Fuel Containment

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trilobyte
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Fuel Containment

Postby trilobyte » Sun Aug 07, 2016 8:43 am

As most of us should be familiar by now, the idea of leaving no trace means everything you pack in, you pack out. With certain hazardous materials, you need to make sure it never hits the playa. Stuff like motor oil and fuel, for example - that stuff 'blooms' the second even a drop hits the dry playa, and it requires immediate cleanup and removal of the surrounding playa. Burning Man has long advocated the use of fuel safe tarps and fuel containment, so that when fuel is poured or transferred no drips or spills have a chance of making contact with the playa surface.

New for this year, the BLM has put safe fuel handling requirements into the closure order (which you can read here).

Specifically, that language looks like this:

Fuel Storage: All fuel must be stored in a designated fuel storage area located at least ten feet away from any flammable materials, including vehicles and camping trailers. Fuel storage areas must be provided with shade to prevent fuel containers from bloating, leaking, or spilling. The storage of more than 110 gallons of fuel in a single camp is prohibited. Storage areas for over 20 gallons of fuel must include a secondary containment measure capable of holding 110 percent of the fuel being stored to prevent leaks and spills onto the playa/ground surface. Storage areas for less than 20 gallons of fuel must include a tarp, plywood, or other measure to prevent leaks and spills onto the playa/ground surface.


That basically means that if your camp has 4 gas cans or more, you need to have some kind of secondary containment capable of holding 110 percent of the fuel you're bringing.

Plan accordingly, not only do you want to keep the playa safe but you definitely don't want to be cited for a violation of the closure order. Me, personally, I've been doing a fuel shade and fuel safe tarp for years (actually using pond liner, since the material it's made of is both fuel safe and less expensive), and we replaced all our old gas cans a few years ago (when I went to order replacement caps for a couple that were dripping when poured I found that the vast majority of red gas cans made from the 90's through most of the last decade used plastic that wasn't actually fuel safe, and posed tons of safety risks). We had a visit from some fuel safety people while setting up our camp last year, and while they liked our setup they did give us a lecture about having some kind of secondary containment plan. I guess now I know why they were trying to get us to think about it.

Who out there has a secondary containment program for their fuel? Have any tips or ideas you care to share? If so, please post below.

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Re: Fuel Containment

Postby GreyCoyote » Sun Aug 07, 2016 9:08 am

Important point: Trilo uses a fuel resistant pond liner material, but his is a somewhat exceptional creature. The two most common pond liner materials are EPDM and vinyl. Both are severely and rapidly attacked by gasoline.

If you are shopping for a containment liner, check the material compatability first. HDPE, LLDPE, urethane, or many geotextiles are what you want. There is also a canvas-based material out there that has a polymer coating on both sides which is exceptionally durable and is used commercially for rapid containment efforts. Its also light colored so it doesnt generate a lot of heat under your gas cans.
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Re: Fuel Containment

Postby EGAZ » Sun Aug 07, 2016 1:01 pm

Sized correctly for the amount fuel being stored, IE small amounts. Grab a cement mixing trough. Test for gas safe!
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Re: Fuel Containment

Postby trilobyte » Sun Aug 07, 2016 2:47 pm

Yeah, check the material safety data sheet (MTSD) on any kind of liner or fuel safe tarp you're getting. But if your camp is in the 4+ gas can club, I wouldn't even bother with the tarp. An inexpensive baby pool, oversized storage bins, troughs and other similar containment/containers would be the way to go.

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Re: Fuel Containment

Postby GreyCoyote » Sun Aug 07, 2016 3:15 pm

trilobyte wrote:An inexpensive baby pool, oversized storage bins, troughs and other similar containment/containers would be the way to go.


And with some luck, we will have a nice (contained!) leak and some hippie smoking a bomber joint will jump in for a swim.

Hey: its called "Burningman" after all! Wait! Dont hang up!
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Re: Fuel Containment

Postby trilobyte » Sun Aug 07, 2016 3:38 pm

If you and your campmates are so actively stupid as to be smoking or have an open flame near your fuel storage, you probably have a lot more problems to worry about than fuel containment or the BLM citing you for a violation of the closure order.

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Re: Fuel Containment

Postby GreyCoyote » Sun Aug 07, 2016 4:23 pm

Thats called "dark humor", Trilo. Not trying to harsh your suggestions for containment. I thought they were damn good.

I'm not sure which is worse. A flaming hippie or a broken funny bone. :mrgreen:
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Re: Fuel Containment

Postby bigbluedoggy » Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:34 am

Would a neoprene chemical resistant tarp qualify?
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Re: Fuel Containment

Postby bigbluedoggy » Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:06 am

I found this chart that answered my question: neoprene = no
http://www.mossrubber.com/pdfs/Chem_Res.pdf
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Re: Fuel Containment

Postby bigbluedoggy » Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:18 am

I'll reopen this one, since the thread got linked in a couple of places. Last year I found a 10' x 10' Ultra Absorbent Containment Tarp from a place called Spill 911. I put it in the bed of my utility trailer and create a pond enclosure with it using heavy duty clips and a couple of boards. It's plenty big enough to contain our 4 - 5 cans of gas with 110% spill capacity. Above that I stretch a regular tarp for shade with a bit of airspace. Pretty simple and I believe it is in compliance with the containment and shade requirements. The trailer is parked away from our structures. I also keep our small gennies on a sheet of plywood, so when we are refueling, any minor spillage goes onto the wood and gets absorbed.
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Re: Fuel Containment

Postby Meat Hunter » Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:19 pm

I use a 20 gal. marine gas tank fitted with a two-generator extended run kit connected to my two little Honda 2000i generators.

I found a plastic lug w/lid at a local big box building supply store that the marine gas tank will fit into. With the top on the tub, I cut a small round hole on the side of the tub (near the top) to run my extended run hose out of.

The lug/tank sits in the bed of my truck and the generators sit on the ground. For gas containment's for my generators, I found small lugs that the generators will sit in and cut-off all but the lower 3" of the sides.

At the last four Burns, I have had a number of 'inspectors' come by checking fuel containment and each one has advised me that my fuel containment arrangement was okay.

Yes, I tested each container at home to make sure that gas did not melt the plastic.


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