This September, Senate Bill SB 900 is set to go into effect in Texas, levying new mandates on oil storage tanks to ensure their safety in the event of an accident.

The Bill, which was signed in 2021 in response to two serious accidents affecting aboveground storage tanks, finally goes into effect next month.

The main question that many engineers have now is whether the many tanks in the state can meet the new regulations

With many of these vessels in dire need of oil storage tank inspections and updating, companies operating aboveground storage tanks or ASTs must act quickly to meet these new regulations if they do not already.

Texas Tanks Need Safety Improvements After Recent Environmental Accidents

Recently, the refinery area of Houston Texas saw two serious accidents with aboveground oil storage tanks that resulted in serious environmental damage and public safety concerns.

Massive flooding after Hurricane Harvey in 2017 caused the failure of many ASTs in the region, resulting in serious environmental contamination.

Then in 2019, multiple tanks caught fire at an oil storage facility and burned for days, polluting the air and creating a widespread environmental issue.

One of the biggest problems identified by engineers after these failures was a lack of preparedness to prevent such accidents as regulations over tanks in the state had previously been fairly lax.

SB 900 Legislation Goes Into Effect This September

To address the failures that occurred during both disasters and prevent similar events in the future, SB 900 that was passed unanimously in June of 2021 and goes into effect as of September 1, 2023, outlines a series of new safety requirements that all ASTs must meet to remain in operation.

The Bill applies to aboveground oil storage tanks and similar units with a capacity of more than 21,000 gallons and will affect an estimated 36,000 tanks in the state.

According to the Bill, it has been revealed that many of these units have not received storage tank inspections for decades, putting them at risk for failure and in need of many repairs and other interventions to bring them up to safety standards.

Tank owners have until September 1, 2027 to register their tanks with the state as well as ;plan for necessary inspections and until September 1, 2037 to be fully in compliance.

New Safety Mandates with SB 900 for Oil Storage Tanks in Texas

With the passing of SB 900, engineers see a host of new regulations developed specifically to ensure the safety of aboveground storage tanks that had previously been unregulated in the state.

Now, tank owners and operators must comply with the following safety regulations among others that are still in development:

  • API Standard 653 Tank Inspection, Repair, Alteration, and Reconstruction
  • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)-30 Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code or API Standard 2001 Fire Protection in Refineries
  • API Standard 2350 Overfill Prevention for Storage Tanks in Petroleum Facilities
  • API Standard 650 Welded Tanks for Oil Storage and NFPA-30 location standards for newly constructed tanks

Additionally, SB 900 mandates that ASTs covered under the new Bill must receive on-site storage tank inspections once every five years or less to assess compliance and potentially fine companies found with tanks out of compliance.

Fines of $200,000 or more per tank could be imposed for non-compliance.

Arrange Oil Storage Tank Inspections Now To Asses SB 900 Compliance

With SB 900 going into effect in just a few weeks, the need for owners and operators of ASTs in Texas to arrange oil storage tank inspections cannot be stressed enough.

The process of repairing and upgrading oil storage tanks to meet new specific safety regulations can be a time-consuming process, especially for those units that have not been inspected in some time.

Consult with experienced storage tank engineers as soon as possible to avoid costly penalties for lack of registration and compliance once SB 900 goes fully into effect!

Need Oil Storage Tank Inspections in Oklahoma, Texas, or Surrounding Areas?

Contact The Engineers at Dunham Engineering To Schedule Services!

Call 405-500-1369 To Arrange Inspections and Repairs!