Spartanburg Leaders Plan Safety, Code Changes For Fuel Tanks -

Spartanburg Leaders Plan Safety, Code Changes For Fuel Tanks

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Tanks near Camp Croft Tanks near Camp Croft
A fuel truck near Camp Croft A fuel truck near Camp Croft
Fire Chief Hayes and the special foam material Fire Chief Hayes and the special foam material

A lot of fuel travels right through Spartanburg County on two major pipelines.

Leaders say the area benefits from affordable, accessible fuel. But there are also safety issues that come with all that flammable material.

Millions of gallons are shipped off on trucks, some of it is also stored in big tanks in the Camp Croft area.

The planning commission is working on amendments to county code in order to adapt to a changing industry and make changes for safety reasons.

"I think when you can, it's important to bring your codes up to date with regard to changes and technology," planning director Bob Harkrader said.

There are neighborhoods not far from the fuel terminals.

Some neighbors are quite comfortable there.

"They do a good job those gas terminals. They're very strict," Bobby Joe Simmons said.

But as Bobby Byrd let's his kids play in his yard less than a half mile from the tanks - he worries about what could happen.

"Somebody might throw a cigarette or something and start a big blast out there," Byrd said.

The facilities have a good track record, according to the Croft district fire chief Lewis Hayes.

"When you consider how much product is moved out by truck of the Croft area on a daily basis, it's really remarkable how few instances we've had," Hayes said.

Hayes and his staff prepared for a quarterly meeting of the Croft Petro-Chemical Coalition.

It involves representatives from local fuel storage companies who discuss safety measures.

"It's not like they live in Texas or some other town, they and their families live here in Spartanburg as well," Hayes said.

The companies also chip in a lot of money to help pay for specialized chemical and petroleum training for the firefighters.

The fire department also has 5,000 gallons of foam designed for fuel fires at its disposal.

That material is pricey, with that supply running around $100,000.

"We're blessed to have this relationship," Hayes said. "Hopefully we'll never use this foam but if we do, we'll have it."

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