WASHINGTON, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- U.S. supermajor Chevron could face nearly $500,000 in penalties for an oil leak near the University of Utah campus, the U.S. Department of Transportation said.
"The department's top priority is safety and we remain committed to ensuring America's pipelines are capable of safely delivering vital energy products to U.S. households and businesses," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in a statement.
The department's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration proposed a $423,600 civil penalty against Chevron for a June pipeline failure near the campus in Salt Lake City.
An investigation led by the PHMSA concluded Chevron may have failed to follow the rules when protecting the pipeline against electricity, corrosion and patrolling its pipeline rights of way.
The pipeline near the university campus failed in June, spilling about 800 barrels of oil into the Red Butte Creek and surrounding area.
The pipeline spilled crude oil for more than 10 hours before Chevron was notified of the failure by local officials, the PHMSA found.
PHMSA issued a voluntary compliance order that called on Chevron to improve its rights of way inspections and take additional measures to protect its pipelines.
Chevron has 30 days to respond to the proposal.