Chevron Under Fire by Utah Mayors over Pipeline

Two Utah mayors are voicing concerns over Chevron’s proposed plans to fire up a pipeline that burst twice last year and caused two major oil spills in the Salt Lake region.

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon say the petrochemical company should have consulted them before announcing that it had received the federal go-ahead to resume use of the line, which has been defunct since December, AP reports.

The U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration reportedly gave Chevron permission to restart the pipeline Feb. 1.

The pipeline first malfunctioned last June, spilling 800 barrels near Red Butte Garden and into Red Butte Creek. 500 more barrels drenched the same area in December.

“We have not had time to review the full startup plan to ensure it protects the interests of the Salt Lake Valley,” Corroon said in a statement, adding that regulators should have communicated with local authorities before giving the restart the green light.

Becker requested that Chevron delay use of the line until Salt Lake City and its independent consultant assess the new plan.

“Certainly our trust has not been restored in Chevron through the actions that they’ve taken here this week by deciding to move ahead with the restart when we haven’t even had a chance to review and comment on the restart plan,” Becker said, according to AP.

Chevron said it had given a copy of the plan to the city’s outside consultant on Wednesday before giving it to the mayor’s office.

The energy corporation also insisted it had performed a series of inspections and procedures to ensure added safety, according to spokesman Mickey Driver.

Becker on Friday planned to discuss the issue with Chevron and federal regulators in a Monday conference call, AP reported.

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