Tag Archives: Underground

U.S. Navy Settles Underground Storage Tank Violations at Hampton Roads Facility

The U.S. Navy has agreed to pay a $5,855 penalty to settle alleged underground storage tank (UST) violations at its Building NH94, located at 7918 Blandy St., Norfolk, Va., the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today.

There are three 25,000-gallon underground storage tanks at this facility containing diesel fuel. Each UST is required to be tested every three years to make sure the tank is not corroded and that the corrosion protection system is operating properly. During a March 2011 inspection, the inspectors found that these tanks had not been tested since 2004. 

The $5,855 settlement penalty reflects cooperation of the U.S. Navy with EPA in the investigation and resolution of this matter. The Navy has certified its compliance with applicable UST requirements and the tanks were tested for corrosion on April 4, 2011. 

Underground storage tanks must be tested to prevent leaks, because the greatest potential threat from a leaking UST is contamination of groundwater, the source of drinking water for nearly half of all Americans. These leaks can threaten public safety and health as well as the environment because UST systems contain hazardous and toxic chemicals. Cleaning up petroleum leaks is difficult and usually expensive. Federal regulations ensure that USTs are structurally sound because it is easier and less costly to prevent leaks before they happen.

SOURCE: http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/19ffd8c85cbb1a41852579ec0061f92a?OpenDocument

State collecting ideas opinions related to cathodic protection & corrosion issues specific to propane tank rules

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services wants to know what propane customers who own underground tanks think of new safety requirements, and regulators have set up an online survey to collect comments.

The latest edition of the national LP-Gas Code requires that underground propane tanks installed after Jan. 1, 2011, be equipped with a system to protect them from corrosion. The code also requires that the system — known as a cathodic protection system — be tested for effectiveness on a specified schedule. Test results must be documented and maintained.

The tests must be conducted using equipment that includes a voltage meter. The initial test must be performed when the tank is buried, to verify that the protective system is working. The second test occurs 12 to 18 months later. If results of these two tests are acceptable, the test interval increases to once every 36 months. If the results ever fall below the acceptable voltage, the system must be repaired and the testing schedule restarted.

Propane companies that own tanks are aware of the requirements and have accepted the responsibility to comply, said Richard Fredenburg, LP-gas inspection manager for the department’s Standards Division.

“Tanks owned by their customers are a different situation,” he said. “The customers traditionally don’t know a lot about the technical side of their propane systems, but they still have the responsibility for having the tests done and documented. We want tank owners to comply with the rules, and we are asking them to give us ideas on how to accomplish that.”

The Standards Division has posted a survey on its website to gather ideas from customers. Go to www.NCStandards.org and click on “Customer-Owned Propane Tanks.” The survey can be completed online or printed and mailed to the Standards Division. Customers without Internet access can request a copy of the survey by calling 919-733-3313. Comments will be accepted through Dec. 31.

Fredenburg said he is interested in hearing all ideas, even the ones that aren’t practical. “We want to get the pulse of what is important to consumers who own these tanks,” he said.

SOURCE: http://www.yourdailyjournal.com/view/full_story/16238746/article-State-collecting-ideas–opinions-related-to-propane-tank-rules?instance=home_news_lead

Corrosion problems identified in Melbourne’s City Loop

Serious structural problems in Melbourne’s City Loop – including cracking tunnel walls, concrete corrosion  – have been ignored by successive state governments and train operators despite repeated warnings.

A 2001 report, also obtained by The Age, revealed the loop was suffering from long-term structural corrosion caused by possible contamination of the original concrete mix.

Damage to concrete plinths was leading to ”heavy corrosion” of steel reinforcements, potentially undermining the tracks. At worst, a derailment ”must be considered possible”, said the report, commissioned by infrastructure contractor Thiess Infraco.

Transport Safety Victoria has also expressed concern about the 30-year-old loop, after receiving a letter of complaint from the train drivers’ union. The letter, addressed to Metro and copied to the Coroner, said drivers had ”grave concerns” about the operator’s failure to address evacuation procedures.

The drivers say they are not trained for emergencies in the loop. Their occupational health and safety representatives yesterday issued Metro with a formal warning that will trigger a WorkSafe investigation.

The Age investigation into City Loop safety has revealed:

  • Drawings of fire-protected areas of underground stations have been lost.
  • A recent CSIRO study of the smoke extraction fans found some were performing to a capacity of only 25 per cent.
  • Train drivers have noticed record levels of water seeping through the walls, along the tracks and on the emergency walkways. Metro says, however, that the water is not a safety risk.
  • Train drivers have been asking Metro for six months for an after-hours train to inspect the tunnels. Metro has refused.

Metro, which took over the rail system from Connex in 2009, could not confirm yesterday whether these problems had been tackled.

But it said structural problems with the concrete would be addressed in a rehabilitation program starting next April.

Metro spokeswoman Geraldine Mitchell said 6125 sleepers would also be replaced by November as part of general maintenance.

She said two independent reports – one commissioned by government and one by Metro – had concluded that safety standards had been met.

In a statement to The Age, the Department of Transport said the loop was performing ”optimally” and ”a range of maintenance, repair and mitigation” measures had been conducted since the 2001 report.

The loop had been tested – including state-of-the-art smoke testing – and emergency exercises completed. ”The department believes the potential for a train derailment in the rail loop is extremely low,” it said.

”The emergency walkways located in the loop are subject to ongoing maintenance and repair.” Representatives from the government’s insurance authority had recently inspected the walkways and found them in an ”adequate condition”.

Transport Minister Terry Mulder did not answer when asked by The Age whether he knew about the reports. But he said he expected the department and Metro to hold safety as paramount. ”As minister, my priority is for the safety and security of passengers,” he said.

SOURCE: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/city-loop-safety-fears-20110921-1klbd.html#ixzz1YjH0c7qH