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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation P-80-031
Details
Synopsis: ON OCTOBER 6, 1979, AN EXPLOSION CAUSED BY LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS (NPG) VAPORS DESTROYED A TRANSFORMER BUILDING AT THE RECEPTION FACILITY OF THE COLUMBIA LNG CORPORATION, COVE POINT, MARYLAND. ODORLESS LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS LEAKED THROUGH AN INADEQUATELY TIGHTENED LNG PUMP SEAL, VAPORIZED, PASSED THROUGH APPROXIMATELY 210 FT OF UNDERGROUND ELECTRICAL CONDUIT AND ENTERED THE SUBSTATION BUILDING. ONE PERSON WAS KILLED, AND ONE PERSON WAS SERIOUSLY INJURED. DAMAGE TO THE FACILITY WAS ESTIMATED AT ABOUT $3 MILLION.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE U.S. COAST GUARD: PROMULGATE REGULATIONS REQUIRING PERIODIC FIRE AND EMERGENCY DRILLS AT LNG RECEPTION FACILITIES. THESE DRILLS SHOULD PROVIDE REALISTIC TRAINING EXERCISES.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable Action
Mode: Pipeline
Location: Cove Point, MD, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA80MP001
Accident Reports:
Columbia Liquefied Natural Gas Corporation Explosion and Fire
Report #: PAR-80-02
Accident Date: 10/6/1979
Issue Date: 5/7/1980
Date Closed: 5/20/1988
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: USCG (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Fire, Training and Education

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 5/20/1988
Response:

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 4/13/1987
Response: THE COAST GUARD DOES NOT CONCUR WITH THIS RECOMMENDATION. UNLIKE MOST VESSEL CREWS, WHICH ARE TRANSIENT, LNG WATERFRONT FACILITY EMPLOYEES PERFORM VERY SPECIALIZED AND TECHNICAL WORK, ARE EMPLOYED AT THE SAME FACILITY FOR YEARS, AND ARE VERY FAMILIAR WITH THE FACILITY. FEDERAL REGULATIONS REQUIRING PERIODIC DRILLS ARE NOT NECESSARY. THE LNG WATERFRONT FACILITIES NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING (NPRM), WHICH WAS PUBLISHED ON MAY 16, 1986 AND A COPY OF WHICH IS ATTACHED, REQUIRES IN SUBPART F BASIC AND ADVANCED LNG FIREFIGHTING TRAINING AND REFRESHER TRAINING. IT ALSO REQUIRES AN EMERGENCY MANUAL, WHICH CONTAINS DESCRIPTIONS OF EMERGENCY PROCEDURES AND WITH WHICH THE PERSON IN CHARGE OF SHORESIDE TRANSFER OPERATIONS MUST BE FAMILIAR. THEREFORE, NO FURTHER ACTION ON THIS RECOMMENDATION IS ANTICIPATED.

From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 9/23/1980
Response:

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 8/26/1980
Response: USCG LTR: USCG AND MTB ARE WORKING TOGETHER TO DEVELOP IDENTICAL FIRE PROTECTION REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL LNG RECEPTION FACILITIES. THE MTB NPRM OF FEBRUARY 11, 1980 PROPOSED LNG WRITTEN TRAINING PROGRAMS FOR INITIAL INSTRUCTION OF FACILITY PERSONNEL IN PROPER FIRE PREVENTION AND CONTROL PROCEDURES AND A WRITTEN PROCEDURE FOR KEEPING PERSONNEL CURRENT ON SUCH TRAINING. USCG WILL REQUIRE THESE TRAINING PROGRAMS TO BE PART OF THE FACILITY OPERATIONS MANUAL AND THAT THE MANUAL BE SUBMITTED TO THE COTP FOR REVIEW. AS PART OF THE REVIEW, THE COTP WILL BE INSTRUCTED TO REVIEW THE FACILITY'S PLANS FOR USE OF FIRE AND EMERGENCY DRILLS FOR CONTINUING TRAINING. USCG CONSIDERS FEDERAL REGULATIONS DETAILING SPECIFIC TYPES OF FIRE AND EMERGENCY DRILLS TO BE PRACTICAL.