Taken from Environmental Science & Engineering
Natural disasters, acts of vandalism and terrorism, fires and explosions are all major concerns for building and facility owners storing fuel on site. For above ground storage tanks, the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) 2085 listing has long been recognized as the “gold standard” for design safety. UL 2085- listed tanks provide fire protection (they have been fire tested at 2000 degrees for two hours), secondary containment, and protection from vehicle and projectile impact. But are the performance standards in this listing an adequate benchmark for what may happen in the real world? Two incidents highlight the importance of having added protection and security. Both events took place at Department of Homeland Security facilities in the US. In each case a ConVault tank helped guard against catastrophic losses of property or life.
Tank explosion at US border patrol
New Mexico has seen explosions within fuel tanks involving low sulfur diesel fuel. In one, a static spark produced an internal explosion within a 6,000 gallon ConVault tank containing low sulfur diesel fuel at the US Border Patrol in Santa Teresa, New Mexico. Two people were close to the tank, one sustained very minor injuries and the other person was not injured at all. The ConVault tank design with six inches of concrete surrounding a steel tank helped prevent a catastrophic loss of life.
Fire destroys US Coast Guard boathouse
A huge fire completely destroyed a pier, boats, a service truck and a US Coast Guard boathouse at Menemsha Harbor on Martha’s Vineyard. The fire was only a few feet away from the marina fueling system, which included 500 and 1,000 gallon ConVault tanks. The thermal protection of the concrete as well as the shutoff and fusible link valve prevented this fire from becoming an even larger catastrophe.
The importance of safety and design for fuel tanks
ConVault ASTs carry the UL 2085 label but they step beyond the UL 2085 industry standard by offering added protection and performance verified by third party testing. They are designed with six inches of reinforced concrete protecting both the primary and secondary containment. In addition, they are designed with reinforcing rebar surrounding both the primary and secondary containment. ConVault AST’s have even been granted DT&E designation under the Safety Act for the Supporting Anti-Terrorism Technology. ConVault tanks are the only AST to have received this designation. The SAFETY Act is intended to provide critical incentives for the development and deployment of anti-terrorism technologies.
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