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Cleanup under way after Woods Cross oil spray

Published: Friday, Aug. 31 2012 3:49 p.m. MDT

The tank, which holds 29,000 barrels, was immediately idled and will be drained of all the remaining fuel oil. He said equipment at the refinery is inspected on a daily basis for any potential problems and another full-scale inspection will be conducted to uncover the cause.

The oil spray also left slick deposits of material on the I-15 off-ramp at 500 South, which was covered with sand. Crews were also cleaning up the nearby Union Pacific Railroad tracks.

"The fuel oil is not hazardous, but it leaves heavy oil residue that is slippery and messy," Astin said. "We're putting material down on the surfaces that will absorb the oil. We're having cleaning companies come that can at least hot pressure wash the areas."

In addition, the company was working to prevent any residue from washing into nearby sewers and booms were placed in a cement-lined storm water diversion canal, just east of the railroad tracks.

"We can't allow it to run off into the drains, so we'll be collecting that material just so we can clean up the whole area," Astin said. "It will take a while to clean up, but we'll get it done."

A multitude of regulatory agencies have been contacted as a result of the spill, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the state's environmental remediation division.

The Davis County Department of Health had workers on-scene Thursday evening and scientists with the state Division of Water Quality were taking water samples throughout the day Friday.

"They've been pretty aggressive with this, it appears, so far," said Walt Baker, director of the water quality division. "From a water quality standpoint, if storms come in, we are likely to see more of the product move into the system."

On Friday, he didn't believe very much of the oil made it into the water because the booms were picking up very little of the mess.

"They had them booms out within 45 minutes to an hour of when this happened," he said.

Still, the water will be tested regularly and scientists will attempt to get a chemical "fingerprint" of the oil that spilled so it can be identified separately from any other urban pollutants.

Anyone who was impacted has been asked to contact the refinery to arrange a cleanup through the refinery care line, 801-560-5511.

"Anyone that has been impacted by this oil, let us know so we clean it or replace what we can replace," Astin said. "We'll be at this as long as it takes."

Contributing: Emiley Morgan

E-mail: amyjoi@desnews.com, Twitter: amyjoi16

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