Leaky UT Pipeline Ready to Startup

Wednesday, May 8, 2013 @ 09:05 AM gHale

The second time was a charm as a pipeline that leaked 20,000 gallons of diesel fuel near northern Utah’s Willard Bay State Park passed a federally mandated pressure test required to make it fully operational again.

The pipeline, owned by a subsidiary of Chevron Corp., extends from Salt Lake City to Spokane, Wash.

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Chevron Pipe Line Co. spokesman Gareth Johnstone said the company hopes to resume operations at reduced capacity Saturday.

The 8-inch pipeline must hold 2,600 pounds per square inch of water for 30 minutes, but it failed after six minutes during Monday’s initial test.

Gareth said another test secured the necessary permission from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to place the line back in service.

The pipeline failed March 18, spilling diesel fuel into the ground and marshes.

Federal investigators believe a failure of the seam in a section of the 760-mile pipeline that caused the spill of an estimated 600 barrels of diesel fuel. The diesel saturated some wetlands, contaminated nearby groundwater and some trickled into Willard Bay.

Since then, the northern half of the bay and the state park’s north marina and campground have remained closed, creating frustration for the Utah State Division of Parks and Recreation.

“We are coming up on the busiest part of the season and this is the third most visited park in our system,” said spokeswoman Deena Loyal. “It is a huge impact to us, our revenues, to have this park closed.”

Loyal said the park will remain closed through the Memorial Day weekend and the division is just taking it day by day after that.

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