Fuel Tank Seismic Stability: First state rules committee meeting Oct. 26

Oct. 19—Today, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is announcing its first rules advisory committee meeting to discuss what rules will govern the new Fuel Tank Seismic Stability program.

The meeting, set for 9 a.m. Oct. 26, and will include discussions on DEQ's proposed approach to the rules, what it means to minimize risk and how to ensure environmental justice is incorporated into the process.

"People around the world will be practicing earthquake safety and preparedness tomorrow during the Great Oregon ShakeOut," DEQ Fuel Tank Compliance Manager Mike Kortenhof said. "These rules will be critical for protecting people and the environment and keeping communities safer in the event of a major earthquake."

The Great Oregon ShakeOut is part of a global drill for people to practice how to stay safe during an earthquake. This year, nearly half a million Oregon residents will be taking part in the self-led drill, practicing their drop, cover and hold on for at least 60 seconds as if a major earthquake is happening.

A rules advisory committee is a group of people who provide input and suggestions during the development of new rules. The committee members represent a range of interested groups, including neighborhoods near the fuel tanks, local emergency management, environmental organizations, local government and regulated facilities — see full list of members below.

DEQ's Fuel Tank Seismic Stability Program will evaluate the vulnerability of fuel tank systems to earthquakes and require facilities to develop plans to minimize risk.

These rules will apply to all facilities that can store over 2 million gallons of fuel in Lane, Multnomah and Columbia counties. All committee meetings are open to the public to listen. DEQ will post meeting information and materials on the Fuel Tanks and Seismic Stability rulemaking webpage two weeks before each meeting. Join DEQ's email list to get email updates about the rules process.

Portland State University Infrastructure Resilience and Risk Senior Advisor Yumei Wang is the lead author of the 2013 report highlighting this risk.

"Oregon's fuel tanks are vulnerable to earthquakes," Wang said. "These facility improvements are essential to protect Oregon and support rapid recovery from the megaquake we know is coming to the Pacific Northwest."

DEQ plans to hold a total of three committee meetings to reach its final proposed rules. Depending on committee discussions, DEQ may add meetings or make existing meetings longer. After the committee work is complete, DEQ will put the rules out for public comment and then present them to the Environmental Quality Commission for adoption.

This work is a result of Senate Bill 1567, passed in 2022. DEQ will also develop this program in consultation with the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries and the Oregon Department of Energy.

Rules advisory committee members

* Amit Kumar, City of Portland Bureau of Development Services

* Chris Voss, Multnomah County Emergency Management

* Doug Lenz, Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery

* Holli Johnson, Western States Petroleum Association

* Jacque Wurster, Ready NW Eugene

* Lindsey Hutchison, Willamette Riverkeeper

* Nancy Hiser, Linnton Neighborhood Association

* Paul Edison-Lahm, NAACP Environmental Justice Committee

* Peter Dusicka, Portland State University

* Randy Groves, City Council for City of Eugene

* Tyler Gilligan, Kinder Morgan Pipeline

* Warren Seely, Beaver Drainage District


DEQ is beginning the rulemaking process to implement the fuel tank seismic stability requirements enacted earlier this year in Senate Bill 1567. This bill requires operators of large capacity fuel handling facilities to assess their facility's ability to withstand a magnitude 9 Cascadia earthquake event and propose mitigation to minimize risk.

DEQ's goal is to have final rules adopted by fall 2023 to meet the statutory deadline of completing facility assessments by June 1, 2024.

Stakeholder Involvement

DEQ has appointed an advisory committee for this proposed rulemaking. The first virtual committee meeting will take place at the date and time below. Please register in advance for the meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022, 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

* Join via Zoom: ordeq.org/ftss-rac1

* Join via phone: (253) 215-8782 — Meeting ID: 816 0802 7330 — Passcode: 644638

People not on the steering committee may attend to observe but will not be able to participate. The committee may designate time on the agenda to hear community comments as time allows. Once DEQ develops proposed rules, they will go through a public comment process, including a public hearing.

Additional Information

To learn more about this rulemaking, go to the Fuel Tank Seismic Stability webpage or sign up to receive future email or text notifications.

You can also obtain more information about this rulemaking by contacting Svetlana Lazarev, at Svetlana.lazarev@deq.oregon.gov