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Utah Oil Spill Stops Short Of Great Salt Lake

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Emergency workers in Utah think they've stopped a 21,000-gallon oil leak from reaching the environmentally sensitive Great Salt Lake. But the spill has taken a toll on wildlife at creeks and ponds near the lake, coating abut 300 birds with oil and possibly threatening endangered fish. The leak started Friday when an underground pipeline in the mountains near the University of Utah broke.


On Friday, the news of another oil spill - this time, an oil pipeline in the mountains above Salt Lake City, burst. The Chevron Oil Company is expected to announce a cleanup plan today. Residents reported a strong smell of petroleum, and crews shut off the pipe by early Saturday morning.


But not before around 20,000 gallons of oil spilled into a watershed, which flows into the Jordan River then to the Great Salt Lake. As of yesterday, emergency workers said they had managed to contain the oil and stop it from flowing into that lake. Their techniques are similar to the ones used in the Gulf - floating booms and absorbent materials to soak up oil.

AMOS: But not before hundreds or local and migratory birds were coated in oil. They were sent to the local zoo for cleaning and it's too early to tell what impact the toxic oil will have on the birds' habitat.

Chevron spokespeople, sensitive it seems to the oil industry's reputation after the BP spill, said the company will take responsibility for the cleanup and respond to damage claims.

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