Volume 30, Number 3                                          SEPTEMBER 2015
Lightning and FRP tanks
This past June in Fairfield, Ohio, an underground diesel fuel storage tank made of fiber reinforced plastic exploded when it was struck by lightning. There were no injuries, but the explosion left a crater 40 feet in diameter and the other tanks are believed to have been compromised. 
Investigation of the Fairfield, Ohio, incident continues.
There have been several recent incidents involving explosion of diesel FRP USTs caused by lightning. The Nebraska Fire Marshal reported on a lightning-induced explosion of an underground diesel fuel storage tank in September 2011. The State of Michigan investigated a similar explosion at a gas station in Jackson, Michigan. See the December 2011 issue of Tank Talk for more on these incidents.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality presented results of its UST Leak Autopsy Study (2008-14) at the National Tank Conference in September. Of the 231 tank leaks in the agency's database for that time period, 66% were tanks made of fiber reinforced plastic and 29% were made of steel. 

STI-SPFA welcomes new Century Club member
The Steel Tank Institute-Steel Plate Fabricators Association (STI-SPFA) announces that City of Manassas (Virginia) Utilities has received the association's Century Club award. The honor acknowledges the owners of steel water storage tanks at least 100 years old and still in active service.

The "Fire House" water tank holds 80,000 gallons, is made of riveted steel, and was built by R.D. Cole Manufacturing of Newnan, Georgia, in 1914. It's 175 feet tall, has a hemispherical bottom and conical top, and is supported by four legs, three levels of cross beams, and diagonal tie rods.

Century Club honorees are testaments to the durability of steel.
Surviving Pearl Harbor
"Surviving Pearl Harbor" is the title of an article in the June 2015 issue of Civil + Structural Engineering News.

This photo is the Harbor Control Tower near the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. Both a water tank and signal tower, it was built in 1925 and survived the Japanese attack in 1941. It remains in service today.

The story of its rehabilitation from damage from the harsh environment of the harbor is fascinating. STI--SPFA Affiliate Member Sherwin-Williams Coatings Division played a key role.

API and STI present Storage Tank Fundamentals Course
This course is designed for inspectors, engineers, managers, and regulators who want to increase their knowledge of storage tank facilities. 

October 13, 2015, at the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas, following the API Tank, Valves and Pipe Conference on the day before.

Expected course topics include:

  • How to use tank standards
  • Tank inspection requirements
  • EPA regulation
  • Safety
  • Measurement and gauging
  • Overfill prevention
  • Case Studies of tank repairs and modifications

EPA News
EPA logo
EPA publishes new UST rules
On July 15, EPA published revised UST rules in the Federal Register. The emphasis is on owner/operator monitoring and leak testing to prevent releases:
  • Owner/operator training required.
  • Require secondary containment on all regulated new UST systems.
  • Expanded language on compatibility.
  • Many STI standards and RPs referenced as "codes of practice."
  • No continuous interstitial monitoring.
For more information:
Citizen groups target EPA in chemical tank suit
The suit alleges that the EPA has violated the federal Clean Water Act "by not issuing regulations to protect the public from hazardous substances spills from industrial facilities." The suit references the January 2014 Freedom Industries chemical spill in West Virginia, as well as nearly 19,000 hazardous materials spills from above-ground storage tanks between 2005 and 2014 reported by the US Coast Guard.

US EPA requires California companies to improve oil spill prevention plans
Fines totalling $135,000 have been assessed for two companies in California for failure to comply with several SPCC plan requirements. Violations include lack of SPCC Plans, failure to implement tank inspections, and lack of adequate secondary containment.

Resources to help UST owners/operators prepare for natural disasters
While very difficult to predict, natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, and fires leave UST systems especially vulnerable to damage that could release hazardous substances into the environment.

EPA has several resources available to help prepare for and limit damage to your UST system in the event of a natural disaster
Replace or rehab? Readers respond
ASTSWMO report corrosion pic
In the June issue of Tank Talk, we asked readers to respond to a brief survey about the factors determining whether a tank should be replaced or rehabbed. 

The survey was in response to an article by Carol R. Eighmey, executive director of the Missouri Petroleum Storage Tank Insurance Fund, in which she concludes that "tank age is only, one ≠≠and probably not the most important, factor in assessing risk of leaks."

It's apparent from the survey results that Tank Talk readers agree, depending on the risk factor. For example, for "Release of stored product to the environment has occurred", 88% of respondents said it has a significant impact on the decision to replace a tank.
California: No more single-wall USTs; FRP compatibility
A California bill passed in September 2014 made changes to the underground storage tank program regarding design and construction of USTs.

On July 24, 2015, the California State Water Resources Control Board published Local Guidance-171: Permanent closure of underground storage tanks that do not meet Health and Safety Code, Chapter 6.7, Section 25291, Subdivisions (a)(1)-(6).

Compatibility reminder, too
On the same date and under the same regulation, the Control Board also issued a memo titled Compatibility of underground storage tanks storing gasoline with ethanol. 

"While tanks with steel primary containment are able to accommodate the reformulation of gasoline with ethanol, fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) tanks that previously were not approved for storing alcohol or alcohol mixtures are now storing gasoline with ethanol...only FRP tanks with a UL 1316 listing/approval that explicitly includes a ratng for alchol or alcohol mixtures are acceptable to store gasoline with ethanol."

The memo includes a chart "Ethanol Compatibility Timeline for Fiber Reinforced Plastic USTs."
Tank and Petroleum Use Mishaps

Tank and Petroleum Use Mishaps is published by the Dangerous Goods-≠Hazmat GroupNetwork. STI≠SPFA appreciates their permission to republish it on our website. Click here to read current and past issues.

CUERO TX, JUNE 18 2015
Lightning struck a battery tank Tuesday in Thomaston, blowing the tank up and surging a nearby transformer, according to Cuero Fire Department. The battery tank off of Hotz Road exploded, but there were no hazardous materials in it, said Fire Marshal Buddy Harwell. The lightning surged a transformer in the area and electrical crews from Victoria were sent to fix the issue. Harwell said it is typical for lightning to strike battery tanks which are used in oil collection and storage.
In a scathing report, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Pipeline Safety is requiring the owner of the Sand Island Tank Facility to inspect all 16 of their massive fuel tanks.
A New Castle energy company which has already been fined for a deadly explosion in Mercer County has been convicted of violating the Pennsylvania Storage Tank and Spill Prevention Act.
Getting kids excited about engineering
Earlier this year, STI-SPFA member Phoenix Tank was the contractor for a tank-raising that brought new meaning to the phrase "student engagement."

The water storage tank is very close to an elementary school, and the engineering firm for the project in Matteson, Illinois, worked closely with municipal and school officials to provide an exciting experience for the children.

You can read all about it in this AWWA Journal article. Incidentally, Phoenix Fabricators & Erectors, Inc. received STI's 2014 Special Tank Fabrication Award for this unique project.

The Titanic tragedy: steel then and now
Dozens of movies and books have explored why the "unsinkable" Titanic foundered in 1912. There may be any number of factors, but research on the wreck indicates that faulty rivets and untrained riveters may bear significant blame.
Biodiesel, renewable sources at all-time high
According to a recent item in Biodiesel Bulletin, July 1, 2015, "Renewable energy consumption is the highest it has been since the 1930's." 

ASTM's D6751, Specification for Biodiesel Fuel Blend Stock (B100) for Middle Distillate Fuels, published in 2001, "ensures that biodiesel works correctly when blended with conventional distillate fuel oils like diesel fuel and heating oil," according to an article in the May/June 2015 issue of ASTM Standardization News.

ASTM Committee D02 has made revisions to the standard as the biodiesel industry has grown and "The improvements to D6751 and growth of the industry have also resulted in major revisions to ASTM standards for home heating oils and jet fuels." The article gives the example of a new B6-B20 grade in the home heating specification (B396), based on the use of D6751 biodiesel.

Another revision is that the maximum amount of biodiesel allowed in the D1655 jet fuel standard was raised from 5 to 50 ppm, with another increase to 100 ppm coming in the next two years. "The increase gives pipeline companies the flexibility to consider transporting biodiesel blends in pipelines that also carry jet fuel, while maintaining its quality."

See you at API and PEI!
Stop by to see the new STI-SPFA exhibit at PEI, Booth #6918
Two significant industry events are taking place soon, and STI-SPFA will be at both:
We hope to see you in Las Vegas!

AWWA seeks comments on water tank standard
CB&I Northfield MI
AWWA announced a 30-day public comment period beginning August 21, on proposed standard ANSI/AWWA D107-16, Composite Elevated Tanks for Water Storage.

This standard describes the design, construction, inspection, and testing of composite elevated tanks that use a welded steel tank for watertight containment and a single pedestal concrete support structure. 
Lightning and FRP tanks
New Century Club member
Surviving Pearl Harbor
API and STI present Storage Tank Fundamentals Course
EPA News: New UST rules
Replace or rehab? Readers respond
California: No more single-wall USTS
Tank and Petroleum Use Mishaps
Kids get excited about engineering
The Titanic: Steel then and now
Biodiesel use at all time high
See you at NTC, API and PEI
AWWA seeks comment on water tank standard

STI-SPFA's 100th Anniversary
Permatank's global reach
Permatank Padunsilpa
Introduced in 1992, STI's Permatank is the go-to tank for underground storage in 12 countries. There are currently more than 25,500 Permatanks registered in the US and around the world. 

Ethanol Video
A new study, released in June, proposes that, far from being "incompatible" with certain engines, ethanol actually extends the life of engine components. 


Industry Calendar of Meetings, Conferences and Events

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November 9, 10 am-Noon Central

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Technical and other information published in Tank Talk is provided without representations or warranties, express or implied.  In particular, STI/SPFA does not warrant the accuracy of information presented from external sources. 


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