TEQUESTA, Fla.-- In a town of less than six thousand people a thirty thousand gallon liquid petroleum tank is fueling a heck of a lot of concerns.
“It’s a disaster waiting to happen,” said Thomas Paterno.
Paterno is a former Village Mayor and now serves on the Village Council. He and other Village leaders want the AmeriGas-owned LP tank to be relocated.
Two weeks ago, a faulty valve cause the tank to link. It forced a 12 hour emergency situation complete with orders for nearly two thousand residents to evacuate from their homes.
“If that tank would have blew it could have leveled a ½ mile radius,” he said.
The overnight ordeal ended peacefully but prompted the Village Manager to ask AmeriGas to relocate the tanker. It has been fixed in the ground off Old Dixie Highway, adjacent to the railroad for the past few decades. However, over times homes have been developed and a water plant was built nearby.
“We are a small residential community and we want to protect our residents. It’s very important that this tank be relocated,” said Village Mayor Abby Brennan.
In an email Thursday, a spokesperson with AmeriGas said the location of the tank and distance from the tracks to the tank complies with all local, state and federal requirement and is routinely inspected.
The spokesperson also stated that the tank is routinely inspected and the integrity of the tank is safe and in good condition. As a result, AmeriGas has no plans to move it.
“I think that’s absolutely ridiculous. I can’t even put it into words,” said Paterno.
“I think we’ll go back and make our case to them until they reconsider that,” said Mayor Brennan.
Below is the full email from AmeriGas spokesperson Kate Stickel:
Tanks are inspected annually by state and local officials.The tank was certified as being in full compliance with the code by the State Bureau of LP Gas Inspection in January 2014.
• We routinely conduct daily and weekly safety inspections of the plant.
• Also, in-depth inspections are performed at minimum every two years by the Area Safety Advisor.
• While no specific statistics are available, it is very common for propane bulk storage tanks to be located adjacent to rail sidings. This provides access for supply from rail delivery. There’s no evidence to suggest this creates any greater risk than any other location.
• The integrity of the tank is safe and in good condition.
• The location of the tank and distance from the tracks to the tank complies with all local, state, and federal requirements.
• The tank is still in use by AmeriGas and there are no present plans to relocate the tank.
• Amerigas is proud of our commitment to safety and know it sets us apart in the industry.