New Storage Tank Standards Considered to Counter Earthquake Threat

New standards for storage tank construction are being considered by the American Petroleum Institute (API) to meet seismic considerations. Although previous standards met some of the requirements should an earthquake occur, the need for greater protection from tidal waves and for tank flexibility now have been addressed according to information presented June 11 during the Independent Liquid Terminals Association (ILTA) annual meeting in Houston, Texas.

Philip Myers, tank, piping, and pressure vessel specialist with Chevron, noted that companies along the Gulf Coast and on the East Coast are more likely to be challenged by the new standards than those on the West Coast, which already have stringent regulations.

"There will be big changes in the tank construction," he said.

The API standards under consideration are being driven by new regulations established in the International Building Code (IBC), primarily for buildings, but including storage tanks. The 1997 National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program is the basis for the IBC, according to information presented at the ILTA meeting.

The API has established a joint task force to establish the new tank design standards.

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