Above ground storage tanks (AST) store the liquid substances that industries across the United States use on a daily basis. From the oil we put into our cars to the food we serve for our families, these tanks contribute to the success of American industry. Because they are so important, AST units are closely monitored and regulated by the government and industry regulatory agencies. One agency in particular, the American Petroleum Institute (API), creates a series of codes and regulations that govern how these tanks are built, maintained, repaired, cleaned, and inspected.
Why all the fuss about AST units? Not only are they essential to American industry, they often carry hazardous chemicals that can cause harm to people surrounding them if they leak or spill. API tank regulations are there to protect not just industry but the people that depend on them.
For those who don’t think API tank regulations are necessary, consider what happened in Colorado in 2013. In September of that year, several parts of Colorado suffered from massive floods, causing innumerable damages and even some fatalities. One unfortunate result of the flooding was the damage of several AST units. More than 48,000 gallons of oil and 43,000 gallons of produced water were spilled due to the flooding. As a result, the state government is forcing AST owners to add certain modifications (such as remote shut-in capabilities and secondary containment areas) by 2015 for new wells and 2016 for old wells.
If that isn’t enough to convince you how necessary these regulations are, then little else can.
Steel storage tanks are vital to our economy and, really, are basic way of life. API 650 and 653 are just two of the many necessary codes in place that ensure the tank’s viability and safety. For more information, feel free to leave a comment or question at the bottom.