Oil fields and refineries create some of the most challenging containment situations due to their scale and volume. However, they’re far from the only parts of the industry or related businesses that need secondary containment. Federal laws, alone, apply to far more than just the oil refineries extracting and producing the fuel and lubricant products. Practically any facility transferring or storing a significant amount of hazardous waste is affected by these rules, so that includes almost any company with more than a few hundred gallons of oil or fuel at a time. Liquids or chemicals don’t have to be directly unsafe to humans to require containment either. Even foods and drinks can be subject to handling and containment requirements since they can cause environmental damage when released. So, it’s no wonder that all oil and fuel products are regulated in some way. Make sure you’re not overlooking important secondary containment requirements for your business if you’re in one of the following industries.
Many business owners, across all industries, make the mistake of thinking that EPA regulations only apply to certain facilities and not to oil, fuel, and hazardous liquids as a whole. Farms and food processing plants often keep so much fuel or oil on hand to power essential equipment that they fall under the secondary containment regulations as well. Farms can become impacted directly from leaks or spills, hurting the total output and therefore the profitability of the business. They need to prevent spills to maintain their soil and water assets just as much as they must avoid fines and fees.
Facilities completely dedicated to wastewater treatment are exempt from the federal secondary containment regulations and follow their own set of rules. However, if wastewater treatment is only part of a company’s business or a secondary activity, they’ll still need to follow the oil and fuel containment rules that apply to every other industry. If the wastewater itself contains oil or fuel mixed in, secondary containment regulations definitely apply. Bringing water to the clean enough condition to release can take weeks or months, so secondary containment must be built to last.
As with wastewater, the EPA regulations for general secondary containment don’t apply to facilities solely dedicated to transportation. These facilities have their own set of regulations from the EPA and state agencies. However, they still need secondary containment much the same as any other oil or fuel related industry. Flexible liners are easily integrated into all kinds of loading areas, transfer bays, refueling stations, and equipment repair zones to contain potentially hazardous waste. Liners used widely in the transportation industry can handle the challenges of oil field installation as well, since they’re exposed to wear and tear in addition of petroleum exposure.
Manufacturing, Laboratories, and Chemical Processors
Finally, manufacturing facilities of all kinds must follow general secondary containment rules from the EPA if they handle any kind of hazardous waste. This includes oil and fuel products, but it may include dozens of other chemicals with their own unique hazards and risks at the same time. Each class of chemicals should receive a separate secondary containment plan, to ensure that mixing and reactions don’t occur. For example, solvents that mix with oil and fuels can increase explosion or fire risks. Make sure complex facilities, with many types of hazardous chemicals, have appropriately complicated secondary containment plans.
No matter the type of secondary containment needed, or the agencies regulating its design, BTL Liners has the flexible liners to help. Our products are tough enough to resist wear and tear through years of use, while many other liners are only designed for covered use with no direct contact. We’re happy to help you choose oil and fuel resistant liners that won’t react with the petroleum products, even after long term exposure. Discuss your project with our team today to get recommendations on the right liner.