Upon concluding your editorial on the recent decision to scrap HM-213B, my thoughts went back to the ‘70s, when the government started sticking its nose into the means by which gasoline was being loaded; ie, top-loaded.
Supposedly the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) did not like the fact that petro vapors were escaping into the atmosphere and proposed a “bottom-loading“ method. As problems began to surface relative to bottom loading, Marathon devised a means to continue with top loading yet collect vapors. The EPA viewed the efforts as potentially failing and introduced OSHA, which then stated that it didn't want people “ on top of vessels “ thus continuing the bottom-loading concept.
If the government is just now claiming potential dangers in transporting DOT406 vessels with wetlines, where was its concern back in the ‘70s, when people lost their lives and tankers/terminals were destroyed attempting to perfect the bottom-loading concept ?
The government made a major mistake in its pursuit of bottom loading initially. When it wouldn't back off, it forced the industry to create the monster which it now has to live with, yet it continues attempts to resolve a problem via economic foolishness. The petroleum industry in general would have corrected any potential hazards and environmental harm via top loading if the government would have simply listened to the experts at the time it started sticking its nose into things it never could comprehend.
Bulk Carriers Transportation Equipment Co Inc