Yesterday it was reported that hundreds of barrels of oil were spilled in Salt Lake City into a body of water called Red Butte Creek, courtesy of Chevron. It turns out the final tally of the spill was 33,000 gallons. Ironically, Utah’s Governor released an energy plan last week that called for more drilling in Utah, stating “Why are we drilling in the middle of the ocean where there is extreme environmental risk when we could be meeting the demand for domestic production from on‐shore development in areas with minimal environmental risk such as Utah?”
The impact of the spill?
Since early Saturday, medium crude has stained the creek corridor, killed fish and birds, pooled in the pond at Liberty Park and scarred the Jordan River. About 280 birds — mostly Canada geese and mallards (some as young as a week old) — were transported from Liberty to Hogle Zoo to be cleansed with Dawn dish soap. Eight or nine birds have died, according to Mike Roach, conservation officer with the Division of Wildlife Resources.
The major spill has not compromised drinking water.
Booms have captured much of the leakage, but Sullivan noted a “minimal” amount of oil has reached the Jordan River, creating a visible “sheen.” River monitors show no contamination north of 600 North, he said, adding that no oil has reached the Great Salt Lake, home to a world-class waterfowl flyway.
The conclusion? Land or water, fossil fuels are dangerous.