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Public input sought on Red Butte Creek oil spill document

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 13 2012 2:28 p.m. MST

Workers from Salt Lake City Fire Department and Chevron work to clean up an oil spill at the Red Butte Gardens next to the University of Utah Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Tom Smart, Chopper 5, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — The public is invited to comment on a document that brings closure to cleanup of the 2010 Red Butte Creek oil spill.

The Utah Division of Water Quality is seeking input on a draft decision document and a related compliance order that brings closure to the requirements outlined in the notice of violation issued to Chevron Pipe Line Co. on July 13, 2010, in response to oil released into Red Butte Creek in June 2010.

The draft decision document concludes that no further cleanup is needed since the human health and ecological risk assessments found that traces of contamination remaining in the creek are not a threat to human health or the environment. Continued monitoring of the creek water, sediment and insects to confirm these conclusions would be required to continue through 2015.

"Chevron is not completely off the hook," said John Whitehead, Division of Water Quality assistant director. "The risk assessments show that the water quality of Red Butte Creek is similar to that of other urban Salt Lake-area creeks unaffected by the oil spill. However, if additional contamination from the spilled oil is found in the future, Chevron can be required to do additional cleanup."

The 30-day comment period will run through Dec. 10. An open house also will be held 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28, at the Pingree School Gymnasium, 780 S. Guardsman Way. Representatives from the Division of Water Quality, Salt Lake City, Utah Department of Health and Salt Lake Valley Health Department will be in attendance at the meeting.

Written comments on the draft decision document and related compliance order can be emailed to Chris Bittner at cbittner@utah.gov before 5 p.m. Dec. 10. More information can be found at www.deq.utah.gov/locations/redbutte/index.htm.

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