DOE Goes to the Fire Code for the Industry's Standards
It has been ten months since the first draft of the petroleum retail industry standards was written. So many meetings have already been spent debating and hammering out the final form of the standards. As of this writing, the Department of Energy (DOE) is working to produce what is hoped will be the final draft which incorporates provisions that should help ensure the code will be effective and can be implemented.
The delay in DOE’s release of the guidelines is largely due to the divergent positions among industry players, particularly on the issue of whether or not to allow above-ground fuel storage tanks which the new players espouse.
To resolve the storage tank issue, Caltex engineering officials Ed Maximo and Luis Tan suggested that standards be based on the Fire Code. "We do not have to invent a new set of guidelines. Let us follow what the Fire Code requires," proposed Tan, Caltex Engineering Services Manager. "Storage tank regulations vary among countries. The minimum guideline government can set is to follow local regulations."
The following provisions should give retailers an idea of the nature of the new code:
The code of guidelines may still encounter rough sailing. New players will definitely protect their substantial investments for above-ground storage tanks and mobile tank trucks. The autonomy of local governments to adopt, modify or reject the DOE’s Circular is another factor to contend with. In the final analysis, it will still be the legitimate players and the oil companies who will continue to lobby for a business environment that promotes fair and safe practices essential to our growing economy.
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