Chevron Corporation‘s underground oil pipeline in Salt Lake City sprung a leak, sending at least 500 barrels of crude oil into the Red Butte Creek Saturday.  Oil spill workers were able to stop the flow, according to the mayor’s office.  Approximately 500 barrels of oil leaked from a pipeline bringing crude oil into the Salt Lake Valley from western Colorado and eastern Utah.  The pipeline runs to Chevron’s 45,000 barrel-a-day refinery in Salt Lake City.

Chevron shut down their pipeline just before 8 a.m. and since then, have determined their oil leak began around 10 p.m. local time on Friday.  The leak unfortunately remained undiscovered for nine hours while it spilled 50 gallons of crude per minute into Red Butte Creek.  Chevron has pledged to clean up the 6-mile mess.  According to media reports, the entire river corridor is contaminated, causing a major catastrophe for this area.

Local fire crews capped the oil pipeline, but residents of the Salt Lake City area remain advised to stay away from water access points along Red Butte Creek (which is now blackened in color), Liberty Park and the Jordan River.  The oil also blackened the east Salt Lake City creek.

State water quality scientists have been taking water samples to determine the oil concentrations in the area.  Gases from the crude oil leak have not yet reached dangerous concentrations, but the fumes are most likely collecting at this time.  If you or anyone you know experience oil spill toxic exposure symptoms such as headaches, difficulty breathing, nausea, dizziness, coughing, or anything related, and you live near the spill area, please seek immediate medical attention.

Who Will Be Affected?

  • Glendale residents who use Jordan River water to irrigate their lawns may not turn on sprinklers
  • A major assessment of who will be affected downstream needs to still be conducted
  • Children and animals should NOT ingest contaminated stream or river water
  • Lack of current may keep oil near large amounts of birds
  • Urgent goal is to keep the spill from impacting the Great Salt Lake

Please check back with Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers  for more updates on this breaking oil spill contamination story.  We have covered the major details of all of the recent oil spills across the country, including Texas spills and the current Gulf Coast oil spill disaster.