Even from off the 15 freeway, get too close to the spill site and you can smell diesel. The state has closed the park to visitors and Chevron didn’t want us any closer. Last week it was estimated that nearly 600 barrels, or more than 25,000 gallons of diesel were spilled and about 506 barrels were recovered. We’re now learning that estimate was way too generous.
Donna Spangler from Utah’s Department of Environmental Quality told ABC 4 News, “As I understand it, as of Monday, there was about 350 barrels that have been recovered.”
That means there’s about 10,000 gallons of diesel fuel still out around Willard Bay.
“Once they separated the oil from the water the numbers were fewer than what they had originally estimated,” said Spangler.
Still the Department of Environmental Quality tells us so far it seems the spill has not spread. They’ve taken 27 samples from out around the spill and only four have come back with trace amounts of hydrocarbons, or the chemical compound found in diesel fuel.
“They’re detected at such low amounts that we don’t think it’s going to have a really great impact on the wildlife or the environment,” said Spangler.
Tell that to the six beavers recovered from the spill site that are recovering at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. Three recovered just after the spill are doing well, but three others just taken in a couple of days ago are in critical condition with deep wounds, burns on their skin and severe damage to their fur.
Right now the DEQ’s main concern is to get the spill cleaned up as soon as possible. They want to remove as much diesel as they can before an influx of migrating birds are due in the next couple of weeks.
The North Marina of Willard Bay will continue to be closed throughout the weekend. The cause of the leak is still under investigation.