Monday, December 27, 2010

Ireland Oil Regulations Enhanced

The arrival of The Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010 represent the most significant change in oil storage regulations in the province for a generation. Coming into effect on 20 March 2011 and affecting both new and existing oil storage installations, they are applicable to the storage of all kinds of oil including agricultural fuel oil, biodiesel, diesel, gas oil, bioheating oil, heating oil, kerosene, lubricants, oil based solvents, mineral oil, paraffin, plant oil, vegetable oil and waste oils.
Affected Premises
The new Regulations are applicable to all internal and external above ground storage installations with an installed capacity greater than 200 litres at:
  • Commercial premises e.g. shops, garages, offices etc.
  • Industrial premises e.g. factories, quarries, workshops etc.
  • Institutional premises e.g. civic buildings, hospitals, police stations, multi-residential dwellings, blocks of flats, apartments etc.
  • Domestic premises with an installed capacity greater than 3,500 litres
  • Waste oil storage and collection facilities e.g. civic amenity sites
  • Companies who refine and distribute oil and who are not regulated by The Control of Major Accident Hazards (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2000, storing 2,500 tonnes of oil or more.
Single family dwellings with an installed capacity of 3,500 litres or less are not affected by the Regulations, but instead are subject to Building Regulations in the province. Similarly, whilst agricultural installations do not fall within the remit of the legislation, they are covered by The Control of Pollution (Silage, Slurry and Fuel Oil) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2003.
The scope of the new Regulations at affected installations extends to:
  • Fixed storage tanks
  • Intermediate bulk containers (IBCs)
  • Drums
  • Bowsers and other similar, mobile storage / dispensing tanks
For the first time in Northern Ireland, the Regulations establish minimum legal requirements for the storage of oil at affected premises and installations. Usefully they bring the province largely into line with existing regulations elsewhere in the United Kingdom and in mainland Europe.
Principal Measures
Key requirements of the new regulations in Northern Ireland include:
  • Tanks, drums and any other storage containers must be strong enough to store oil without bursting.
  • Oil storage containers should be positioned to minimise the risk of vehicular impact
  • A secondary containment system (e.g. bund) should be incorporated within the installation to contain any oil spilt from the primary storage container, ancillary equipment or pipework.
  • The secondary containment system must be able to store a minimum of 110% of the primary storage container. Where more than one container is stored, the system must be able to contain either 110% of the capacity of the largest storage container of 25% of the aggregate total - whichever is the greater.
  • The base and walls of any bund must be impermeable to oil e.g. they must be able to contain oil for a minimum of 72 hours. Additionally, the bund must not be permeated by any pipe or valve, capable of draining the storage system.
  • Aboveground pipework must be properly supported and underground pipework must be protected from physical and chemical damage and have adequate leakage protection in place.
In practice, the outworking of the new requirements will be the installation of pre-fabricated bunded oil tanks and the increased use of sump pallets at many oil storage installations in the province.
In England and Scotland, comparable regulations were phased in over a number of years. It is therefore unsurprising to find the same approach has been taken in Northern Ireland. The Regulations, which apply to both new and existing oil storage installations, will be implemented in three distinct stages:
  • All new oil storage facilities must comply by 20 September 2011
  • Existing oil storage facilities within 10 metres of a waterway or within 50 metres of a well, borehole or spring must comply by 20 March 2013.
  • All remaining oil storage facilities should comply by 31 December 2015.
Further Information
In 2009, oil represented approximately 14% of substantiated pollution incidents investigated by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. Whilst there has been a welcome, downward trend in the number of oil related pollution incidents in the province; the number appears to have levelled off at c.220 incidents per annum during recent years. The Agency hopes the introduction of new Regulations will further reduce the number and extent of oil related pollution incidents in the province.
Further information on the new Regulations is available from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.

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Friday, November 05, 2010

Waterstop for Corner Joints

Earth Shield® Waterstop profile JP540L is the perfect solution for sealing corner joints between wall/wall or wall/slab on environmentally engineered concrete containment structures.  The product is externally applied using factory supplied novolac epoxy, stainless steel Tapcons®, and stainless steel batten bar.

Monday, October 04, 2010

JPS / Earth Shield Waterstop Proudly Sponsor Kenny G at South Coast Winery, Benefitting Shriners Hospitals for Children

This past Saturday at the beautiful, award-winning South Coast Winery in Temecula, CA, smooth jazz master Kenny G performed to a sold out audience with all proceeds benefitting Shriners Hospitals for Children. For the second year in a row, JP Specialties, Inc. (manufacturer of Earth Shield® Waterstop) has proudly sponsored the event which directly impacts the lives of children throughout the world. If you would like to see a short video gallery of the evening, please click here.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Unique Waterstop System Utilized In Idaho Dam Rehab

In early summer season, the reservoir behind Dworshak is about 630 feet deep. At the bottom of the reservoir the water pressure is high. From the top to the bottom of the dam are large, solid, copper “waterstops” between the large concrete monoliths designed to prevent leaks between the monoliths and in the cracks. Since 2009, the District and a contracted architectural-engineering (A-E) firm have been studying and prototyping new urethane waterstop technologies for tall or “high-head” dams. This $1.3 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) technology demonstration will lead to groundbreaking engineering research data for future high-head waterstop repairs at Dworshak and around the world. The urethane waterstop cylinders are being manufactured off site, and installation is expected to begin in late September 2010.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Compliance Q&A

Question - What constitutes an SPCC Plan?
Answer - A sketch or drawing of the site will assist in identification the implementation.
Question - When the SPCC Plan is completed and certified, is it sent to EPA for review?
Answer - No, a certified copy of the Plan is required to be available from EPA on-site review; if the facility is attended at least eight hours a day. If the facility is not attended, then the Plan shall be kept at the nearest company office.
Question - What is the time frame for plan preparation and implementation for a new facility?
Answer - One year from the date the facility begins operation.
Question - Is an SPCC Plan required when a facility has existing preventative systems in place and no previous history of spills?
Answer - The need for an SPCC Plan is determined by criteria; the storage capacity and the location, disregarding existing manmade structures.
Question - When a production lease consists of several operations, such as wells, oil/water separators, collection systems, tank batteries, etc. does each operation require a separate SPCC Plan?
Answer - No, one SPCC Plan may include all operations within a single geographical area when each is addressed in the Plan.
Question - Is every loss of oil or oil product subject to a penalty?
Answer - No, a discharge is defined in 311(a)(2) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act as including, but not limited to, any spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, or dumping that enters the waters of the United States or on the adjoining shorelines in harmful quantities. If the water is affected, a penalty could be assessed if a spill occurs and is prevented by some means from entering water, no penalty should be assessed.
Question - What is considered to be a harmful quantity?
Answer - Harmful quantity is defined in the Regulations as discharges which affect the water quality standards or cause a film or sheen upon or discoloration of the water or adjoining shorelines.
Question - What are considered navigable waters?
Answer - The waters of the United States. The Coast Guard interpretation includes not only the traditionally recognized navigable waters but all streams, creeks, lakes, and ponds connected to the tributary system in a river basin.
Question - Is one spillage of oil into a municipal storm sewer a violation?
Answer - If oil reaches "navigable water" a violation has occurred and penalties may result. The facility spilling the oil must also have an SPCC Plan implemented. A properly engineered plan and implemented would prevent a spill from occurring.
Question - What penalties are assessed?
Answer - The Regional Administrator to assess a civil penalty up to $5,000 per day for each violation.
Question - Must secondary containment be provided for transfer operations (i.e. for a tanker truck loading or unloading fuel at a facility?
Answer - The secondary containment system should be designed to hold at the least maximum capacity of any single compartment of a tank car or tank truck loading or unloading at the facility. This is not to say that a truck must park within a diked wall for loading/unloading. The regulation allows flexibility here for diversion structures such as curbing or diking to channel a potential spill to a secondary containment structure.
Question - Must an SPCC Plan be sent to EPA for review and/or approval?
Answer - Normally an SPCC Plan is not required to be sent to EPA for approval; however the owners or operators of a facility is required to maintain a complete copy of the Plan at the facility if the facility is normally attended to at least eight hours per day, or at the nearest field office if the facility is not attended. Upon inspection by EPA or representative, a SPCC Plan must be produced for the inspection review. A SPCC Plan must be submitted to EPA for review if either of the following conditions are met: (1) A facility discharges 1,000 gallons or more of oil in a single spill event, (2) a facility discharges oil in harmful quantities as defined in 40 CFR 110 into any waters of the United States in two spill events, reportable under section 311(b)(s) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act; occurring within any twelve month period. If either conditions applies, the owner or operator of such facility is required to submit their SPCC Plan to the EPA within 60 days for review.
Question - Are SPCC Plans required for hazardous substances or hazardous wastes?
Answer - SPCC Plans are required for facilities that store or transport oil of any kind or in any form, including, but not limited to petroleum, fuel oil, sludge, oil refuse and oil mixed with wastes other than dredged soil.
The SPCC regulation, as written does not apply to hazardous substances or hazardous waste. Some RCRA permits may require secondary containment for hazardous wastes on a facility specific basis. Although secondary containment is not required by regulation for hazardous substances, EPA recommends that facility owners strongly consider it as a means of reducing environmental damage and liability resulting from an accidental release.
Question - Is a facility required to develop a SPCC Plan if a spill from the facility is not able to reach any navigable waters of the United States?
Answer - A SPCC Plan is required for any facility which, due to it's location, could reasonably be expected to discharge oil in harmful quantities, as defined in 40 CFR Part 110, into or upon the waters of the United States. The determination to develop a SPCC Plan is the responsibility of the owners or operators of the required facilities.
Question - Are federally-owner facilities subject to SPCC requirements?
Answer - Federally-owned and operated facilities are required to develop a SPCC Plan for any federal facility that meets the applicability requirements.
Question - Do the SPCC regulations spell out design requirements for diking, curbing, etc.?
Answer - The SPCC regulations requires diked areas for storage tanks to be sufficiently impervious to contain any spilled oil. All bulk storage tank installations should be constructed so that a secondary means of containment is provided for the entire contents of the largest single tank plus sufficient freeboard to allow for precipitation. Containment curbs and pits are sometimes used as secondary containments but they may not always be appropriate for some facilities.
Question - What authorities do states have under the SPCC regulation?
Answer - The SPCC Program is a federally mandated program. Executive Order 11735 (August 3, 1973) delegated the authority of the President to promulgate prevention regulations for vessels or transportation, and to EPA (The Regional Administrators) for prevention for transportation related and non-transportation related facilities. States may perform SPCC inspection at the request of EPA; however, the overall review process of the inspection is the responsibility of the EPA. This review process will be handled within the Regional EPA office.
Question - If a tank is taken out of service, what measures must a facility take in order to be exempt from SPCC regulations?
Answer - Any tank taken out of service must have all pipes and fittings sealed off and tanks should be filled with an inert material, such as sand or concrete in order to be exempt from the SPCC regulations.
Question - Are tanks-within-a-tank satisfactory to meet the secondary containment requirement for SPCC?
Answer - Tanks-within-a-tank may provide adequate secondary containment; however, the valving must be designed so that accidental release from the inner tank (from such occurrences as an inadvertent valve opening or a failure) are completely contained within the outer tank.
Question - Must each tank in a tank battery have secondary containment?
Answer - A dike for tank battery is required to contain only the largest single tank within the tank battery plus sufficient freeboard to allow for precipitation. The dike should be sufficiently impervious to contain any spilled oil from the tank battery.

Question - Should above ground tank and underground tanks be subject to inspection?
Answer - All above ground tanks should be subject to periodic integrity testing, taking into account tank design and using such techniques as hydrostatic testing, visual inspection or a system of non-destructive shell thickness testing. Tank supports and foundations should be included in these inspections.
Buried storage tanks represent a potential for undetected spills. A new buried installation should be protected from corrosion by coatings. Buried tanks should be at least be subject to regular pressure testing. To qualify as buried storage, a tank must be completely buried in the earth. Tanks which are in an underground basement or vault do not qualify for underground storage. The reason is that buried tanks usually have some inherent protection by the containment action of the surrounding earth.
Question - Are transformers covered under SPCC compliance?
Answer - Electrical transformers and similar equipment are covered by the SPCC regulation provided that they contain sufficient quantities of oil, and due to location, can reasonably be expected to spill their oil into navigable waters or adjourning shorelines.
Question - If the drainage from a facility discharge into a sewer system is this facility required to have a SPCC Plan?
Answer - If the sewer is a storm sewer or combined sewer, the spill could reasonably be expected to reach navigable waters and thus the plan would be required. If the flow from the sewer is entirely treated in a sewage treatment plant then an engineering assessment should be made by the owner or operator as to whether or not the treatment system could handle the possible volume of oil without exceeding the permitted amount in the plant discharge without causing a harmful discharge. If the system could not handle the oil, then a SPCC Plan would be required. Violations of other sections of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act or other laws may be involved in a spill to a municipal sewer system.
Question - What other regulation or standards may be applicable for oil storage facilities?
Answer - UST (Underground Storage Tank), NFPA (National Fire Prevention Association) and State Fire Marshals.
If you have additional Questions about the SPCC Regulation, please contact the United States Environmental Protection Agency at (214)855-0711.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Please Come See Me Speak at the Temecula Library in August

I'm going to be speaking at the Temecula Library (30600 Pauba Road, Temecula, CA) event entitled "California's Water Problem." The event is sponsored by the Friends of the Temecula Library and will be held on Saturday, August 21, from 1 to 3 pm. A watermelon social will follow.

Please attend the event and learn about the challenges facing California and the world regarding our thirst for water. I hope to see you there.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Secondary Containment Halts Greka Facility Oil/Water Spill

Approximately 250 barrels of mostly produced water and crude oil spilled at the Greka Oil Lease facility in Santa Maria, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
Representatives from Greka, the fire department, the Department of Fish and Game, and County Petroleum responded to the scene at 9:16 a.m.
Crews say the spill was a result of an over-filled produced water tank. The spill did not affect local wildlife, and was within secondary containment, according to the fire department.

Special thanks to KSBY News for reporting.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Shell Singapore Cracker Unit Utilizes Earth Shield Waterstop for Containment Needs

BANGALORE, INDIA--May 7, 2010--Researched by Industrial Info Resources (Sugar Land, Texas)--Global oil and gas major Royal Dutch Shell plc (NYSE:RDS.A) (The Hague, Netherlands) inaugurated its widely anticipated Shell Eastern Petrochemical Complex (SEPC) in Singapore on May 4. At the inaugural ceremony, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsieng Loong said that the complex, which is Shell's new petrochemical hub, could attract a "new wave" of investments in excess of $2 billion in fixed assets from major companies involved in the petrochemical industry.

The SEPC is expected to give a major boost to Singapore's chemicals sector, which is responsible for one-third, or $60 billion, of the country's total manufacturing capacity. In fact, the company itself is attempting to lift its capacity to meet the burgeoning Asian, especially Chinese, demand for plastic-making raw materials.

The pride of the project is a cracker, which has a manufacturing capacity of 800,000 ton per year of ethylene; 450,000 tons per year of propylene; and 230,000 tons per year of benzene. Shell already had commissioned its 800,000 tons per year ethylene cracker on Pulau Bukom Island in March and the facility is operating efficiently, without hiccups, it is reported.

The complex also has a strategic integration with a 500,000-barrel-per-day refinery at Bukom Island. Shell modified the Bukom refinery plant, by virtue of which it is now capable of manufacturing a larger gamut of crudes as raw materials for the cracker.

Last November, the company had also commissioned its 750,000-ton-per-year mono ethylene glycol (MEG) plant on Jurong Island.

While designing the new complex, Shell wanted to have both the oil refining and the petrochemical units in the same complex, linking the facilities on the two islands. The cracker on Bukom Island, integrated with the Bukom refinery, is linked to the facilities on Jurong Island by a series of 2.8-mile pipes on the seabed. The company has provisions to either cool the ethylene to a liquid form for the purpose of exporting it from a newly constructed jetty, or to store it in a terminal with cryogenic storage provisions.

Special thanks to industrial for reporting the story. ---David R. Poole

Friday, April 16, 2010

Manager's Guide to Environmental Regulations

I just received my copy of Manager's Guide to Environmental Regulations by Thompson Publishing.  Environmental compliance can be burdensome, complex and costly. This book is a new and essential sourcebook that explains the requirements of the major federal environmental laws and will help you maintain compliance, meet ongoing deadlines, and avoid costly penalties and settlements.

Monetary penalties for noncompliance can be high; and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, once involved in an investigation, may look back a number of years for additional violations beyond the current situation. Thompson’s Manager’s Guide to Environmental Regulations will serve as a valuable tool in preparing your facility.

The book is divided into the following areas for easy reference – how to develop a facility-specific environmental compliance plan and explanations of the regulatory requirements under the major programs: the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know (EPCRA); the Risk Management Program; Hazardous Materials and Waste; the Clean Air Act; and Clean Water Act.

Friday, April 02, 2010

California Concert Series to Benefit Shriners Hospital

JP Specialties, Inc. is proud to once again provide corporate sponsorship for Rhythm on the Vine and Caring for Kids concert series – both benefiting Shriners Hospitals for Children. Shriners Hospitals is a one-of-a-kind international health care system of 22 hospitals where we treat children for orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, cleft lip palate in a family-centered environment – all at absolutely no charge.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Earth Shield Retrofit Waterstop for a Variety of Applications

Joining new concrete to existing concrete requires the use of a waterstop if the joint is to be fluid-proof. However, this formed joint has always been problematic for Engineers and Contractors, as properly installing a standard waterstop across a preformed joint is difficult, expensive, and usually a compromise. Traditionally, Engineers have accomplished the task by specifying the use of a standard embedded waterstop within a sawcut and epoxy-grout filled channel. This labor-intensive and costly method has often produced questionable results due to the potential cold joint formed between the epoxy and the existing concrete surface from shrinkage. Furthermore, by sawcutting the existing concrete, the Contractor may be inadvertently destroying the reinforcing steel within the concrete.

Earth Shield currently manufactures six polymer systems that offer Engineers, Owners, and Contractors real solutions for retrofitting applications. All of the systems are non-destructive — there is no sawcutting of the existing concrete, and therefore no destruction of the internal reinforcing steel. All of the systems feature chemical bond (epoxy), as well as mechanical anchor system (stainless steel batten bar and bolts). All of the systems are manufactured from a fully cross-linked thermoplastic vulcanizate (TPV), which provides broad-spectrum resistance to a variety of aggressive chemicals, long life span (entire lifecycle of structure), and excellent physical properties (tensile strength, elongation, etc.).

All six Earth Shield retrofit waterstops systems can be installed either vertically or horizontally. Therefore, they are equally suited for joining slab to wall or wall to slab. A frequent application is for the Contractor to pour the slab monolithically; apply an Earth Shield retrofit waterstop system to the cured slab (green concrete is perfectly acceptable); and cast containment walls (curbs) on top of the waterstop. All of our retrofit waterstop systems can be factory fabricated to fit-to-print dimensions, leaving little to no welding for the Contractor in the field.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Secondary Containment Rules for New Zealand

Secondary containment is a system which will contain fuel spills if a fuel tank leaks or is damaged, and from which the fuel can be cleaned up after a spill. A secondary containment system must also have a capacity capable of containing a spill equaling 110% of the capacity of the largest fuel tank it contains.
General Provisions:
Where a total of 2000 liters or more of petrol and/or diesel is stored the person in charge of the farm must ensure that fuel is stored in a compound (bund). Where the total is below 2000 liters the fuel may alternatively be located so that any spillage will not endanger any building, or flow into any natural water body. Any tanks must be maintained so that valves, hoses and dispensers do not leak.

What is a Compound (Bund)?

A compound is a form of secondary containment consisting of a hollow, pit or structure which is capable of containing any fuel spill from the fuel storage. To comply with HSNO regulations it must:
  • Be of a size capable of holding 110% of the contents of the largest fuel tank; and be constructed of non-flammable materials (concrete, brick, HDPE, clay, earth or similar); and effectively retain the fuel if there is a spillage.
  • In areas with light, free draining soils (e.g. pumice or sandy soils), a compound must be lined with an additional impermeable layer (e.g. concrete, clay or brick) to stop spills entering groundwater.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Pesticide Container and Containment Regulations At A Glance

The purpose of this document is to provide an outline of many of the requirements of the regulations “Standards for Pesticide Containers and Containment.”  This document reflects the requirements established in August 2006 and amended in October 2008.  With this document, EPA intends to facilitate the public’s ability to determine who is subject to the rule and how to comply.
Because this is a summary, many details are not included.  Refer to the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR parts 156 and 165) and the October 29, 2008 Federal Register Notice for the full version.
This Web page includes the following:
  1. Overview table of who must comply, a list of major requirements and the compliance date for each of the five areas of regulatory standards.
  2. Overview table of the products that are subject to the nonrefillable, refillable and repackaging regulations.
  3. A short summary of each of the five areas of the regulatory standards, addressing:

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Bulk Storage Secondary Containment Requirements

For purposes of the SPCC requirements, secondary containment for bulk storage facilities must be constructed to at least provide for the capacity of the largest single tank with sufficient freeboard for precipitation.  EPA believes that the proper standard of "sufficient freeboard" to contain precipitation is that amount necessary to contain a 25-year, 24-hour storm event. There are several different types of secondary containment measures that could be used at a facility including:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Oil Spill in Ingleside, Texas — Secondary Containment Breached

Ingleside, TX — Federal and local officials are dealing with an oil spill at the Falcon Refinery.
Some 25,000 barrels of crude oil spilled out of a ruptured storage tank.
Over two million gallons of oil are kept in the storage tanks at the refinery.
Two of these tanks ruptured causing thousands of gallons to leak.
Crews from the Texas General Land Office at 7:30 Wednesday came started to siphon the oil into another tank for secondary containment.
But the crew got an unfortunate surprise when that secondary containment tank started to leak.
Jimmy Martinez, the regional director of the Texas General Land Office said, "Oil has gotten into the secondary containment. We found 3 different locations where the oil escaped the secondary containment and now we have some free floating oil outside what they call a duck pond directly behind the facility here."
Crews from the environmental protection agency's emergency response team have flown in from Dallas. They are here to oversee the operation; specifically monitoring the oil's proximity to the coastline, and making sure that oil does not run into redfish bay.
No injuries to humans to report, but four oily birds were taken to the ARK in Port Aransas.
The EPA has previously classified this area as a potentially hazardous zone back in 2002.
The clean-up will continue all day Thursday. (Story by Spencer Lubitz)