Creek.
Chevron, Salt Lake City, the Salt Lake Valley Health Department and the Utah Department of Environmental Quality are continuing testing on Red Butte Creek and the Jordan River. They are testing the water, soil, sediment, and aquatic life in order to determine the environment’s health, and if further action must be taken to repair the damage done by the spills.
A 30 day period for public commenting is included in the settlement. You can reach Utah’s Department of Environment Quality by clicking here.
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Source: Salt Lake City, KSL News, Associated Press, FOX13 News
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