Tuesday, August 24, 2010

LNG Tankers on Savannah Roadways: A Dangerous and Lethal Mix

Recently a Liquid Natural Gas producer suggested it should be allowed to deliver LNG from Savannah, GA throughout the south, to include Atlanta.

From Savannahnow.com:

A new proposal from the operator of Elba Island, one of the largest importers of liquefied natural gas or LNG in the country, would have some of that natural gas stay in its liquid state and make the journey out of Elba by tanker truck. The proposed route takes 13,000- gallon double-walled tanker trucks south on the Truman Parkway and then across DeRenne Avenue to I-516. Southeast LNG wants to start its trucking operation in late 2012 with 8-10 trucks a day and ramp up to 58 trucks a day over the ensuing decade.

Both the idea of additional traffic and the transport of hazardous material on DeRenne worry some who live along the already beleaguered corridor.

The Danger?

What is the danger? Outside of normal wrecks, tankers are prone to rollovers.

LNG tankers make perfect terrorist bombs. In Savannah these trucks will pass right by Hunter Army Airfield. It is a military airfield and subordinate installation to Fort Stewart.

Hunter features a runway that is 11,375 feet (3,468 m) long and an aircraft parking area that is more than 350 acres (1.4 km²). The runway and apron, combined with the 72,000 sq ft (6,689 m²) Arrival/Departure Airfield Control Group (A/DACG) Facility and nearby railhead, allow the 3rd Infantry Division from nearby Fort Stewart to efficiently deploy soldiers and cargo worldwide. NASA identified Hunter as an alternate landing site for the Space Shuttle orbiters.

In 1944 a LNG explosion leveled one square mile of Cleveland, known as the Cleveland Disaster. The very first commercial LNG facility built in the United States in 1941, caused a major industrial accident known as the "The Cleveland Disaster." According to the U.S. Bureau of Mines report, LNG holding tanks failed and released their contents into the streets and sewers and their vaporous cloud ignited and fire engulfed the nearby residents and commercial establishments.
The Fiery Inferno Devastated One Square Mile Of Cleveland, Ohio. Liquefied Natural Gas Destroyed 79 Homes, 2 Factories, 217 Cars,7 Trailers, Left 680 Homeless,Injured 225 and Killed 131.

In 2004, a blast at Algerian liquefied natural gas plant killed 27 people.

In Savannah, they propose 58 trucks a day passing local retail stores, businesses with thousands of jobs and homes and families.

Each truck tanker will have 13,000 gallons of Liquid Natural Gas which in a wreck, if released, may convert from liquid to vapor and expand to 600 times to about 8 million gallons of gas....

This would will produce about a 5,000 degree fire.

Simply stated, this is a bad idea. Time to kill the proposal now.