Posts Tagged ‘SPCC’

OSHA Cites Two Florida Companies for Gas Station Explosion

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

On August 19, 2011, a massive fire broke out at a BP gas station on State Route 16 just outside of Saint Augustine, Florida. A half mile radius was evacuated around the station, the highway was closed, and over 4000 homes and businesses lost power as three fire and rescue units fought to contain the blaze. An employee was seriously injured in the incident.

Following a six month investigation, OSHA has cited Coomes Oil & Supply Inc., doing business as the 5th Wheel BP gas station in St. Augustine, and Florida Rock & Tank Lines Inc for serious and willful violations.

According to an OSHA news release, the incident happened when a Florida Rock & Tank Lines delivery driver was refilling an above-ground gasoline storage tank that had a broken gauge. The tank overflowed, and the combination of vapors and heat from the running delivery truck caused an explosion. OSHA’s inspection found that the gas station and Florida Rock & Tank Lines decided to refill the storage tank even though the liquid level gauging system was inoperable.

OSHA has proposed a $70,000 fine against Florida Rock & Tank Lines along with a citation for one willful violation. This violation is for “failing to provide the delivery driver to determine if the storage tank had enough capacity for additional gasoline.”

A $7,000 fine has been proposed for Coomes for a “serious violation” because there was substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

A few things about this incident caught my attention. First, I think it is interesting that Florida Rock and Tank Lines was issued the maximum fine for the willful violation, and Cooms was issued the minimum fine carried by its violation.

The second part of the incident that caught my attention is that the gas station is one of the last in the country to use above ground fuel tanks. I wouldn’t be surprised if this incident triggers targeted inspections for above ground fuel tanks at automotive businesses. If you have above ground storage tanks at your facility, make sure that monthly inspections are conducted as required by SPCC regulations, and that all safety features are in good working condition.

Tips to Keep Your SPCC Plan Legal

Friday, December 16th, 2011

By now, most dealerships who qualify for SPCC plans have completed them, but how many of us are following up with the compliance of the SPCC regulations after the plan is in place?

Has your plan been signed by a dealership plan manager?  Are the secondary containment descriptions accurate and in place?  Is your dealership documenting monthly visual inspections?  Are your tanks due for their 5 year SPCC review?  Tank integrity testing was recently brought to my attention.  Your dealership is responsible for complete tank integrity testing for all tanks onsite.  This goes beyond the simple visual inspection.  Here is the reg:

Federal (this requirement is not in effect until October 31, 2007) Under §112.108(c)(6), for bulk storage containers the owner must “Test each aboveground container for integrity on a regular schedule, and whenever you make material repairs. The frequency of and type of testing must take into account container size and design (such as floating roof, skid mounted, elevated, or partially buried). You must combine visual inspection with another testing technique such as hydrostatic testing, radiographic testing, ultrasonic testing, acoustic emissions testing, or another system of non-destructive shell testing. You must …”

One of the testing methods described was a hydrostatic test such as the testing completed on fire extinguishers every 6 years.  This testing will require assistance from a tank testing company.

December Compliance Tip of the Month: SPCC? ASAP!

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Compliance Tip of the MonthThe deadline for completing a Spill Prevention , Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) plan for your facility has been extended six times since 2002, but the latest deadline on November 10, 2011 has passed without an extension.  The New SPCC regulations are now law.

The SPCC requirements are intended to help prevent discharge of oil into navigable waters or adjoining shorelines. If your facility has the potential storage capacity of 1320 gallons or more of petroleum products, you must act, potentially even if you already have a SPCC plan in place.

To find out more about EPA’s SPCC requirements you can either visit the EPA’s Emergency Management information pages, or contact KPA. We can prepare, amend, and help you implement a SPCC plan that keeps your business in compliance with these requirements.

Now is the time to prepare, evaluate, update and implement your SPCC Plan

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

Compliance Tip of the Month

This year brings the hottest climate to the current state of environmental issues, and with the current focus of disasters such as the BP oil spill, enforcement is increasing and the consequences of non-compliance are expensive and potentially devastating.

The SPCC Rule essentially requires specific facilities to prepare, amend, certify, and implement an SPCC plan, thereby ensuring containment and countermeasures that will prevent oil discharges. Some elements of an SPCC plan include ensuring staff has undergone SPCC specific training, preparation of monthly self-inspection procedures and documentation, and a Five-year Plan review.

For more information, please see http://www.epa.gov/emergencies/content/spcc/index.htm

BP has a dismal safety record, do you?

Friday, June 4th, 2010

760 violations at BP versus 1 at Exxon!

ABC News published an article recently about BP’s dismal safety record, citing that OSHA statistics show BP ran up 760 “egregious, willful” safety violations, while Sunoco and Conoco-Phillips each had eight, Citgo had two and Exxon had one comparable citation.

The article goes on: in two separate disasters prior to the Gulf oil rig explosion, 30 BP workers have been killed, and more than 200 seriously injured. In the last five years, investigators found, BP has admitted to breaking U.S. environmental and safety laws and committing outright fraud. BP paid $373 million in fines to avoid prosecution.

How does this story apply to dealerships? 760 violations at BP versus 1 at Exxon; does this happen at dealerships? Our engineers visit about 3,000 dealers annually, inspect them on potential OSHA violations, and develop a comprehensive safety program. While we don’t see such a sharp difference as between BP and Exxon, we unfortunately have to admit that we see very large differences between dealers that have a safety culture and those that don’t.  Regrettably the general answer is “yes, there are dismal safety records at certain dealerships.”

In our February newsletter we wrote an article about Group 1 Automotive and Penske Automotive Group taking the lead in compliance management. Though both groups consist of nearly 100 dealer rooftops, these groups have effectively managed their compliance scores to an unbelievable 97% to  98% and have held this level of compliance consistently. To put this in perspective, the average compliance score for a facility prior to getting started with KPA’s safety program is about 85%. Both Group 1 and Penske Automotive Group are not only reaching high level of compliance across one store, they are doing it for all stores, across all states, regardless of the management hierarchy. Essentially, Group 1 and Penske have managed their compliance program to virtually spot free facilities in less than one year.

Tip of the month: check if you meet the new SPCC rule compliance dates

Friday, January 1st, 2010

Self Certification An Option Starting January 14th 2010

Compliance-TipAfter an 11 month delay for additional public comment the EPA has finalized the December 2008 amendments to the Spill Control and Countermeasures Plan (SPCC) rules. If you recall, last year’s amendments were to reduce some of the regulatory burden on smaller oil handling facilities such as yours. As it turns out, the changes resulting from the extended public comment period have not had any impact on the amendments in your business sector. As with the previous rules if your facility has an aggregate storage capacity of over 1,320 gallons (including 55 gallon drums) of petroleum products, these amendments will affect your facility.

For more information about this upcoming rule change, read more in our January newsletter or join our SPPC webinar on January 14.