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Tank Farm Engineering {TFE} Introduction

Tank Farm Emergencies

     Tank Farm engineering for hazardous materials spills or releases should be based on completion of the NFPA 472 Training prerequisite for the Technician with a FLBSS {Flammable Liquids Bulk Storage Specialty area or “Specialist”} for this area of study. For a new employee to the field of Hazardous Materials, or an experienced Haz-Mat Technician the FLBSS is an excellent place to begin the study of tank farm emergencies. In the coming weeks, Tank Farm Engineering will break down these “Competencies” for this specialty area into their “core” data and response challenges. These are not meant to be the end by any comparison, only the beginning. By highlighting “concepts” you may find “needs” for better mitigation of your Tank Farm response.

     In this NFPA 472-F96 ROP document, chapter 12 pertains to these competencies. Chapter 12 is divided into 4 basic sections,

12-1 General

12-2 Analyzing the Incident

12-3 Planning the Response

12-4 Implementing the Planned Response

Most discussions will deal with schematic drawings, so refer to my other articles to view previous tank farm fires. This post will encompass section 12-1, General Concepts, definitions and Goals. Confer with your organization to plan if they are ready and pre-planned for one of these events. To be proficient at a scene of this magnitude requires the minimum requirements of the FLBSS.

     As a FLBSS you must first, 1] be a “Hazardous Materials Technician” which is required by the EPA {Environmental Protection Agency} for international response. Second, 2] A FLBSS must be provided medical surveillance for the distinct hazards that he or she will respond to. Third, 3] you shall receive all other applicable training required by Federal, State, and local regulatory entities. This includes any additional EPA or OSHA {Occupational Safety and Health Administration} requirements.

     By definition, the FLBSS is, “to be a person that can provide support and information to the haz-mat “Technician” responding to a tank farm incident”. You must be able to provide strategic and tactical recommendations to the on-site Incident Commander. You must also be able to provide the oversight for fire control and product removal operations while acting as liaison between “Technicians”, firefighters, and outside contractors that respond to your emergency. You will be expected to use the appropriate PPE and operate specialized equipment for fire, leak, and spill control methods.

     Your overall function is to provide hazardous materials technicians the knowledge and skill to perform these tasks safely. This means, you will be participating with them, so we are talking about “Leadership”. You cannot train on-scene for a leadership role; therefore you must have this quality. Leadership is the competency of skill mixed with concern for your workers safety. Bottom line, everyone goes home after the event. Therefore, a FLBSS must be able to;

1] Analyze a tank farm incident to determine the magnitude of the problem.

2] Determine the type and extent of damage to a Bulk Liquid Storage Tank.

3] Predict the likely behavior of tank and contents in the near future.

4] Plan a response with known resources and resources you can expect.

5] Determine the response options, offensive, defensive, non-intervention.

6] Implement this planned response to a Tank Farm Incident.

If you can provide this for a single tank on fire, at a tank farm, you are ahead of the curve for these types of response, if not, stay tuned.

                               Haz Mat Mike  


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