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FIR-7.01 - Abandoned Flammable Liquid Storage Tanks

Administrative Rule Adopted by Portland Fire & Rescue Pursuant to Rule-Making Authority

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for the safeguarding of removal of abandoned flammable liquid storage tanks.

This policy applies within all areas in which Portland Fire & Rescue has fire prevention authority.

This policy does not apply to single-family residences.

An abandoned storage tank would be one of which the owner has shown an intention to abandon the tank accompanied by some act by which the tank is actually abandoned; research of prior Oregon Court tests by City of Portland Attorney's Office.

Uniform Fire Code.

A. In order to determine whether a tank is abandoned, the following are each evidence of an act of the owner, by which the tank can be considered to be abandoned:
1. Observation by a Fire Inspector or other witness over a year's time that the tank(s) have not been used; or
2. Dispensing equipment removed. (NOTE: The' transfer of flammable liquids is illegal without fixed dispensers.) The transfer of flammable liquids would constitute 'bulk loading' and would necessitate zoning occupancy designation changes; or
3. Verification by State of Oregon Weights Measures that tank has not been used; or
4. Business or structure gone.
B. All tanks taken out of service must be abandoned under permit in one of the following ways:
1. Temporarily out of service for up to 90 days: To render a tank temporarily out of service, the owner will cap the fill line, gauge opening, and pump suction secure against opening, and pump suction secure against tampering. The Vent shall be left open.
2. Temporarily abandoning for up to one year: To render a tank temporarily abandoned will require the same procedures as "temporarily out of service." In addition, all flammable or combustible liquids shall be removed and a non-flammable, non-explosive atmosphere shall be created and maintained in the tank through the use of an inert gas. Periodic tests at not longer than 6-month intervals shall be made to insure the presence of an inert atmosphere. Permits must be obtained on a yearly basis-to maintain temporarily abandoned tanks.
3. Abandoning underground tanks in place: Remove all flammable or combustible liquids from the tanks and from all connecting lines. Disconnect and remove the suction, inlet, gauge, and vent lines to one foot below grade level. Cover ends of remaining pipe with sand or some inert material. The tank shall be filled completely with an inert, solid material.
4. Removal of underground tank: Remove all flammable or combustible liquids from tank. and from the connecting lines. Disconnect all lines connected to tank and remove all sections of connecting lines which are not to be used further, and cap or fill all remaining lines. After removal, the tank may be gas-freed on the premises, if it can be done safely, or transported to an area not accessible to the public. If tank is' to be stored or disposed of for junk.- suitable warning shall be painted on the tank, that it has contained flammable liquids.
C. Out of service tanks may be put back into service after being tested and approved by a recognized testing company.



Filed for inclusion in PPD June 13, 2003.
Originally adopted by Fire Marshal as Fire Prevention Division Policy Manual Document G-1, effective December 30, 1987, revised January 4, 1991.