Materials Performance Supplements

Corrosion Prevention and Control for Tanks 2017

Materials Performance is the world's most widely circulated magazine dedicated to corrosion prevention and control. MP provides information about the latest corrosion control technologies and practical applications for every industry and environment.

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3 TANK CORROSION CONTROL SUPPLEMENT TO MP MATERIALS PERFORMANCE MAY 2017 New EPA Study Addresses Diesel Tank Corrosion An i nv e st i ga t iv e re p o r t 1 i ssu e d i n 2016 from the U.S. Environmental Pro- tection Agency (EPA) (Washington, DC) found moderate or severe corrosion likely affects metal components inside diesel fuel underground storage tanks (USTs), which, unmonitored, could create system failures leading to groundwater contamination. The study found that, while less than 25% of UST owners were aware of corrosion prior to inspection, 83% of USTs studied showed moderate to severe corrosion problems. "Corrosion inside USTs can cause equip- ment failure by preventing the proper oper- ation of release detection and prevention equipment," the EPA states in its report. "If left unchecked, corrosion could cause UST system failures and releases, which could lead to groundwater contamination." Underground tank releases have histor- ically been a leading cause of U.S. ground- water contamination, the EPA explains. Groundwater is a source of drinking water for almost half of the U.S. population. UST owners began reporting rapid and severe corrosion of their metal compo- nents to industry service providers in 2007, according to the agency, which notes that several changes to U.S. fuel supply and fuel storage practices have occurred since the mid-2000s. Research Began in 2014 To examine these apparent corrosion issues, the EPA began its research in 2014 to understand the severity of the problems, as well as to identify predictive factors between UST systems with corrosion issues and UST systems that are relatively free of the problem. "The objective for the research was to develop a better understanding of potential risks to human health and the environment caused by the evolving corrosion problem in USTs storing diesel fuel," the agency says. In January and February 2015, the EPA conducted on-site inspections of 42 oper- ating UST systems at 40 sites across the United States. Of these UST systems, 24 had fiberglass tanks and 18 had steel tanks. Field teams documented the conditions of the UST systems with in-tank video cam- eras and photos so they could later assign a category of corrosion coverage to each system. The field teams collected samples of the vapor, fuel, and aqueous phases, if present, from each of the tanks. The teams also gathered information from each UST owner about the storage history, operation, Tank Protection Articles Moderate or severe corrosion can affect metal parts in USTs, potentially leading to system failures and the advent of groundwater contamination. Ben DuBose, Staff Writer, Materials Performance and CoatingsPro and maintenance practices of each system. The EPA then analyzed the vapor, fuel, and aqueous phase samples, while three asses- sors reviewed the videos of each UST and categorized them by the extent of corrosion judged to be present (minimal, moderate, or severe). Findings from the Study The agency says its observations sug- gest that corrosion may b e commonly severe on metal surfaces in the upper vapor space of UST systems. The EPA adds that before 2007, this area was not known to be prone to corrosion. " The major finding from our research is that moderate or severe corrosion on

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