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04/12/2013

From Valdez to BP: The Red Butte Creek Spill

Across America, oil spills have wrought havoc on our land, wildlife, and the health of our families and communities. March 24 and April 20 represent the anniversaries of the worst oil spills in U.S. history, the Exxon Valdez and the BP Deepwater Horizon spill, respectively. Together, these events dumped more than 5.65 million barrels of dirty oil in U.S. waters.

In light of this toxic anniversary, the Sierra Club presents a three-week look at oil companies' poisonous legacy across our nation.

D10 - Red Butte Creek - Utah Dept of Health                                                Photo Credit: Utah Department of Health

Since new spills have ostensibly taken a break (but we continue to clean them up), we resume our look back at some of the most damaging oil spills in the U.S.

On June 12, 2010, an underground Chevron pipeline flowing from Colorado to Salt Lake City sent nearly 500 barrels of oil spewing into Red Butte Creek before crews capped the leak site. Nearly 50 gallons of crude oil per minute initially had spilled into the creek, which leads into the Great Salt Lake.  The leaking pipeline coated hundreds of geese and ducks with oil and caused a local park closing.

In March 2012, a group of 66 residents of a Salt Lake City neighborhood sued Chevron for damage caused by the Red Butte Creek spill and a smaller spill in December 2011.

--By Claire Price, Sierra Club Lands Team

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