Tesoro pipeline threatens important aquifer, wildlife habitat
Tesoro spokesperson, Michael Gebhardt, says that Tesoro's purposed pipeline through the Kamas Valley "will benefit residents by taking about 250 tanker trucks off the road." But Utah Department of Transportation, in their "Truck Traffic on Utah Highways 2012," reports that there are over 18,800 trucks on Interstate 80 passing Jeremy Ranch each day and 2,700 trucks on U.S. 40 passing through Heber City each day. Clearly building a pipeline to reduce truck volume does not begin to solve the truck volume problem. I doubt any of us would even notice 250 fewer trucks making round trips to Salt Lake refineries each day.
We would, however, certainly notice damage to our beautiful high-altitude meadows and our drinking water supply. Tesoro purposes to run their pipeline right through the center of this environment. The pipeline would run adjacent to the Provo River on the southeast, the Weber River on the northwest and be buried directly in the porous gravel/silt aquifer which covers the entire floor of the Kamas Valley. With the aquifer water surface near, and in places, above the land surface, it is this aquifer which provides us with our beautiful wetlands, water fowl nesting grounds, fisheries, sub-irrigated meadows and water. The top hundred feet of the aquifer alone stores more than five times the storage capacity of Rockport Reservoir.
With about 20,000 oil spills reported each year in the U.S., and less than 20 percent of pipeline ruptures detected by oil company equipment, damage from a rupture seems only a matter of 'how soon?' If Tesoro truly wants to be a good citizen and work with the public they will consider alternatives. Two hundred and fifty less tankers is not sufficient to help with truck volume and not a reasonable trade for risking our environment and water supply.
Park City is losing its unique character
I have lived in Park City for 25 years and have obviously seen a lot of change and development. Until now, I have never had cause for complaint. Park City has mostly governed its development with taste, intelligence and class. Development standards that have kept it separate from the rest of Utah, unique and charming. Our "Resort Mining Town" theme has succeeded at drawing visitors from all over the country and the world.
I am just going to come out and say it; I think we have lost that standard and to a point, sold out. I say this based on just a few of the new development projects I see on a daily basis. It says nothing to those projects in the pipeline.
Kimball Junction for example. Headlined by Del Taco front and center and flooded with fast food restaurants. I count five places you can buy a fast food burrito. I thought we were a health-minded community? Kimball Junction is part of Park City.
S.R. 248 next to the rail trail. Park City Heights, an Ivory Homes development? Really? S.R. 248 is part of Park City.
Quinn's Junction. A movie production studio the size of a football stadium. Quinn's Junction is part of Park City.
The list goes on and on. Park City is not just Old Town, Main Street.It is all that encompasses our resort community. People move to Park City to get away from places like Draper and Sandy and West Jordan. Is there something I could have done to help prevent these types of developments? Would it really have made a difference if I went to every city and county council and planning meeting? What is going on? Where is the integrity I entrusted to our elected officials?
How to slow climate change, increase health
Park City's bicycle/walking trails are beautiful and inventive. Winding along streams, between two condo developments, running alongside or on the sides of streets, behind businesses, and through residential development right of ways, Park City and Summit County's trails encourage healthy living, reduce fossil fuel use, reduce road traffic, and facilitate neighbors making friends with each other while out walking their dogs, biking, rollerblading, skateboarding, scooting, or biking.
In my opinion, Park City could significantly help the U.S. to reduce climate change and, thus, help to retain its ski economy by creating a color pamphlet to educate other US communities about the benefits and beauty of its trail system. Such a booklet could contain color pictures of Park City's clever trail system along with the various ways and means Park City and Summit County created its trail system.
Other U.S. communities are, today, still not taking the steps Park City and Summit County began decades ago to create its trails. In many US communities children cannot safely bicycle as a means of transportation because there are no safe paths connecting residences and businesses, making vehicular transportation a necessity to go even short distances, contributing to global warming, and to social isolation, obesity and poor health. Park City could help to educate and promote its creative ideas to the National League of Cities and National Association of Counties, and to other organizations by creating and distributing a how-to promotion piece on its creative path system.
Such a booklet would provide a valuable tool assisting persons in other communities to promote the development of trail systems in their municipalities."