Cleanup underway at oil spill in pond at Dixie National Forest

Posted at 7:34 PM, Apr 03, 2014

CEDAR CITY, Utah – Officials say an oil company is cooperating fully with efforts to clean up an oil spill that was reported in Dixie National Forest.

Officials said a U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officer reported the oil leak at the pond after a patrol of the area.

According to a press release from Forest Service officials, the leak is not related to a leak reported last week on the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

Officials spoke to Citation Oil representatives and determined an unknown amount of oil was released during a repair of the valve at a well unit in November of 2013. The oil went under the snow and to a pond downhill of the release. On several occasions, Citation Oil has ignited and burned off the oil that gathered on top of the pond and around the edges in order to reduce surface oil and contain the leak. The operation plan for the oil field allows for such mitigating actions.

The report indicates the spill did not travel beyond the pond, and Citation Oil and authorities are working on a cleanup plan. Officials with Dixie National Forest recommend removing the water from the pond and disposing of it properly. They recommend the same for contaminated soil in the area.

Citation Oil has hired a contractor to independently assess the situation, and the press release states they have pledged to cooperate fully with the Forest Service to clean up the leak.