As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday 29 March 2013

Officials hope to finish diesel cleanup before bird migration

By Judy Fahys
The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published Mar 20 2013 12:43 pm • Last Updated Mar 20 2013 11:19 pm
A federal official said Wednesday authorities hope to have cleanup of the Willard Bay State Park diesel fuel leak completed in the next two to three weeks to minimize possible impact on the annual springtime bird migration.

"EPA is working with the state to make sure the leak is cleaned up entirely," said Curtis Kimbel, the Environmental Protection Agency’s on-scene coordinator for the spill response. "It appears we do have the resources to properly clean this up."

Officials of federal, state and local agencies held their first "unified command" meeting Wednesday morning to coordinate efforts to clean up and mitigate the impact of the spill,
An estimated 4,200 to 6,300 gallons of diesel fuel — authorities say they cannot confirm the amount — leaked from a 168-mile Chevron pipeline carrying fuel from Salt Lake City to Idaho.

Diesel spill at Willard Bay much worse than previously thought
Regulators to Chevron: Don’t restart pipeline that closed Willard Bay State Park until we say so.

Chevron’s pipeline already has spit out more than 21,000 gallons of diesel fuel near the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge — three times as much as previously thought and on par with the Red Butte Creek spills three years ago — and there’s probably more to come.
A split in the lengthwise seam of the pipe that carries fuel from Salt Lake City to Spokane. Wash., is suspected of releasing petroleum into soil and marshes at Willard Bay State Park, according to a preliminary probe by the U.S. Transportation Department’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. The steel pipeline is more than 60 years old.

     On Friday, the agency ordered the Texas-based company not to restart the pipeline until federal authorities approve the fixes — and then only at 80 percent of its normal pressure and under "continuous patrolling" of a 3-mile segment of the pipeline.

"This Corrective Action Order," said the agency directive, "is being issued under [federal law] to require Chevron Pipe Line Co. (Chevron or Respondent) to take the 
necessary corrective action to protect the public, property and the environment from potential hazards associated with the recent failure on Chevron’s #1 Oil line in Willard, Utah."

Local, state and federal officials have been carrying out an emergency cleanup at the site since Tuesday. Their top goal is to remove the diesel before an influx of migrating birds due in the next two to three weeks, although tundra swans, snow geese and pelicans have started arriving.

"It is critical that we work to recover as much of the spilled diesel fuel as possible," said Curtis Kimbel, who is overseeing the cleanup as EPA’s on-scene coordinator. "Now that we have a better picture of the amount of diesel fuel spilled from the pipeline, we can more accurately benchmark the progress of cleanup efforts."

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