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BULK TANKER EMERGENCY RESPONDER CARD

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The Bulk Tanker Emergency Responder Card is administered by the Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia) and supported by the Australasian Fire Authorities Council (AFAC)

This specialist course can only be delivered by the approved provider, the Transport Industries Skills Centre (TISC) in Canberra

The Card recognizes that the holder has received formal training in dealing with bulk tanker emergencies

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CROIERG TRAILERS & EQUIPMENT
CROIERG TRAILERS
LOCATION No. TYPE
Banksmeadow
Sydney East NSW
31 Spill Response Pump Equipped
Benalla VIC 22 Spill Response
Beresfield NSW 17 Spill Response
Bordertown SA 24 Spill Response
Brisbane QLD 25 Spill Response
Canberra ACT 2 Spill Response
Canberra ACT 3 Spill Response Pumping Unit
Canberra ACT 4 Spill Response Skimmer Unit
Canberra ACT 5 Training Cutaway Unit Unit
Canberra ACT 6 Training Rollover Unit
Canberra ACT 29 Training Unit Pump Equipped
Canberra ACT 30 Spill Response Pump Equipped
Cooma NSW 27 Spill Response Pump Equipped
Cootamundra NSW 14 Spill Response
Dubbo NSW 36 Spill Response Pump Equipped
Eden NSW 10 Spill Response
Forbes NSW 18 Spill Response
Goulburn NSW 8 Spill Response
Griffith NSW 13 Spill Response
Holbrook NSW 20 Spill Response
Lismore NSW 35 Spill Response Pump Equipped
Melbourne VIC
37 Spill Response Pump Equipped
Mildura VIC 16 Spill Response
Moruya NSW 12 Spill Response
Newcastle NSW 19 Spill Response
Orange NSW 11 Spill Response
Port Kembla NSW 34 Spill Response Pump Equipped
Prestons West Sydney NSW
32 Spill Response Pump Equipped
Beresfield NSW 17 Spill Response
Rockhampton QLD 28 Spill Response
Rockhampton QLD 33 Spill Response Pump Equipped
Shepparton VIC 15 Spill Response
Wagga Wagga NSW 26 Spill Response Pump Equipped
Wauchope NSW 21 Spill Response
Wodonga VIC 9 Spill Response
Yass NSW 23 Spill Response

 

Trailer access criteria is in the Members Area

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Member's please note that the equipment usage and accountability criteria are specific and clearly spelt out in CROIERG information in the Member's Manual, which is available in the Member's Area of this website

CROIERG appreciates the efforts of the host companies who look after our trailers at various locations and provide monthly checks to ensure they are operational

NOTE: Some articles are in Adobe Acrobat format and require and Adobe Acrobat Reader.

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October 2012

 

THE CROIERG YEAR 2012 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING WILL BE HELD AT THE YASS NSW SOLDIERS CLUB ON OCTOBER 18TH

Members are again advised that the CROIERG Annual General Meeting will be held at the Yass Soldiers Club, 86 Meehan Street Yass NSW on Thursday October 18th beginning at 10.30AM

Year 2012 CROIERG AGM Meeting Agenda Notices and Committee Nomination Forms have been distributed to members by Email and Australia Post

It is the committee that makes CROIERG tick and we again urge members to consider a committee application so that we can get a wide representation of the membership in the decision making process.

See below for links to the Meeting Agenda, Committee Nomination Form and RSVP Reply Form

We would appreciate the return of these completed forms ASAP. Preferably by email as we have disconnected the old fax machine

AFAC/NBTA BULK TANKER EMERGENCY RESPONSE DAY IN MELBOURNE ON SEPT 6TH A BIG SUCCESS

The Bulk Tanker Emergency Response Day in Melbourne at Olympic Park on September 6th was a big success, with 120 plus in attendance to hear interesting speakers on a variety of subjects relating to our industry.

Rob Perkins CEO of the NBTYA is to congratulated on his organisation of the day

Several speakers spoke on the need for a better understanding of figures relating to incidents with government and insurance industry speakers emphasising that much more accurate information has to be available to enable more detailed studies of the type and numbers of incidents relating to road tankers.

Grant Stillman, National Manager Fuels for OAMPS Insurance Brokers made special mention in his presentation that OAMPS will be working closely with the National Bulk Tanker Association (NBTA) to formulate a data base for recoding incidents.

CROIERG SPILL RESPONSE TRAILER

CROIERG had our new type Spill Response Trailer on display in the main meeting room and CROIEG Chairman Paul Pulver, of Ron Finemore Transport capably explained the specialised equipment and its various functions.

CROIERG distributed explanatory material on the group to conference attendees.

CROIERG Chairman Paul Pulver making his presentation

CROIERG Chairman Paul Pulver making his presentation

CROIERG Trailer on display in Melbourne

CROIERG Trailer on display in Melbourne

BULK TANKER EMERGENCY RESPONDER CARD

The Bulk Tanker Emergency Responder Card was officially launched at the Er Day by Scott Williams CEO of the Fire Protection Association of Australia (FPAA) who will be handling the issuing and administration of the responder card,

To mark the occasion cards were presented to people who had gained their accreditation by completing the Stage 2 Training Course and also fulfilling the required criteria in regard to the Code of Conduct and Company Insurance requirements.

Receiving their cards were:

  • Justin Keast (McColls Transport)
  • Alan Yates (Cootes Transport Group)
  • Paul Pulver (Ron Finemore Transport)
  • Brian Withers (Ron Finemore Transport)
  • Chloe Tame (BP Australia)

A card was also for Brett Williams of TransPacific Industries who unfortunately could not be in Melbourne on the day

Melbourne Road Tanker ER Day crowd

Melbourne Road Tanker ER Day crowd

Attentive members of the audience

Attentive members of the audience

Grant Stillman of OAMPS

Grant Stillman of OAMPS

Brian Withers receiving his Responder Card

Brian Withers receiving his Responder Card

CROIERG Chairman and Secretary

CROIERG Chairman and Secretary

Paul Harrison of TISC explains the Training Courses

Paul Harrison of TISC explains the Training Courses

Responder Card recipients

Responder Card recipients

Our special thanks to Rob Perkins for these photographs

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE CLOTHING (PPC) AND ROAD TANKER INCIDENT RESPONDERS

We again reprint this report which featured in our September Web News. Ed

"Times they are a changin!"

CROIERG has received advices from AFAC (Australasian Fire Authorities Council) re the requirements for industry emergency responders and the wearing of personal protective clothing (PPC) at incidents such as road tanker rollovers, crashes etc with product spills or potential spills.

A copy of this letter can be viewed by members by going to the following link

SOME POINTS HIGHLIGHTED ARE:

  • Emergency responders employed within the transport industry will attend emergency incidents involving spills or threatened spills and industry emergency responders will often come trained and equipped to mitigate the emergency incident and will have responsibility for containing spills and transferring product Onto recovery vehicles for removal from the site of the emergency incident
  • They therefore require personal protective clothing (PPC) similar to that worn by the fire services
  • The colour of industry emergency responders "bunker gear and/or "turnout gear" should not cause confusion with fire services personnel at the scene
  • PPE worn by industry emergency responders should clearly show the name of their organisation on the back for identification
  • The name display needs to contrast with the colour selected for the Personal Protective Clothing (PPC)
  • A range colours of PPC compliant with AS/ANZ 4967 is now available

AS/NZS 4967:2009 is:
Protective Clothing for Firefighters - Requirements and Test Methods for Protective Clothing Used for Structural Firefighting

  • Fire Services at present use either 'Tan' or 'Lime Green' colours or are changing to them.
  • The AFAC letter has a table showing the colours for the various Fire Services

The CROIERG Secretary can provide access to AS.NZS 4967:2009 as CROIERG are a member of SAI Global who handle Australian & New Zealand Standards

Mob 0428 627 777 Postal: PO Box 362 YASS NSW 2582 Email eejoconn@bigpond.net.au

Or SAI Global can be contacted direct on Ph: 131 242 or email sales@saiglobal.com

CROIERG / NBTA TRAINING COURSE DATES (2013)

There will be a Stage 2 (Practical Training Course held at the TISC (Transport Industries Skills Centre) Canberra Training Complex on October 3rd to 5th

The TISC Training Complex is located on the Sutton Road, Canberra just over the border from Queanbeyan

TRAINING COURSE DATES (2013)

STAGE 2 (Practical) Training Courses will be conducted at the TISC Training Complex on:

COURSE TYPE

DATES (2013)

STAGE 2 (Practical)

13th to 15th March 2013

STAGE 2 (Practical)

26 to 28th June 2013

STAGE 2 (Practical)

4th to 6th September 2013

STAGE 1 (Managers) Training Courses

Our Training Contractors (TISC) are currently looking closely at an improved version of the Stage One Managers Training Course and a report on this will be considered at the CROIERG Annual General Meeting in Yass NSW on October 18TH 2012

Dates will be advised ASAP

TRAINING COURSE BOOKINGS

ALL TRAINING COURSE BOOKINGS SHOULD BE MADE TO:

Trish Mooney. Business Administration Manager
Transport Industry Skills Centre (TISC) Sutton Road, Canberra ACT

Mail: TISC PO Box 6074 Queanbeyan NSW 2620

Phone: (02) 6297 7187

Email: TrishMooney@SRDTC.com

TRAINING COURSES INFORMATION

  1. Stage1 (Managers) Course in Fuel Transportation Emergency Planning and Response
  2. Stage 2 (Responders) Course in Transport Emergency Recovery Operations

go to the link below

Emergency Response Program Information [pdf]

INFORMATION ON ENROLMENTS AND ACCOMMODATION

  1. Emergency response course enrolment form [pdf]
  2. Accommodation form [pdf]

CRASH INFERNO KILLS DOZENS IN CHINA

August 26, 2012 Yanan, CHINA

Bus in China tanker crash

Bus in China tanker crash

At least 36 people have died in a fiery collision between a methanol tanker and a double-decker sleeper bus on a motorway in northern China.

Both vehicles caught fire and only three of the 39 people on-board the bus survived the crash, which occurred about 2:00am, Xinhua news agency reported. A total of 36 bodies were pulled from the debris and three people were taken to hospital.

Details of the crash - which happened 200 metres from a motorway service station at Yanan city in Shaanxi province - were still unclear.

Yue Jiuxiang, a local traffic police official in charge of the rescue operation, said most of the passengers were asleep at the time of the crash. "Soon after the collision, the bus was engulfed by flames," he told state-broadcaster China Central Television.

"The front part of the bus was seriously damaged. Also most of the passengers were sleeping. This is why so many people died." Yue said the bus was en route from Baotou in Inner Mongolia to the Shaanxi provincial capital Xian when the collision occurred.

Police were investigating the cause of the accident which happened on the Baotou-Maoming Expressway, which spans the length of China from the northern city of Baotou to the southern province of Guangdong.

China's roads are highly dangerous, with traffic laws and safety widely flouted, and truck drivers typically overworked.

Source abc.net.au/news

COMMENTING ON THE ABOVE, AND OTHER RECENT ACCIDENTS THE WALL STREET JOURNAL REPORTS:

Statistics regarding total traffic deaths in China are often incomplete and can differ widely depending on the calculation methodology.

Data from the Traffic Administration Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security, a source of traffic-accident-related data, show 25,864 people died on Chinese roads in the first half of last year, the latest period for which comparable information was available on its website. This was down 5.2% from 27,270 in the year-earlier period.

The number of people injured fell 9.1% to 106,370 in the first half of 2011 from 116,982 in the year-earlier period. Direct cost of damage to property as a result of these accidents increased 7.3% to 440 million yuan ($69.2 million) from 410 million yuan in the year-earlier period, the data showed.

By comparison, 32,310 people died from road accidents in the U.S. last year, according to preliminary data from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But the U.S. had about 240 million registered vehicles last year, according to analysis from Ward's Auto, while China had roughly one-third as many.

Chinese citizens voiced concern about the recent spate of road-safety and infrastructure-related accidents.

NEW DEVICE ALERTS TRUCK DRIVERS TO PREVENT ROLLOVER (Dubai UAE)

August 26, 2012 DUBAI UAE

Road tankers carrying bulk liquid cargo are prone to rolling over at roundabouts or steep turns due to speed and the movement of the liquid in the tanker.

This occurs when the driver is travelling faster and loses control of the vehicle due to a shift in the centre of gravity of the vehicle caused by liquid movement inside the tanker.
This condition exacerbates when a tanker is partially loaded.

Hazardous cargo has the potential to cause environmental or human disaster if they are spilled as a result of the rollover.

Because of the severity of consequences of truck rollover accidents, it is important to seek ways to avoid such accidents. Keeping this in mind, Tristar Transport has installed a Rollover Warning Device (RWD) in some of its road tankers, which warns drivers of the impending rollover in time so that corrective actions could be taken.

The RWD device comprises a receiver and sensor. The sensor is mounted on the trailer chassis while the receiver is mounted in the cab with an LED (Green, Yellow and Red) display and audible warning.

The receiver records details of the vehicle's load, weight distribution and centre of gravity to calculate its potential tipping point, while the sensor detects the truck's acceleration and tilt then transmits the information to the receiver via a wireless connection.

At roundabouts or corners when the speed of the vehicle is excessive and when any of the wheels starts to leave the ground a dashboard warning alerts the driver well in time to enable him to reduce speed.

The benefits of the rollover warning system implementation is substantial as transport operators can eventually create a smoother driving behaviour among their drivers which will result in lower fuel consumption and less maintenance costs.

The firm recently received the 2012 Management of Road Risk Gold Award from the UK-based Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA). ROSPA has long campaigned for organisations to adapt a proactive risk management approach to reduce the risks connected with "at work" vehicle use

It was also awarded by Shell as the "Best Haulier of the Year 2011" in the UAE and Oman because of its consistent performance in 2011 in the areas of compliance with Shell global standards, operational excellence, customer service, and social performance, among others.

Source gulftoday.ae/portal/3d915b76-66b7-43a0-b0bf-77375c121073.aspx

COMMON TYPE OF RAIL CAR HAS DANGEROUS DESIGN FLAW (USA)

September 13, 2012 Chicago USA

Rail Tank Cars

Rail Tank Cars

Rail tankers on fire

Rail tankers on fire

For two decades, one of the most commonly used types of rail tanker has been allowed to haul hazardous liquids from coast to coast even though transportation officials were aware of a dangerous design flaw that almost guarantees the car will tear open in an accident, potentially spilling cargo that could catch fire, explode or contaminate the environment.

The rail and chemical industries have committed to a safer design for new tankers but are pressing regulators not to require modifications to tens of thousands of existing cars, despite a spike in the number of accidents as more tankers are put into service to accommodate soaring demand for ethanol, the highly flammable corn-based fuel usually transported by rail.

Derailments have triggered chemical spills and massive blasts like one in July in Columbus, Ohio, that blew up with such intensity that one witness said it "looked like the sun exploded." Some communities with busy railways are beginning to regard the tankers as a serious threat to public safety.

"There's a law of averages that gives me great concern," said Jim Arie, fire chief in Barrington, a wealthy Chicago suburb where ethanol tankers snake through a bustling downtown. "Sometimes I don't sleep well at night."

He's not the only one. The town's mayor is trying to build a national coalition to push for safety reforms.

The tanker, known as the DOT-111, is a workhorse of the American rail fleet, with a soda-can shape that makes it one of the most easily recognizable cars on freight routes.

The tanker itself is not suspected of causing derailments, but the National Transportation Safety Board has noted several worrisome problems: Its steel shell is too thin to resist puncture in accidents. The ends are especially vulnerable to tears from couplers that can fly up after ripping off between cars. And unloading valves and other exposed fittings on the tops of tankers can also break during rollovers. The flaws were noted as far back as a 1991 safety study.

Read more.

TANKER TRUCK DRIVER DIES IN FIERY CRASH (Virginia)

August 29, 2012 Fairfax County, Virginia. USA

Charred remain of tanker

Charred remain of tanker

Wreckage of tanker and Virginia Police

Wreckage of tanker and Virginia Police

The driver of an overturned tanker truck was killed this morning when it crashed at Fairfax County Parkway and Interstate 95.

All lanes of the I-95 reopened at 6:25 a.m. but ramps from the highway to Fairfax County Parkway northbound and southbound toward U.S. 1 remain closed. As you might expect, traffic on I-95 north is delayed.

More now from Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller:

At about 2:14 a.m., a tanker truck overturned on the cloverleaf ramp of Rt. 286 (Fairfax County Parkway) while attempting to merge onto I-95 north.

The tanker truck was fully engulfed by fire.

By 5 a.m., the fire was contained to where troopers and Fairfax County firefighters could finally safely approach the vehicle. The driver was located inside the vehicle deceased.

The far right lane of I-95NB remains closed but the 3 other lanes and HOV lanes remain open. Also, Exit 166B which is the entrance ramp to Rt. 286NB remains closed as does the ramp from south Rt. 286 to Rt. 1.

The VA State Police Motor Carrier is on scene and the VA State Police Crash Reconstruction Team is assisting with the investigation. The tanker truck was loaded with approximately 9,000 gallons of fuel. Cause of crash is still under investigation. State Police are still in the process of notifying next of kin of the deceased driver.

Source potomaclocal.com/2012/08/29/tanker-truck-driver-dies-in-fiery-crash

AND THE NEXT DAY ANOTHER TANKER ROLLOVER IN VIRGINIA (Loudoun County)

August 30, 2012 Ashburn, Loudon County Virginia USA

A day after a fatal tanker truck crash in Fairfax County, another truck carrying 7,000 gallons fuel overturned and caught fire in Loudoun County.

Thursday's crash happened on the Dulles Greenway in Ashburn, at Shreve Mill Road, around 5:25 a.m.

Virginia State Police said the driver of the truck, a 52-year-old Strasbourg, Va., man, was transported by helicopter to Inova Fairfax Hospital. Police described the injuries as serious but not life-threatening.

Investigators are still trying to piece together what caused the crash, police said.

Source washingtonpost.com

HUGE DELAYS EXPECTED AS TANKER SPILLS HUNDREDS OF LITRES OF CHEMICALS ON INNER-CITY ROAD (Victoria)

September 7, 2012 Melbourne Vic

Chemical spill in Melbourne

Chemical spill in Melbourne

Motorists are urged keep windows up if driving past the scene of a chemical spill on the West Gate Freeway this morning. A truck carrying 8000 litres of potassium hydroxide crashed in Melbourne's inner-city, triggering peak-hour traffic chaos.

The MFB said 100-150 litres leaked out after the truck and a car collided on the Kings Way exit ramp on the West Gate Freeway at 8.19am.

Emergency services expect the clean-up of the strong alkaline chemical to stretch well throughout the day.

VicRoads spokeswoman said traffic was at a "standstill" with motorists on the West Gate Freeway backed up to Millers Rd, while traffic on the Tullamarine Fwy was also pushed back to Racecourse Rd. "Huge delays are expected throughout the morning," she said.

CityLink spokeswoman Natasha Whalley said traffic was banked up over the West Gate Bridge "as far as we can see". "There's also major delays stretching over the Bolte Bridge up to Footscray Rd and Dynon Rd," she said.

Ms Whalley said the Kingsway off-ramp at the West Gate Freeway, the centre of the accident zone, has been closed as services try to mop up the damage.

Source heraldsun.com.au/news

FUEL-TRUCK CRASH ON MALAHAT NEAR GOLDSTREAM RISKED MANY LIVES, COURT TOLD (Canada)

September 13, 2012 Goldstream Park British Columbia Canada

A Columbia Fuels driver whose truck crashed and spilled 43,000 litres of fuel into Goldstream River placed hundreds of people in jeopardy by driving while impaired and tired, prosecutor Steve Salmond told Western Communities provincial court Wednesday.

Tanker involved in incident on The Malahat

Tanker involved in incident on The Malahat

Salmond made the remarks at the sentencing hearing for Nanaimo resident James Allan Smith, 35, who pleaded guilty in June to dangerous driving and violating the Fisheries Act. About 43,000 litres of gasoline and 700 litres of diesel spilled into the river after Smith's vehicle crashed into a rock wall near Goldstream Provincial Park in April 2011.

The case is unusual because the Crown proceeded with both a criminal charge and an environmental charge.

"The Crown felt it could not ignore 40,000 litres of hydrocarbons going into a significant stream," said provincial environmental prosecutor John Blackman, who also made submissions at the sentencing hearing.

On the dangerous-driving charge, Salmond and defence lawyer Dale Marshall asked Judge Sue Wishart to impose a three-month conditional sentence order followed by nine months of probation with conditions for Smith to deal with his alcohol problem.

Salmond also wants a two-year driving prohibition, which Marshall opposed because the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles had already suspended Smith's licence for two years in May 2011.

Blackman asked for a fine of $5,000 to $10,000 on the environmental charge.

Marshall suggested it would be more appropriate to have Smith perform 200 hours of community work service in stream rehabilitation or fisheries habitat.

"There's a wide range of options before the judge," Marshall said outside court. "Whether or not she imposes a fine versus community work service, we'll have to wait and see."

Read more.

DIESEL FUEL SPILLS FROM KEESLER INTO BACK BAY (Mississippi)

August 31, 2012 Biloxi Mississippi USA

Placing absorption materials on Biloxi Back Bay spill

Placing absorption materials on Biloxi Back Bay spill

Crews are on the scene of a diesel spill from Keesler Air Force Base into the Back Bay.

Earl Etheridge, spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, said 3,000 gallons spilled into the water early Thursday morning after damage to the system during Hurricane Isaac.

He said the federal government considers less than 1,000 gallons a small spill and 3,000 to 10,000 gallons a medium spill.

Keesler has hired a contractor to clean up the diesel, he said, and MDEQ is monitoring the work.

Read more.

ACCIDENT LEAVES ROAD CLOSED THREE HOURS (Idaho)

August 29, 2012 Kuna Idaho USA

A tanker truck was carrying more than 3,000 gallons of fuel through Kuna on Tuesday when it collided with a car on E. Avalon. The accident required a hazmat response and left the road closed for about three hours.

According to Ada County Sheriff's Office deputy Gary Miller, the accident occurred at 1:49 p.m. when an elderly man turned right from Blue Diamond onto E. Avalon, putting his Buick sedan in the path of the eastbound tanker. Police said the man, who was uninjured in the crash, told them he did not see the truck as he made his turn.

Firefighters estimated about 10 gallons of diesel spilled onto the roadway before they arrived, but the fuel was from the truck's own saddle tank, not the huge tank of fuel it was hauling.

"We determined pretty quickly that tank was intact, otherwise we would have evacuated the area," said Captain John Charlton of the Kuna Rural Fire District, noting the truck's driver told him he was hauling about 2,500 gallons of diesel and 700 gallons of gasoline. "It obviously could have been much worse than it was."

Charlton said the tanker's driver, who was also uninjured in the crash, reported he was traveling about 25 mph when the crash occurred, and also said he'd just filled the saddle tank Tuesday morning and estimated about 70-80 gallons remained when the crash occurred.

Kuna firefighters were on the scene about five minutes – long enough to check on the drivers and see the fuel running onto the roadway – before determining a hazmat response was necessary.

Read more.

MOBILE HOME PARK EVACUATED AFTER TANKER CRASH (Pennsylvania)

September 10, 2012 Patterson Township Pennsylvania USA Propane tanker in creek

A mobile home park was evacuated Monday afternoon after a tanker truck carrying propane crashed through a guard rail and into a creek alongside Route 51 in Patterson Township, officials said.

The truck careened off the highway shortly before noon Monday, landing in a creek alongside the road. The driver of the truck, who was not identified, was taken to a local hospital for treatment of unspecified injuries.

A short time later, officials evacuated residents of Mansell's Mobile Home Park because fuel from the truck was leaking into the creek.

Source timesonline.com/news

 

ROADSIDE STOPPER: CAN SOMETHING BE TOO BIG IN TEXAS?

Giant Buc-ee's Convenience Store Offers 60 Gasoline Pumps and 80 Soda Dispensers;

No Semis Allowed

September 13, 2012 New Braunfels TEXAS USA

Buc-ee's in New Braunfels, Texas is billed as the world's largest convenience store, at 67,000 square feet. WSJ's Miguel Bustillo stops by and learns what it takes to fill that space.

Everything is bigger in Texas, including the bountiful bathrooms at Buc-ee's, a chain of excessively large roadside rest stops.

But since Arch "Beaver" Aplin opened his most humongous Buc-ee's pit stop yet this year, some rivals and bemused travellers are saying that even in the Lone Star State, there may be such a thing as too big.

The Buc-ee's rest stop in New Braunfels, Texas, has aisles of snacks including an array of beef jerky.

Billed as the world's largest convenience store, the 67,000-square-foot colossus on Interstate 35 between Austin and San Antonio is 20 times the size of a 7-Eleven and longer than a football field. It features 60 gasoline pumps, 80 soda dispensers, 31 cash registers, 23 flavours of fudge and entire aisles devoted to varieties of popcorn and beef jerky.

The pièce de résistance: 84 gleaming toilets, each with its own dispenser of hand sanitizer and shined at all hours by a small army of attendants.

The Loos"I wanted to build a facility that was bigger than need be," Mr Aplin says of his creation, which looks like a Circle K designed by Willy Wonka. "But I have to admit I'm a little nervous. Did I overdo it this time?"

America has a tradition of quirky roadside stops. In California, Pea Soup Andersen's, north of Santa Barbara, has been beckoning drivers to pause for big bowls of split-pea soup for more than 85 years. In the Midwest, the Iowa 80 truck stop claims to be the king of all 18-wheeler hangouts—and sports a barbershop, movie theatre and dental clinic. Near the boundary between the Carolinas, a rest stop called South of the Border entices travellers with a 200-foot sombrero tower and a moustachioed mascot named Pedro.

With its flat, expansive highways, Texas is a dream for devotees of roadside attractions. Perhaps the most famous is the Cadillac Ranch along Interstate 40 west of Amarillo: a public art display of 10 half-buried automobiles in brightly painted hues.

The Buc-ee's rest stop also has a filling station with 60 pumps (where a truck delivers gasoline—18-wheelers are barred from the parking lot).

Texas is also famously fond of bigness. The North Star Mall in San Antonio features the "Giant Justins," a pair of 40-foot-tall cowboy boots. Billy Bob's Texas, a country and western nightclub in Fort Worth that encompasses 127,000 square feet, calls itself the "World's Largest Honky Tonk."

Fans have come to expect excess from Buc-ee's, a 26-store chain whose cartoony mascot is a bucktoothed beaver wearing a baseball cap. The stores stock munchies ranging from pickled quail eggs and chickens stuffed with crawfish jambalaya to trademarked caramel-coated corn puffs known as Beaver Nuggets.

But don't call it a truck stop: 18-wheelers are barred because Mr Aplin says they gum up parking-lot traffic.

"It's up there in terms of Texas culture," says Matthew Carter of Houston, a traveling salesman, well-acquainted with roadside stops. "When you see the options out there, believe me, Buc-ee's looks real good."

Read more.

TANKER OVERTURNS ON DULLES GREENWAY (Virginia)

September 1, 2012 Ashburn Virginia USA

A tanker truck carrying approximately 7,000 gallons of diesel fuel overturned in a crash on the Dulles Greenway. The crash happened shortly before 5:30 a.m. in a westbound lane near Exit 5/Claiborne Parkway, spilling more than 400 gallons of fuel.

The Greenway reopens after fuel spill

The Greenway reopens after fuel spill

Another pool of diesel fuel was found later in the morning in a grassy embankment area on the side of the road, reported NBC4's Megan McGrath.

The driver was flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, said Corinne Geller of Virginia State Police. He is a 52-year-old man from Strasburg, Va.

Crews worked into the afternoon to safely transfer the remaining fuel into another tanker. All three westbound lanes reopened shortly after 2 p.m.

The eastbound lanes of the Greenway reopened around 6:50 a.m. Authorities are investigating the cause of the crash.

The incident came just a day after another tanker overturned and caught fire, this one on Interstate 95. The driver of that tanker, Edwin H. Hall, 59, died in the fire.

A tanker truck carrying approximately 7,000 gallons of diesel fuel overturned in a crash on the Dulles Greenway.

The crash happened shortly before 5:30 a.m. in a westbound lane near Exit 5/Claiborne Parkway, spilling more than 400 gallons of fuel. Another pool of diesel fuel was found later in the morning in a grassy embankment area on the side of the road, reported NBC4's Megan McGrath.

The driver was flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, said Corinne Geller of Virginia State Police. He is a 52-year-old man from Strasburg, Va.

Crews worked into the afternoon to safely transfer the remaining fuel into another tanker. All three westbound lanes reopened shortly after 2 p.m.

Source nbcwashington.com

MAN DIES IN FIERY TANKER TRUCK CRASH IN HESPERIA (California)

September 15, 2012 Hesperia California USA

Airport fire tanker at Bear Valley Road crash

Airport fire tanker at Bear Valley Road crash

A Hesperia man was killed in a fiery crash early Saturday morning when his vehicle collided with a tanker truck hauling 9,000 gallons of fuel.

"It was like a river of fire," said Deputy Brendan Motley with the Major Accident Investigation Team.

Shortly before 1 a.m., 19-year-old Jorge "George" Luis Salazar, Jr. was driving a Mitsubishi Eclipse south on 11th Street when he was broadsided by the tanker which was traveling east on Bear Valley Road, Motley said.

The tanker rolled causing the fuel to spill and ignite. The lit liquid flowed across Bear Valley Road into a drainage ditch and onto Outer Bear Valley Road between an animal hospital and an apartment complex, officials said. Flames could be seen as far as Interstate 15, according to some witnesses.

Hesperia and Victorville deputies evacuated the residents of the complex as San Bernardino County firefighters fought the blaze.

Several residents and motorists heard the loud crash followed by a boom and attempted to assist the drivers of the vehicles, but were pushed back by the intensity of the flames and the explosions, according to Tracey Martinez, spokeswoman for the fire department said.

Firefighters were able to pull the 19-year-old from the Mitsubishi before the flames reached the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the tanker was able to get out of his vehicle safely on his own, officials said.

Firefighters called on a CRASH truck from Southern California Logistic Airport to help extinguish the blaze.

The damage caused by the fire will require the area to remain closed for several days as crews work to repair the roadway, officials said. Investigators are waiting to view surveillance video from the tanker truck in order to determine what led to the deadly crash.

Source contracostatimes.com

NAVY SHIP LEAKED DIESEL FUEL INTO HALIFAX HARBOUR FOR FIVE HOURS, REPORT SAYS (Canada)

How spills can happen and the need for prompt reporting?

September 22, 2012 Halifax Canada

HMCS Preserver

HMCS Preserver

It took more than five hours to stop a navy ship from leaking fuel into the Halifax harbour last year because officers failed to ensure there was enough lighting, didn't position lookouts properly and then failed to react quickly, says a final report into the spill.

The final investigation into the March 16, 2011, incident says the diesel leak from HMCS Preserver started at 3:37 a.m. But it wasn't detected until about 6:30 a.m., when ship staff began investigating a discharge of what they thought was grey water coming from a drainage pipe on the starboard of the supply vessel.

The ship's commander spotted a sheen on the water about an hour later, but the pipe wasn't plugged until 90 minutes after that, according to the report, which was obtained under access-to-information legislation.

"Too much time elapsed (almost three hours) between the initial discovery (6:30 a.m.) of the overboard discharge and the fuel spill procedures being initiated (08:45 a.m.) allowing for an additional release of more than 5,800 litres of diesel fuel oil (more than 40 per cent of the total quantity spilled)," Cmdr. Yves Germain said in the report.

"Some procedural failures are deemed to have contributed to the non-detection of the fuel spill once it commenced at 3:37 a.m. This allowed the fuel spill to remain undetected for almost three hours.

"Additional procedural errors allowed the spill to progress further until it was officially recognized at 8:45 a.m."

In total, 14,000 litres of diesel fuel spilled into the harbour after an improper seal allowed fuel to seep into the pipe while HMCS Preserver was fuelling. The navy was able to recover most of the fuel before it spread to shore or caused extensive damage.

Germain's report also revealed that the Preserver's sister ship experienced a similar spill five years ago. That leak occurred on HMCS Protecteur on Feb. 24, 2007, in Manchester, Wash., west of Seattle, when fuel leaked into that boat's wastewater drainage pipes.

The investigation into the most recent leak casts blame on the repair of a valve assembly carried out at the Irving shipyard in Halifax and a failure of navy quality assurance officers to inspect the system for leaks

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