Friday, 2 May 2014

Cleanup operation underway in Salt Lake County, Utah, after truck spills 17 000 liters of oil on Interstate 80.

A cleanup operation is underway at Parleys Canyon in Salt Lake County, Utah, after a collision between two trucks resulted in 17 000 liters of crude oil on the Interstate 80 on the morning of Wednesday 30 April 2014. There are no reports of any injuries, but some of the oil reached the Parleys Creek, which serves as a water source for Salt Lake City. The affected part of the river has been sectioned off with a series of booms, and it is hoped that the oil can be removed without the contamination spreading.

Cleanup work beginning at the site of the Parleys Canyon oil spill on Wednesday 30 April 2014. Ravell Call/Deseret News.

The US has suffered a number of oil spills from its transport network in recent months, which oil industry representatives cite as evidence for a need to expand and renew the country's aging network of oil pipelines. Pipelines are undoubtably safer than moving oil by other methods (such as trucks, trains or barges), however a number of large spills from aging pipes have damped public enthusiasm for such projects, and environmental groups frequently express concerns that new pipeline networks will tie the country into dependence on oil for the foreseeable future, at a time when they believe it ought to be diversifying its energy sources, and embracing more renewable technologies such as solar and wind generated electricity.

The approximate location of the 30 April 2014 Parleys Canyon oil spill. Google Maps.

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