Oil Containment For The Military

oil containment for the military

Spills are always a risk when managing, transporting or working with oil. Having robust prevention and mitigation plans is the best way to preserve the environment, protect military personnel and meet regulations.

The Importance of Oil Containment Systems for the Military

Oil containment for military applications requires first anticipating all possibilities for leaks and spills. Note where and how your organization uses oils like gasoline and diesel to identify potential vulnerabilities, then consider the best containment method to accommodate the work site’s location.

An oil spill response plan will help you maintain compliance, minimize workplace hazards and reduce overall waste.

Maintain Environmental Safety and Compliance

Research has shown that the U.S. military is one of the largest sources of climate pollution due to the amount of liquid fuels and carbon dioxide equivalent emissions produced — a thorough oil containment plan can help. Many facilities that deal with oil are required to meet Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) regulations, which are overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This means you’re responsible for developing, maintaining and implementing a plan that works to prevent and clean up oil spills. Failure to do so could result in fines and other legal penalties. Additional local and federal requirements may apply, depending on where you operate.

SPCC and similar regulations work to prevent oil from damaging land and water environments. Even small oil spills have short-term and long-term effects on entire ecosystems through fouling and oil toxicity. Fouling happens when the oil itself harms wildlife, while toxicity refers to the oil’s various compounds causing serious health problems from internal and external exposure. In many cases, oil exposure results in plant and animal death. Habitats are also at risk of losing migration patterns and food and water sources. These effects aren’t easily remedied, and health and environmental impacts could last decades.

Oil spills also change the environment where they occur through pollution and coastal and shoreline erosion. This ultimately affects how communities can engage with the land or waterway. For example, they could lose the ability to hunt or fish in the polluted area, impacting local and commercial food supplies. Local economies may also suffer the financial damage of closed recreational beaches or parks.

Oil spill response plan

Minimize Workplace Hazards

Oil can cause much damage in the workplace when not contained, including:

  • Slips and falls: Oil is slick and pools quickly. In some cases, these spills are nearly impossible to detect visually, making them even more of a threat. Slips and falls are a leading cause of traumatic injury in the workplace — they made up 18% of nonfatal incidents in 2020.
  • Toxic fume inhalation: Even short-term oil fume inhalation can result in physical side effects like dizziness, nausea, chest pain, lung problems, headache and confusion. Long-term effects may include chronic breathing problems, difficulties with the liver or blood levels, heart issues, increased risk of developing cancer, and reproductive problems.
  • Chemical exposure: Direct exposure to chemicals found in some oils can cause skin blistering, rashes, eye sores and irritation.
  • Fires and explosions: Spills — especially near ignition sources or under high pressure — can cause massive explosions that threaten personnel’s lives. Oil fires, even small contained ones, can also impact air quality and the environment.
  • Property and equipment damage: Oil can damage everything from engines and mechanical parts to flooring and electrical systems, causing costly repairs and downtime.

A containment system can help you prevent these risks and meet all Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines if they apply to your operations.

Reduce Waste

The world consumed over 97 million barrels of oil daily in 2022, and the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency reported purchasing 84 million barrels of oil in the same year. In the United States, primary uses for this oil include:

  • Gasoline for vehicles and equipment.
  • Distillate fuel oil like diesel and heating oil.
  • Jet fuel for commercial and military aircraft.
  • Hydrocarbon gas liquids such as propane, ethane and butane.

Approximately 15,000 metric tons of oil was spilled from global tankers alone in 2022. Aside from the environmental and workplace repercussions, spills vastly cut into the supply needed to meet the country’s demands. Containment products help reduce oil waste and can alert you to more significant issues in your current equipment or processes.

SPI Oil Containment Methods for the Military

For over 30 years, Solidification Products International, Inc. has provided government, municipal and military projects worldwide with hydrocarbon containment products to supplement and enhance your SPCC plan. We have an extensive inventory of oil containment solutions for military applications, including:

  • Petro-Plugs®: Petro-Plugs are disposable barriers suitable for 3-inch and 4-inch indoor drain pipes. They let water move through at a low flow rate while removing low levels of oils, including gasoline and diesel. If a spill happens, the plug seals and prevents any discharge.
  • Petro-Barriers™: Standard Petro-Barriers are disposable and have a passive sump design made for large volumes of water drainage in a containment area. They are gravity-fed and most effective in vertical installations. StormWater Petro-Barriers™ permit rainwater to flow while blocking hydrocarbons and oil sheens.
  • Petro-Pipes®: Use Petro-Pipes in areas with high water tables, poor soil drainage and similar containment challenges. Their high-pressure sloped design creates the optimal environment for high-volume flow without vertical drainage. The Petro-Pipe® Sump Box works well as secondary containment for military applications to protect the surrounding environment. SPI also offers various drop-in liners and pre-filtered products like baskets and canisters.
  • Pump-Thru Barrier™: Crafted with a sump pump and SPI-patented removal media, the Pump-Thru Barrier is ideal for portable hydrocarbon containment needs. Its thermal heating blanket even permits use in colder climates.
  • Petro-Liner-Wall-Box: The Petro-Liner-Wall-Box is an oil containment liner with a 20-degree angle and aluminum construction that creates head pressure to initiate faster drainage.
  • Oil Containment Shield™: Oil Containment Shields are professional-grade, custom-designed systems that use a Pre-Filter basket, Petro-Plug or Petro-Pipe to accommodate smaller equipment that handles 750 gallons or less of oil, including diesel, synthetic ester and more.
  • Oil Bond: Oil Bond booms are absorbent and solidifying particulates that you apply directly to oil on water or resting on a solid surface. They’re part of the EPA’s National Contingency Plan (NCP) Schedule.

Trust SPI for Your Oil Containment Needs

As a veteran-owned company and certified ISO:9001: 2015 manufacturer, Solidification Products International, Inc. is ready to assist your military organization with a new oil containment system design or retrofit our products to fit your existing system. Contact us today to get started or request a free prevention and containment consultation.

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