utulsa.edu

Preparing Defensible Planning Distance Calculations


Wade A. Narin van Court, PhD, P.E.
Senior Engineer
TRC Companies
Augusta, ME

IPEConnect Presentation: May 5, 2022

Planning distance calculations (PDCs) are often difficult to follow because the assumptions are not clearly presented and/or well supported. Not only may this lead to a regulatory compliance gap, but the calculated distances and travel times used in planning (e.g., total planning distance for the vulnerability analysis, time to pre-planned boom deployment locations) may be off significantly. There are three critical issues for developing the PDCs: (1) provide a basis for the assumptions used in the calculations, especially assumptions about channel dimensions used to calculate flow velocities; (2) use available information about the stream and river velocities and area wind speeds; and (3) establish the criteria or rationale for determining if the receiving surface waters are still or moving. This presentation describes a clear and concise methodology for preparing PDCs, which has been reviewed and approved by the USEPA.

This methodology allows the PDCs to be easily updated if new information becomes available and, as importantly, this methodology is readily used to determine the travel times to pre-planned boom deployment locations providing two additional benefits. First, suitable boom deployment locations can be identified based on the expected response times by the spill response contractor(s). Second, if an oil discharge migrates off-site, the facility can give their spill response contractor(s) a better idea of where to expect the leading edge and which boom deployment location(s) to go to.

This presentation will include a case study to describe and illustrate this methodology. We will also show how the PDCs could be used to identify potential boom deployment locations and determine travel times to these locations, as well as show how criteria could be established to determine if the waters are still, moving, or a combination of the two (e.g., when a river flows into a reservoir).

Dr. Wade A. Narin van Court is a Professional Engineer, registered or licensed in five states, with over 35 years of experience. For much of his career his primary focus has been assisting clients with spill prevention and emergency / contingency response planning and compliance with federal, state, and local regulatory requirements. Specifically, he has prepared over 2,000 oil/chemical discharge or release prevention and response plans throughout the United States for a wide variety of fixed facilities and mobile and transportation operations (pipelines, rail, trucking, and marine). These plans have been developed for public and private sector clients, including oil & gas; power generation, transmission, and distribution; industrial, government, and commercial facilities; military bases; marine and port facilities; and academic and medical institutions. These projects required Dr. Narin van Court to assess oil/chemical handling and storage systems, design containment systems, develop response tactics and strategies, and/or prepare and facilitate training and exercises.

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