Chevron earning praise and criticism for oil cleanup efforts

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SALT LAKE CITY -- An environmental watchdog for the Jordan River had high praise Friday for Chevron's handling of the cleanup effort at Red Butte Creek so far.

The company is beefing up its boom system on the Jordan and adding a new twist: filter fences now stretching all the way across the river. The absorbent filter material catches light oil on the surface.


Environmentalist Jeff Salt says he now believes there is no significant threat to the Jordan River or the Great Salt Lake.

"It's been really quite amazing to see the response, the resources that have been deployed, and the commitment to addressing concerns that come up daily," Salt says. "This is unprecedented, the amount of response and the mobilization of resources." [CLICK HERE to read a press release from the Great Salt Lake Keeper]

The Utah Rivers Council, however, is calling on Chevron to set aside some serious money. The group wants to make sure Chevron doesn't walk away without covering costs that might arise far in the future.

"We want $15 million in an escrow account while public attention is focused on the spill right now," says Zach Frankel, founder and executive director of the Utah Rivers Council. "We need to make sure that cleanup includes restoration and long-term health concerns." [CLICK HERE to read a press release from the Utah Rivers Council]

"We're not going away," says Dan Johnson, manager of state and government affairs for Chevron. "Chevron's been here 100 years. We hope to be here another 100 years or more, and one of the things I like about Utahns is they really trust people who pay their bills. We're going to pay our bills."

Chevron has publicly committed to covering all costs associated with the cleanup.

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