Pipeline Timeline | News | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Pipeline Timeline

A chronology of events surrounding Chevron's Red Butte Creek oil spill


June 11, 2010

Just after 9 p.m., Chevron registers high- and low-pressure alarms along its pipeline. Oil begins to gush from a dime-size hole created by an electrical surge traveling through a fencepost directly above the pipeline.

50 gallons of crude oil gushes into the creek each minute for nearly 10 hours before it's detected.


June 12, 2010

7 a.m. Salt Lake City first responders arrive at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center on Foothill Drive after receiving complaints of petroleum odors

Shortly thereafter, Jeff Niermeyer, former director of Salt Lake City's Public Utilities Department, arrives on scene. He directs city crews to begin diverting all Red Butte Creek water into Liberty Lake at Liberty Park.

4 p.m. The nearest pipeline shutoff valve is about seven miles away up Emigration Canyon. It is closed and Chevron estimates the flow of oil exiting the pipe has dropped to 3 gallons per minute.


June 17, 2010

Chevron replaces busted pipe section with new stretch of pipeline


June 20, 2010

Chevron performs a 4-hour pressure test, which includes injecting dyed water into a 15-mile stretch of pipeline.


June 21, 2010

The test is successful and crude oil once again begins flowing through the 182.5 mile pipeline


Nov. 1, 2010

The federal Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) assesses a $423,600 civil penalty against Chevron. The civil penalty alleges that Chevron failed to maintain its right of way, failed to put in place adequate leak detection systems, and failure to protect the pipeline from electrical surges.


Dec. 1, 2010

A valve fails along Chevron's pipeline near the site of the June spill. 500 barrels of crude oil--300 barrels fewer than in June--spills onto the ground, stopping mere feet from Red Butte Creek.


May 5, 2011

Eleven months after closing to the public, Liberty Lake is reopened.


June 7, 2011

A PHMSA incident report indicates that the Dec. 1 spill was the result of residual water from the June 20 pressure test freezing inside the valve, and causing it to burst open.


Nov. 10, 2011

Utah Division of Water Resources Director Walt Baker finalizes the state's $4.5 million settlement with Chevron.


January 2013

Peter Hayes is diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.


March, 18, 2013

One of Chevron's finished product pipelines bursts near Willard Bay State Park on the Great Salt Lake, spewing an estimated 25,000 gallons of diesel fuel.


Feb. 14, 2014

Utah's Division of Water Quality negotiates a $4.45 million settlement with Chevron for the diesel fuel spill.


July 2015

Work begins on a $767,612 restoration project in Miller Park.


Sept. 15, 2015

Two months after his 60th birthday, Peter Hayes dies.


December, 2015

Miller Park reopens, sans 194 non-native trees that neighbors say provided crucial habitat for birds