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More tests for UT pipeline that leaked diesel fuel

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OGDEN, Utah (AP) — A pipeline that leaked 20,000 gallons of diesel fuel near northern Utah's Willard Bay has failed a federally mandated pressure test required to make it fully operational again.

The pipeline owned by Chevron Corp. extends from Salt Lake City to Spokane, Wash.

The 8-inch pipeline is required to hold 2,600 pounds per square inch of water for 30 minutes, but it failed after six minutes during Monday's test, John Whitehead of the Utah Division of Water Quality told The (Ogden) Standard-Examiner (http://tinyurl.com/csnh9gm ).

The cause of the failure is under investigation, Chevron spokesman Gareth Johnstone said. Workers plan another test this week.

The pipeline failed March 18, spilling diesel fuel into the ground and marshes. State officials credit a beaver dam for holding back much of the fuel from seeping into the bay. The diesel left some beavers with petroleum burns.

It was Chevron's third pipeline leak in Utah in the last three years. Another pipeline leak sent crude oil rushing down into a Salt Lake City creek in 2010. Months later, the same pipeline ruptured again.

Chevron, based in San Ramon, Calif., was fined more than $400,000 for two earlier Utah pipeline spills. It also paid a $4.5 million settlement to Utah and Salt Lake City and spent millions more cleaning up the first of three oil spills in 2010 that fouled Red Butte Creek, said Art Raymond, a spokesman for Mayor Ralph Becker.

The series of spills had Utah's governor calling for more oversight in March. Federal regulators say they haven't yet determined penalties for the company's latest petroleum leak.

The pipeline that failed near Willard Bay has been operating at 80 percent of normal since April. The state says trace amounts of hydrocarbons in groundwater flowing into the bay pose no danger to wildlife there.

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Information from: Standard-Examiner, http://www.standard.net

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