WSR 19-21-176
[Filed October 23, 2019, 10:01 a.m.]
Original Notice.
Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 19-16-153.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 16-201-240 Maintenance and inspection, in response to a petition for rule making, the department is proposing to add pressure testing as an option for inspecting for leaks within the appurtenances of liquid bulk fertilizer storage facilities.
Hearing Location(s): On December 13, 2019, at 1:00 p.m., at the Red Lion Hotel, Design and Project Room, 2525 North 20th Avenue, Pasco, WA 99301.
Date of Intended Adoption: December 20, 2019.
Submit Written Comments to: Gloriann Robinson, Agency Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, email, fax 360-902-2092, by 5:00 p.m., December 13, 2019.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Maryann Connell, phone 360-902-2012, fax 360-902-2093, TTY 800-833-6388 or 711, email, by December 6, 2019.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The current rule only allows a visual observation for any evidence of leaks, spills, cracks, solar decay or wear of fertilizer bulk storage facilities. Adding pressure testing as another option will allow the fertilizer industry to place liquid fertilizer in appurtenances underground, increasing efficiency and safety, while preserving the original intent of the rule to minimize the risk of a fertilizer release.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: The secondary containment rules (chapter 16-201 WAC) for fertilizers came into effect in 1997. The objective of these rules was to establish guidelines for the protection of ground and surface water by minimizing the risk of a fertilizer release. As with most businesses in production agriculture, the fertilizer industry has changed significantly over time. Economics within the industry have forced manufacturing and distribution facilities to consolidate operations, thus creating fewer but larger facilities. In the past, facilities were geographically located in a company's service area and typically had storage volumes of fifty thousand to one hundred twenty-five thousand gallons of fertilizer. The service area for those locations was commonly twenty-five to forty-five miles from the facility. In an effort to increase efficiency, companies have been replacing many of the smaller facilities with fewer, much larger facilities with storage capacities ranging from two hundred fifty thousand gallons to several million gallons, and extending their service area to one hundred fifty miles or more.
With larger storage capacity needs, facilities that once held storage containers for five or six products in a location now require the same physical area for one container to store a single product. Consequently, facilities with larger storage capacities and a greater number of products significantly increases the distance from the operational area (where trucks are filled) to the storage area of the fertilizer. This requires long runs of pipe to be contained in concrete and metal-grated chases or in elevated pipe racks. Above ground piping creates a hazard to a large facility due to the large number of pipes and the distance between tanks and operational area. This above ground piping can be damaged by heavy or over-height machinery.
Currently, WAC 16-201-240 only allows for a visual observation for any evidence of leaks, spills, cracks, solar decay or wear during an inspection process. This requires all appurtenances (pipes, fittings, etc.) to be above ground so that they can be visually inspected. Placing the appurtenances underground would allow for a safer, more efficient and more economic operation, but complicates the visual inspection requirement. Adding a pressure test option as a form of inspection to check for leaks in the underground lines would not only preserve the original intent of the rule to minimize the risk of a fertilizer release, but also improves safety and efficiency for fertilizer facilities. The intent of adding the option for pressure testing is not to test the burst rate of the pipe itself, but to provide evidence of a leak.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 15.54.800.
Statute Being Implemented: Chapter 15.54 RCW.
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Name of Proponent: Far West Agribusiness Association, private.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting and Implementation: Kelle Davis, 1111 Washington Street S.E., Olympia, WA 98504, 360-902-1851; and Enforcement: Brent Perry, 222 North Havana, Spokane, WA 99202, 509-995-2876.
A school district fiscal impact statement is not required under RCW 28A.305.135.
A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. The Washington state department of agriculture is not a listed agency under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(a)(i).
The proposed rule does not impose more-than-minor costs on businesses. Following is a summary of the agency's analysis showing how costs were calculated. The proposed rule does not impose any additional costs on businesses. There is no cost to comply with the rule, because the proposed rule is adding another option as a form of inspection. Fertilizer facilities may choose to continue using visual observation as a form of inspection. Those companies who would prefer to install appurtenances underground for liquid bulk fertilizer would be able to meet inspection requirements by utilizing pressure testing.
A copy of the detailed cost calculations may be obtained by contacting Gloriann Robinson, Agency Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, phone 360-902-1802, fax 360-902-2092, TTY 800-833-6388, email
October 23, 2019
R. Schoen-Nessa
Assistant Director
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 00-23-075, filed 11/17/00, effective 12/18/00)
WAC 16-201-240Maintenance and inspection.
(1) The operator of a fertilizer bulk storage facility shall inspect and maintain storage containers, appurtenances, secondary containment and operational area containment to minimize the risk of a fertilizer release.
(2) The inspection shall include a visual observation for any evidence of leaks, spills, cracks, solar decay or wear. Pressure testing may be used in lieu of visual observation for leaks in liquid bulk fertilizer facilities.
For the purpose of this section, "pressure testing" means a test sufficient to determine the presence or absence of a leak within the appurtenances of a liquid bulk fertilizer storage facility. Such pressure testing must be conducted at a pressure rate exceeding the standard operating pressure of the liquid bulk fertilizer storage facility, and must be conducted in accordance with standards established for the materials of the appurtenances, if such standards have been established.
(((2)))(3) Maintenance of the fertilizer bulk storage facilities shall be performed as needed to ensure that the integrity of the bulk fertilizer storage containers, secondary containment and operational area containment is maintained.
(((3)))(4) Bulk fertilizer storage containers and appurtenances shall be inspected at least once per month when in use. Secondary containment and operational area containment shall be inspected at least once per month when in use.
(((4)))(5) All secondary and operational area containment shall be maintained free of debris and foreign matter.
(((5)))(6) A written record of all inspections and maintenance shall be made on the day of the inspection or maintenance and kept at the storage site or at the nearest local office from which the storage site is administered.
(((6)))(7) Inspection records shall contain the name of the person making the inspection, the date of the inspection, conditions noted and maintenance performed.