CSB draft report into 2009 explosion and fire at Caribbean Petroleum terminal in Puerto Rico finds inadequate management of gasoline storage tank overfill hazard
The US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has released its draft investigation report into the 2009 massive explosion at the Caribbean Petroleum, or CAPECO, terminal facility near San Juan, Puerto Rico; the draft report includes proposed recommendations for addressing regulatory gaps in safety oversight of petroleum storage facilities by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The draft report was discussed at a CSB public meeting this afternoon at the CSB’s offices at 2175 K Street, NW, Washington, DC. The meeting was webcast and public comments were accepted. At the meeting the CSB previewed an excerpt from the upcoming video on the CAPECO incident entitled, "Filling Blind."
The 2009 incident occurred when gasoline overflowed and sprayed out from a large aboveground storage tank, forming a 107-acre vapor cloud that ignited. While there were no fatalities, the explosion damaged approximately 300 nearby homes and businesses and petroleum leaked into the surrounding soil, waterways and wetlands. Flames from the explosion could be seen from as far as eight miles away.
CSB Board Member Mark Griffon said, “The CSB’s investigation states that there are a number of shortcomings in regulations that cover petroleum storage facilities. Facilities such as CAPECO, which store large quantities of gasoline and other flammables, are not required to conduct a risk assessment of potential dangers to the nearby community from their operations.”
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