Much smaller than the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but to residents of Salt Lake City, it helps bring the problem home. Hopefully Chevron is much more proactive about addressing the problems here than British Petroleum has been in the Gulf.

A leak from an underground oil pipeline may have gone undetected for hours as it spilled 50 gallons of crude per minute into Red Butte Creek.

The oil blackened the east Salt Lake City creek, stained scores of birds, prompted the closure of Liberty Park and sent oil as far west as the Jordan River.

Chevron has pledged to clean up the 6-mile mess, but the company cannot quantify the damage. As of late Saturday, company spokespeople could not say when the leak began or the volume of oil that spilled into city waterways.

The spill first was reported about 6:45 a.m. by staff at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, said Salt Lake City Fire Department spokesman Scott Freitag. It was flowing 30 to 40 feet downhill into the creek from the ground above a buried pipeline just south of Red Butte Garden, near the greenhouses and the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.

via Red Butte oil leak went unaddressed for nine hours – by Erin Alberty, Salt Lake Tribune.