Content last updated in 2013.
Protecting the Valdez Marine Terminal from fire could prevent environmental damage such as heavy air pollution and/or spilled oil reaching the waters of Port Valdez. Proper function and maintenance of VMT fire suppression systems are essential to avoid the likelihood of a catastrophic event.
Fire Safety Reviews and Reports
The council has been concerned that physical assets necessary to successfully manage a fire at the VMT may be inadequate or perhaps not well maintained. The VFD has a responsibility to be a first and primary responder; however, the Alyeska Fire Brigade using Alyeska personnel will likely have operational control of the equipment necessary to extinguish a fire. Because the VFD human resources and its equipment may be 15 or more miles from an incident, the Alyeska Fire brigade will likely be the first to respond to an incident at the VMT.
The 2012 project studied the extent to which the VMT’s firefighting assets are in a proper state of repair and usable should an incident requiring their use occur. The objectives of this project were a) to identify a subset of the VMT’s firefighting systems for detailed inquiry; b) to assess the existing firefighting capability of selected assets and to propose resolution of any shortcomings; c) and to assess the extent to which the selected systems at the VMT are in operating order and properly maintained and propose ways to resolve any shortcomings;
A fire safety review of terminal facilities for 2006 focused on proposed extension of storage tank inspection schedule; fire team readiness, training, emergency preparedness, and staffing; east metering electrical classification requirements in the vicinity of the pig trap; an assessment of the Valdez (City) Fire Department “mutual aid” capability; and an assessment of the current adequacy and readiness of fire fighting equipment.
Fire consultants reviewed the status of fire protection systems, equipment, and fire fighting/emergency response capability. During the visit, emphasis was given to the review of plan and procedures for controlling paraffin wax accumulations in Ballast Water Treatment Tanks 92-94, as well as foam system modifications at the metering facilities.
In response to a State Fire Marshal directive in 2003 to become compliant with code, Alyeska designed and installed oelophillic skimmer systems in the gravity separation tanks. Eductor-based foam system upgrades were installed at East and West Meters, and both were successfully tested in 2004. In early 2004, as part of its proposed Strategic Reconfiguration, Alyeska invited one of the council’s fire protection consultants to participate in an assessment of risk associated with installing and operating floating roof systems under the fixed-roof crude oil storage tanks.
Adequate foam coverage and performance of prototype foam generation equipment was demonstrated at the Alyeska metering facilities. Significant progress was made and a number of programs and projects were initiated to correct maintenance and operation problems. Procurement was initiated for new protective clothing, fire fighting equipment, and fire trucks. This major progress was a positive reinforcement of Alyeska’s recognition of the priority for effective fire protection measures at the VMT.