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Salt Lake community responds to Chevron oil spill

by Jesse Fruhwirth
- Posted // 2010-06-14 -

Chevron and Salt Lake City officials just finished a press conference in which the company said 33,000 gallons are believed to have leaked. That's an increase from the previous reported estimate of 22,000 gallons.

Reports indicate as many as 300 birds have been oiled. A cause of the spill has not been determined but is believed to be related to a power outage. On June 11, a Chevron pipeline began spilling oil into Salt Lake City's Red Butte Creek. The oil eventually flowed through Sunnyside Park near 1100 East, then onto Liberty Park and the Jordan River before the leak was capped June 12.

Chevron representative Mark Sullivan said at the press conference that "the decision was made to collect [oil] here at Liberty Park," where access was best for collection equipment and vehicles. Sullivan said 1,000 barrells, or 42,000 gallons, of oily water have been delivered to the Chevron Refinery in North Salt Lake. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it is monitoring the cleanup effort and has brought "a water recovery expert from the National Coast Guard." Salt Lake County Animal Services will now be the lead agency on wildlife recovery.

Chevron says air monitoring at the effected areas shows no signs of "acute or toxic levels," but the fumes from crude oil are toxic and the oil is a skin irritant. Salt Lake City reopened the north end of Liberty Park on June 13, but since that time, there have been reports of residents becoming ill after spending time there; reported symptoms have included vomiting and headache. Health officials advise anyone who is effected by the smell to leave the area.

The City also advises residents with oiled yards to not clean up the oil themselves, but to contact Chevron for professional cleanup. Call 866-752-6340.

Check back to for the latest news on the Chevron Pipeline Oil Spill, and the community response.


Town Hall meeting to discuss the oil spill
7 p.m., Monday June 14
Clayton Middle School
1470 S. 1900 East, Salt Lake City
Representatives from the city and Chevron will answer questions

Before that:

KRCL's RadioActive will devote the hour to the oil spill

Tyranny of Oil author Antonia Juhasz
Rowland Hall St. Marks School biology teacher Peter Hayes
and more.

6 p.m. (MST) (GMT -7)
90.9 FM in Utah
streaming live at

The following photos are from Dan Gorder. They were shot June 12.






Read: Salt Lake community responds to Chevron oil spill

Read: Salt Lake City Oil Spill Q & A

See: More Salt Lake City Oil Spill Photos

Read: Oil Spill in Red Butte Canyon

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Posted // June 15,2010 at 16:11

PRP (petroleum remediation product) is the most advanced development in hydrocarbon remediation. Developed by NASA engineers, PRP takes on the form of small spheres of wax enriched with nutrients. The wax itself is 18% hydrocarbons and forms a bonds with the spill hydrocarbons, forcing them to float on the surface, while the nutrients promote the growth of naturally occurring microbes in the environment that consume the hydrocarbons.

The nutrient rich environment promotes the expansion of microbe colonies until the hydrocarbon food source has been exhausted at which point the microbe population reverts back to levels the environment can naturally sustain.

PRP can absorb twice its weight on contact and re-mediate 20-35 times its weight in hydrocarbons over a 10 to 14 week period but measurable reductions in hydrocarbon contamination can be demonstrated 10 days after application under optimal conditions.

Note: PRP powder does not contain any microbes, only the nutrient enriched environment needed to promote rapid growth of the local microbe population. Third party testing shows PRP will remove an average of 98% of hydrocarbons (using modified test method #8015). Methods of applying PRP range from a simple hand sprinkle to portable, mechanized hydro seeders.

The real benefit of PRP powder is eliminating the necessity for removal of contaminated material to be destroyed off site, compressing the job nature will do in 40-60 years to 10 to 14 weeks.

PRP will absorb all liquid petroleum base products and permits complete hydrocarbon remediation of most hydrocarbon based products at the site of the contamination. Additional damage to the environment and its inhabitants is not exacerbated by the necessity of bringing in heavy equipment and physically changing the contours of the landscape or water ways.

The future of hydrocarbon remediation exists in PRP and its derivative products. As long as hydrocarbons are part of our daily lives, accidents are unavoidable, but PRP is the tool we have been looking for to put the environment back.

PRP was shown on the history channel Modern Marvels It came from outer space.

To bad big business don't for now solutions even though they may send them 35 to 45% over all saving and less damage to the environment.


Posted // June 14,2010 at 15:37

Man, I've been so bummed about the spill in the gulf that I've avoided reading much about it.

Being that I live a half block from Liberty Park, I've got my own personal spill to look at.

I've always loved the birds there, both at the pond and the aviary. I have a pass to the aviary and spend time there to relax my mind.

And now the birds have been coated in oil and removed from the park (I don't know what's going on at the aviary because I haven't had the nerve to take a look). I already miss the ducks and geese coming in the morning and going in the evening, headed to and from the wetlands to the west. Now the pond is ruined for years to come, likely. Now crude is headed for bird estuaries in and along the great salt lake.

Now I have to worry about breathing toxic gasses and watching oil leach from the soil in my yard.

This neighborhood is called Liberty Wells, the water table here is very high. There is a literal creek running just a few feet underneath my home. This area is likely completely polluted.

So what will we do? Bitch and moan about Chevron, like so many have done with BP, while continuing to use this nasty crap that should have been replaced decades ago by something better? That'll do a load of good.

Sad days.


Posted // June 15,2010 at 09:22 - I know, Mamba. If Hatch says it, it must be true. He's such an honest, admirable fellow. Makes me feel comfortable just looking into his beady little weasel eyes. I wanted to go to the community meeting to ask a few questions of our local politicians as well as the Chevron execs, because we all know how honest they'll be regarding this matter, right? Yeah, just like BP has been. Their CEO's been spewing his own brand of crude from his mouth for two months now. What I want to know is this: all it takes is for the power to go out and thousand of gallons of crude spills into our waterways? Seriously? That's it? There's some good planning for you! I imagine Chevron just figured the power would never go out. Kind of like BP figured they'd never have to deal with a leak a mile beneath the sea. The fact that politicians are all over these oil companies for this (on TV, anyway, not behind closed doors where the checks are written) and yet, they're the ones that allowed BP to drill that deep, they're the ones that allowed Chevron to build some stupid system that spews crude everywhere when the power goes out.


Posted // June 15,2010 at 08:58 - It's absolutely surreal. But, don't fret, Hayduke! Orrin Hatch says he's encouraged because Chevron is doing a good job and Hatch looks forward to working with them on this disaster. At least that's what he said in the Trib today. I will look forward to seeing Senator Cranky Pants in a hazmat suit gingerly dripping gloppy crude into a 5 gallon bucket and a square-nosed shovel, just like two bewildered-looking Chevron employees were doing in the paper Sunday. And, Senator Ginko Dildoa, if Chevron's doing such a good job, why did thyis happen in the first place? Maybe when he runs out of insults for our gay community, he could make a half-hearted attmept at being upset with the perpetrators of one of our worst environmental disaster, locally, since the Army released nerve gas from a Piper Cub in Tooele and killed thousands of, I mean, sheep in the 70's.