It’s been more than six months since Chevron discovered the one-inch hole in a pipeline in Red Butte Canyon. In December, another leak was found in the Red Butte Creek, on the east bench of the Salt Lake Valley. These two spills have caused the city to close down certain sections of public and private properties. These closures are ongoing due to the extensive clean up and strategy battle between Chevron and Salt Lake City.
One of the more popular areas effected by the oil spills is Liberty Park, located near downtown Salt Lake City. The first oil spill contaminated Liberty Lake in the southeast corner of the park. The lake is normally a place of recreation for boaters and a habitat for more than 200 birds, mainly Canadian Geese.
Liberty Lake was closed off as part of the defense plan to stop the oil from spreading to larger bodies of water, such as the Great Salt Lake. This plan created a form of catch basin for the oil spill.
The lake has now been drained and soil removed, equating to about 7,000 cubic feet. The city plans on doing testing on the remaining soil to ensure the oil has not permeated deeper than what was projected. Once the testing has cleared the soil, Chevron has predicted that they will be done with the cleanup on or before the beginning of April.
Greg Hardy, Public Relations Representative for Chevron said the proposed plans to clean up have been approved by the government and they have contracts out to get the job done.
“The pond will be better than before,” an anonymous Liberty Park construction worker said. “After thorough cleaning, we will be replacing the pond edge and barriers.”
He seemed a little doubtful that the public would even appreciate what Chevron was attempting to make up.
“I keep seeing people going back and forth around the lake and talking about how it will never be the same when Chevron is actually trying to make it better,” the anonymous worker said.
Another issue from the spill is the loss of money from many different businesses, like the Tracy Aviary, who according to Hardy, has filed a claim that is being worked on. A comment from the Tracy Aviary wasn’t available at this time.
Chevron has dedicated over $2 million to complete Liberty Park and to reimburse businesses suffering as result of the construction.
“A few claims are still being worked on,” Hardy said. “People can submit claims through the proper channels. Once the info clears, they can obviously be reimbursed.”
Chevron has also announced that they are increasing the technology surrounding the pipelines due to this seemingly endless problem. Some of the new technology will include higher quality cameras, an increase in cameras, valve upgrades and better leak detection technology.
Chevron is going to attempt to make amends to the public by promising some kind of celebration for the public.
“We will obviously be in contact with the city and the public well in advance [for the celebration],” Hardy said.
More information about Chevron and the reimbursement claims can be found at chevron-pipeline.com/redbuttecanyonspill/.