FUEL DEPOT UPDATES
Water Authority of Dickson County has received from its environmental engineering consultant an initial review of the Titan Partners’ Spill Prevention, Control and Containment Plan (SPCC) for the proposed Fuel Terminal. Once Titan provides answers to the questions below, WADC’s consulting engineer will issue a written report about the SPCC.
As a reminder, WADC voiced concerns over the lack of information about specific public safety and natural resource protection issues during the State and local permit process.
The primary concerns identified and expressed by WADC were the lack of details for:
- The SPCC for the proposed location. Highly concerning to WADC is the potential for catastrophic failure of the site’s containment features. The facility is proposed to be built in the Nails Creek/Turnbull Creek watershed, a primary source-water basin for WADC’s Turnbull Water Treatment Plant.
- Firefighting containment plans and the use of PFAS-based firefighting chemicals.
- Pipeline safety including response actions to spills from pipeline breaks, containment, and notification process when a break occurs.
For WADC’s consulting engineering firm to complete its review of the SPCC the additional information has been requested from Titan:
- SPCC plan includes drawings with dike elevations, contours, etc. The SPCC plan indicates containment capacity is 6,811,000 gallons for large tank containment area (largest tank 5,076,000 gallons, total large tank capacities +/- 15,000,000 gallons); 10,865 gallons for smaller tank containment area (8,000 gallon largest tank, total additive tank capacity +/- 35,000 gallons). Can Titan provide additional details regarding response actions for catastrophic failure of more than one tank in the containment areas?
- Please identify the location of any underground piping at the site.
- SPCC plan states stormwater in containment will be released after inspection and verification of no sheen. Will any type of treatment of the water be performed prior or during release (e.g. filtration, sand bed, separation)? Will collected water be released directly to a stormwater conveyance or to an oil/water separator(s)?
- If stormwater is to be released to an oil/water separator, where will the oil/water separator be located and please indicate location of aboveground and underground lines running to/from it? What are the specifications of the OWS?
- What is the proposed frequency for inspection and monitoring of the oil/water separator? How will inspections/monitoring be documented?
- Documents provided identify an earthen containment dike. Please provide additional details regarding the design and proposed construction including:
- Will clay to be used for construction of the earthen containment dike come from onsite sources or will some clay be brought in from an offsite borrow or other source?
- How will onsite (and offsite) clay be evaluated, sorted, tested, etc. for suitability to use as an earthen containment dike?
- SPCC plan says compacted clay dike (10-7 cm/sec). How will compacted clay be placed (6 inch lifts, sheep foot compactor)? What test method will be used to determine the permeability of the clay dike once constructed?
- How many locations across the earthen dike will be tested for permeability? What is the proposed test spacing?
- How will the earthen dike be maintained?
- If a release of petroleum were to occur inside the earthen dike, how will petroleum-impacted clay/soil be managed and/or replaced during cleanup activities?
- Where will the transmix tank be located? What is the capacity of the transmix tank?
- Where will the petroleum contact water (PCW) tank be located? What is the capacity of the PCW tank?
- What are the construction details of the proposed pipeline connection? Will the pipeline connection area have secondary containment?
- What is the proposed frequency for oil/fuel tank inspections? How will inspections be documented?
- What type and quantity of spill response materials will be maintained at the facility?
These initial questions have been sent to Titan Partners from WADC. TP’s project team will be providing responses.
WADC continues to request and gather information about the Titan/BP Fuel Terminal proposed to be located within the Nails Creek/Turnbull Creek watershed where WADC operates its Turnbull Water Treatment Plant.
Throughout the last 4 months WADC has spelled out the need for: specific plans of protection of the watershed during a catastrophic event at the proposed terminal; for replacing PFAS firefighting foam due to its known environmental dangers (especially to drinking water supplies); and for the need of all relevant pipeline safety information including the notification and spill containment process of a pipeline failure.
On July 31, after follow up inquiries, WADC Chairman Kyle Ruf received a response from U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) pipeline safety entity Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). Chairman Ruf had contacted PHMSA’s Atlanta office and spoken with that office’s Community Liaison, Office of Pipeline Safety – Outreach and Engagement Division.
PHMSA’s response to Chairman Ruf contains information found in 49 C.F.R. Part 195 – Transportation of Hazardous Liquids by Pipeline. Section 195.5 provides the federal requirements of “conversion to service” of a pipeline that has been idled, inactive or decommissioned. Section 195.2 contains definitions of certain terms occurring in § 195.5 (those terms are italicized below).
49 C.F.R. § 195.5 provides, in full:
(a) A steel pipeline previously used in service not subject to this part qualifies for use under this part if the operator prepares and follows a written procedure to accomplish the following:
(1) The design, construction, operation, and maintenance history of the pipeline must be reviewed and, where sufficient historical records are not available, appropriate tests must be performed to determine if the pipeline is in satisfactory condition for safe operation. If one or more of the variables necessary to verify the design pressure under §195.106 or to perform the testing under paragraph (a) (4) of this section is unknown, the design pressure may be verified and the maximum operating pressure determined by-
(i) Testing the pipeline in accordance with ASME/ANSI B31.8 (incorporated by reference, see §195.3), Appendix N, to produce a stress equal to the yield strength; and
(ii) Applying, to not more than 80 percent of the first pressure that produces a yielding, the design factor F in §195.106(a) and the appropriate factors in §195.106(e).
(2) The pipeline right-of-way, all aboveground segments of the pipeline, and appropriately selected underground segments must be visually inspected for physical defects and operating conditions which reasonably could be expected to impair the strength or tightness of the pipeline.
(3) All known unsafe defects and conditions must be corrected in accordance with this part.
(4) The pipeline must be tested in accordance with the subpart E of this part to substantiate the maximum operating pressure permitted by §195.406.
(b) A pipeline that qualifies for use under this section need not comply with the corrosion control requirements of subpart H of this part until 12 months after it is placed into service, notwithstanding any previous deadlines for compliance.
(c) Each operator must keep for the life of the pipeline a record of the investigations, tests, repairs, replacements, and alterations made under the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section.
(d) An operator converting a pipeline from service not previously covered by this part must notify PHMSA 60 days before the conversion occurs as required by § 195.64.
The italicized terms above are defined in 49 C.F.R. § 195.2, as follows:
Pipeline or pipeline system means all parts of a pipeline facility through which a hazardous liquid or carbon dioxide moves in transportation, including, but not limited to, line pipe, valves, and other appurtenances connected to line pipe, pumping units, fabricated assemblies associated with pumping units, metering and delivery stations and fabricated assemblies therein, and breakout tanks.
Operator means a person who owns or operates pipeline facilities.
Maximum operating pressure (MOP) means the maximum pressure at which a pipeline or segment of a pipeline may be normally operated under this part.
PHMSA’s email did not convey where the above referenced records and inspection results can be viewed by the Public, utilities, or environmental protection groups. WADC is still in the process of working through the methods and rights of access the Public has to these records. Of special note is that PHMSA is indicating in (b) that if a pipeline’s condition “complies” with § 195.5 the pipeline operator “need not comply with corrosion control requirements…until 12 months after it is placed into service…” WADC is drilling down on this point to discover what notifications are made of a potential pipeline failure especially when corrosion control requirements are waived for 12 months.
On August 7 WADC received the DRAFT COPY of the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plan from Titan Partners. The DRAFT COPY is not signed or certified, so it is a work in progress and not a final plan. WADC forwarded the SPCC, Site-plan, and the other Titan documents to the WADC’s independent environmental engineering firm for review and comment.
Of note is Titan’s Product Tank Volumes Chart that shows the facility to have a Working Volume of 14,700,000 gallons of liquid petroleum products among 6 tanks, and 17,653,062 gallons of Gross Shell Volume among those 6 tanks. WADC had previously been told the terminal would be a 5,000,000 gallon facility.
Titan’s chart for Additive Tank Volumes shows a total of 32,850 gallons of tankage for additives.
Chairman Ruf and WADC staff continue to be contacted by and engage in discussion with concerned citizens, preservation groups, and state and local officials. All original concerns of having a large liquid petroleum facility reside atop a key clean water source watershed are still being researched and still require specific answers.
Timeline and Points of Discussion Developed from Week of July 13th by Water Authority of Dickson County Chairman Kyle Ruf and WADC Staff:
- Wednesday July 15th – The WADC chairman and senior staff had a video conference with April Grippo, Deputy Director of Water Resources, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, and other TDEC staff members. In this meeting WADC and TDEC discussed the permits from TDEC for which Titan will apply. Neither of the two TDEC permits, the Construction General Permit and the General Stormwater Permit (aka Multi-Sector Permit), pertain to the specific environmental concerns the Water Authority has with the location of the proposed facility.
- TDEC is not tasked by its governing statutes with heightened scrutiny of its permitting process by reason of the increase in exposure to vulnerable watersheds or water resources. From the perspective of the statutes and regulations under which TDEC operates, a 5 million gallon liquid petroleum fuel terminal upstream from a water treatment plant does not have a more materially stringent permitting standard or process than a gas station or a retail development. The permitting process is geared toward stormwater runoff, not catastrophe, and at no point in the permitting review could the Water Authority or TDEC identify a legal or regulatory framework for TDEC to more highly scrutinize the development.
- Thursday July 16th and Friday July 17th – The Water Authority chairman had personal discussions with people experienced in both tank construction (non-petroleum) and petroleum pipeline safety.
- Saturday July 18th – The Water Authority chairman contacted the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), the federal regulatory agency having jurisdiction over interstate pipelines such as the one that is to serve the proposed facility, to discuss PHMSA’s role in pipeline inspection, monitoring and regulation, and specifics of this pipeline. A reply from PHMSA is awaited.
- Throughout the week, the Water Authority chairman and WADC staff members spoke on numerous other occasions with state and local officials and concerned citizens. Public awareness has been increased on the need to consider exposures and be provided with specific answers about current and future water quality.
- On Friday, July 17th the Water Authority Chairman received a letter via email from Neal McHugh, Manager, HSSE Project Support and Vapor Control, Buckeye Partners, LP. In the letter Mr. McHugh began to address some of WADC’s questions and concerns that the Water Authority raised to TDEC. It is not known whether TDEC spoke or corresponded directly with representatives from Buckeye Partners after the July 15 video meeting with TDEC, but some of the topics mentioned in the letter indicate it. The Water Authority views the possibility with encouragement; if its concerns are being forwarded and potentially amplified by the State’s environmental regulatory agency, so much the better. The letter from Mr. McHugh is available for review HERE.
On May 11, 2020 the Water Authority began research that is ongoing and so far can be brought in to focus with these three points:
- Water Authority Chairman Ruf in a July 12th email to Planning and Zoning Commissioner David Brogdon wrote that WADC is specifically concerned about “firefighting chemical compounds and containment”. The specific concern relates to a chemical firefighting agent commonly known as PFAS, fluorine chemicals used in foam firefighting products, the kind of which are used current-day in fire suppression for large petroleum-based fires. Certain PFAS chemicals have already been banned by EPA but it is WADC’s understanding commercially viable alternatives for the firefighting compounds are not yet available. Mr. McHugh also makes mention of this in his letter to WADC. WADC encourages anyone to conduct his or her own research in to the EPA’s ongoing efforts to eliminate use of PFAS and EPA’s plan for cleanup of contaminated sites. Of specific concern to EPA is the safety of groundwater. EPA issued an update in February – EPA PFAS Action Plan Program Update February 2020. It and other information can be found at https://www.epa.gov/pfas/epas-pfas-action-plan
- The pipeline is also a focus. The Water Authority must rely on PHMSA to provide answers and information regarding the decades-old pipeline and it being repurposed to transport gas and diesel from the Chicago Area to Dickson County. WADC understands that pipelines break. With hundreds of miles of water and sewer lines it is in an ongoing, never-ending process of repair and replacement of aging pipes. The Water Authority does not have the internal resources to evaluate the petroleum pipeline business. WADC is asking for details about monitoring of underground breaks, potential of gallons spilled until repaired, how and where the line valves are located and how those valves are activated in the event of a break. At the moment there are many more questions than answers.
- Third, the Water Authority is restating its concern about the catastrophic exposure to the watershed presented by a storage facility used to house millions of gallons of petroleum upstream from the Turnbull Water Treatment Plant. As noted last week in the email to Commissioner Brogdon, the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures Plan, SPCC is required by Federal Regulation 40 CFR Part 112. Mr. McHugh’s letter stated the SPCC will be provided to WADC by August 7, 2020. WADC has no experts on staff familiar with this scope of containment. The Water Authority has consistently emphasized its need to have the plan independently reviewed by an environmental engineering firm experienced in developing and/or reviewing SPCC’s for petroleum storage facilities.
In summary and still in response to the underlying question about WADC concerns regarding this facility, WADC continues to have valid and ample concerns about the safety of a key watershed in the WADC service area. On behalf of its ratepayers and the future of WADC’s ability to produce safe drinking water from Turnbull Creek, WADC sees the need for the development of many more answers. TDEC’S limitations as an active forum to identify information and ensure proactive measures are now apparent, as is WADC’s own lack of channels of expression, and the need for a public voice to be heard. WADC will continue on its path for answers from PHMSA, EPA, and any other regulatory authorities it can identify in its mission to provide potable water through preservation of the water resources of its service area.
For 18 years the Water Authority of Dickson County has consistently described itself as a steward of our service area’s natural resources. Water and wastewater treatment providers are closely regulated but it still remains the duty of the individual provider, its board and its employees to help safeguard water resources by closely managing its own treatment methods and by constant scrutiny of factors which potentially have an impact on those water resources. WADC takes the view that this is a 24/7, 365 day a year endeavor and does not rise and fall with any individual development, project, or request.
WADC recognizes the Public’s great interest in having its potable water provider be a key part of the fuel depot discussion. There are processes we follow, input we gather and decisions we make based on as much factual information as we can collect.
We are developing information and new questions daily. Regardless of the personal aspects of stakeholders in this issue the WADC has been steadily doing its job on behalf of our ratepayers and natural resources.
The first permit TDEC is considering is for Air Quality and TDEC included questions and answers regarding water quality, traffic and other concerns in that public hearing. WADC is engaged in discussions with TDEC and will continue to be involved as more specific water quality-related permits are applied for by Titan/Buckeye.
WADC has requested and will receive schedules and plans from both Titan/Buckeye and TDEC regarding Spill and Containment as required by the EPA, 40 C.F.R. Part 112, and as part of TDEC’s review process of stormwater runoff permits. WADC has also requested and will receive any other plans required of the depot by TDEC. WADC will have an independent environmental engineer assess any questions or concerns about these plans, and will respond to TDEC based on those assessments.
The Public has raised obvious concerns and provided valuable input. WADC welcomes continued positive engagement from its ratepayers as WADC’s requests are addressed.
UPDATE - 7/7/20
Understanding many in our community are concerned about the proposed Fuel Terminal and have questions regarding WADC’s role in this proposed project, WADC provided a statement on this website yesterday and WADC's Facebook page. It should be noted, WADC does not have a staff member who is dedicated to facilitating social media and who is able to constantly monitor various social media post and respond to questions. For that reason, WADC’s Facebook page limits post from other parties. Questions and comments should be directed to WADC’s information email box at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WADC apologizes for any confusion and misunderstanding. The following is a continuation of the previous statement posted that will hopefully answer some of the questions posed:
• Per State law, utility Board members are eligible to receive $200 per month per diem for service on a utility Board. In April of this year, all five WADC Board members voted to have each of their $200 per diem payments be directed to the Dickson County Help Center for the purpose of assisting others in our community with paying their utility bills. Commissioners are also able to participate in WADC’s health insurance plan.
• WADC is concerned with any human activity that occurs within the watershed of the source water streams used to provide drinking water to our communities. Runoff of fertilizers from agriculture and residential developments already directly impact streams. Petroleum product runoffs (e.g. oil leaks from cars) from parking lots/highways contribute pollutants to streams perpetually. WADC also understands the risk of pollutants from underground pipelines, industrial facilities and the cargo of interstate highway traffic. WADC does not have the authority or jurisdiction to regulate any of these activities; is only able to be aware of and assess risk, monitor the water quality at its treatment plants and depend on other regulatory agencies like TDEC and EPA to provide appropriate notices in the event source water is compromised.
UPDATE - 7/6/20
The Water Authority of Dickson County (WADC) is a public utility and does not have any authority or ability to deny or approve these type developments. As with other utilities (e.g. electric and gas,) WADC is required to provide service and cannot discriminate against any development whether it be a single home, multi-lot subdivision or industrial facility. This project is not a WADC Capital project; and hence, no ratepayer or WADC funds will be used to construct water line infrastructure for the purpose of relocation or extension of water lines for this project. In regards to stream pollution, WADC does not have legal jurisdiction to regulate runoff or any protective measures. The State of Tennessee Dept of Environment & Conservation (TDEC), Division of Water Resources is responsible for managing, protecting and enhancing the quality of the state’s water resources (https://www.tn.gov/…/program-a…/wr-water-resources-home.html). WADC is governed by a 5-member Board of Commissioners. WADC Commissioners are not active employees, only have voting authority during a meeting in which a quorum is established, and do not participate within the daily operations of WADC. Commissioners are not provided WADC cell phones or WADC email addresses. Emailed comments for a Commissioner may be directed to WADC’s info box at email@example.com.