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NEWS | May 13, 2015

DFSP Charleston conducts mock oil spill drill

By Irene Smith DLA Energy Public Affairs

The Defense Logistics Agency Installation Support for Energy Environmental Division participated in an oil spill response training exercise at Defense Fuel Support Point Charleston, South Carolina, April 20-21.

Every year, DLA Energy conducts spill prevention and emergency response training at its three permitted DFSPs. DFSP Charleston, is a government-owned, contractor-operated fuel storage and distribution facility under the administrative control of DLA Energy.

"Spill response training is part of a three year cycle of training and exercise contract for bulk fuel storage facilities," said DLA Installation Support for Energy Environmental Protection Specialist Mike Schultz. "Often referred to as OPA 90, the training is federally mandated by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and the Preparedness for Response Exercise Program that covers fuel spill scenarios."

DFSP Charleston's primary function is to receive, store, distribute and maintain inventory control of bulk jet fuel. Jet A jet fuel is delivered from ocean-going tankers. Special military standard additives are added to the fuel and transferred via pipeline, tank truck and rail car to support the needs of various military-related organizations.

This year's scenario featured a simulated medium-scale spill when, during a transfer of jet fuel, a valve ruptured and leaked more than 3,000 gallons of Jet A.

"We hold this training annually to provide spill response training and exercise support for the DLA Energy contractors that operate Energy's bulk fuel storage facilities," said DLA Installation Support for Energy Environmental Compliance Branch Chief Marcia G. Kicos. "Training is offered to fuel terminal employees as well as members of the community's emergency response teams, including emergency medical technicians and hazardous material cleanup crews."

The two-day training involves dividing the attendees into various teams to deal with the specific aspects of an oil spill emergency.

Day One of the scenario consisted of an overview of the Charleston DFSP facility response and tabletop exercise, Schultz said.  Each step of the exercise was discussed and rehearsed in response to the national preparedness for response exercise program guidelines and what to expect in terms of regulatory authorities contacted, spill response actions and team member responsibilities.

Day Two of the scenario was the actual spill response and equipment deployment exercise during a simulated fuel transfer to a truck at the truck rack.

"It was a successful drill," Schultz said. "During the after-action discussion on the exercise, the team debated on whether to purchase drain cover mats and to keep the spill in the curbed area of the truck rack, or to allow it to drain into the 12,000 gallon secondary containment catch basin, as the scenario played out."

After reviewing disposal options, the decision was made to keep the spilled fuel inside the catch basin and pump the fuel and storm water mixture to the existing 10,000 gallon petroleum contact water storage tank for reclamation. The facility was designed for these contingencies and the existing equipment layout worked exactly as designed, Schultz said