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Willard Bay marina closed after fuel line leak

By Shara Park | Posted - Mar 19th, 2013 @ 8:12pm


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WILLARD, Box Elder County — Parts of Willard Bay State Park were closed Tuesday after a pipeline break led to the release of diesel fuel into a retention pond and drainage ditch near the park.

The park's North Marina and campground were closed indefinitely as a result of the leak, said Deena Loyola of Utah State Parks and Recreation. All campers were evacuated Monday evening, and park employees were working Tuesday to de-winterize the South Marina.

Greg Hardy, state government affairs representative at Chevron, said release of fuel was detected by a sensor around 2:30 p.m. Monday on a pipeline that transports materials from Chevron's Salt Lake City refinery to Idaho.

"When it was discovered or identified that there was a possible leak, the system was shut down immediately and crews were sent out to the site," Hardy said. "We mobilized emergency and cleanup crews and initiated all the emergency response procedures."

It was unknown Tuesday afternoon how much diesel was released into a drainage ditch and retention pond near the Willard Bay State Park I-15 north exit. Hardy said diesel was visible, and booms were used to contain the spill.

"At this point in time, there is no indication" that anything leaked into Willard Bay, Hardy said. Chevron is now working to identify where the leak was, what may have caused it and how much diesel was released.

The pipeline is 168 miles long with a capacity of 20,000 to 30,000 barrels a day.

Hardy said cleanup efforts were under way Tuesday, and all government agencies have been notified about the leak.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said in a news release the fuel spilled into Willard Creek, where it was contained by a beaver dam. None of the fuel made its way to the reservoir, the agency reported.

Two beavers were contaminated in the fuel spill and were "pretty saturated," said Phil Douglass, regional outreach manager for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. They were taken to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah, where firefighters used hazardous materials equipment to try and soak up as much fuel as possible.

"They were (also) washed in a solution of Dawn detergent," Douglass said. "Every effort is being made to save these beavers."

Because they are aquatic creatures, he said there is a possibility the beavers also ingested some of the fuel, which would cause respiratory issues. Whether they will survive is "hard to say."

"They could be (at the rehabilitation center) for a couple of months," Douglass said. "It's just too early to tell right now, but every effort is being made to treat them and give them a fighting chance."

Loyola said James Morgan, Willard Bay State Park manager, "is working with Chevron, the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District, Bureau of Reclamation, and Division of Wildlife Resources to ensure the protection of all resources, including wildlife habitat."

Updated information on the park is available at stateparks.utah.gov/parks/willard-bay.


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