FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 26, 2011
Richard Fredenburg, LP-gas inspection manager
NCDA&CS Standards Division
NCDA&CS collecting ideas, opinions related
to new propane tank requirements
RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services wants to know what propane customers who own underground tanks think of new safety requirements, and regulators have set up an online survey to collect comments.
The latest edition of the national LP-Gas Code requires that underground propane tanks installed after Jan. 1, 2011, be equipped with a system to protect them from corrosion. The code also requires that the system – known as a cathodic protection system – be tested for effectiveness on a specified schedule. Test results must be documented and maintained.
The tests must be conducted using equipment that includes a voltage meter. The initial test must be performed when the tank is buried, to verify that the protective system is working. The second test occurs 12 to 18 months later. If results of these two tests are acceptable, the test interval increases to once every 36 months. If the results ever fall below the acceptable voltage, the system must be repaired and the testing schedule restarted.
Propane companies that own tanks are aware of the requirements and have accepted the responsibility to comply, said Richard Fredenburg, LP-gas inspection manager for the department’s Standards Division.
“Tanks owned by their customers are a different situation,” he said. “The customers traditionally don’t know a lot about the technical side of their propane systems, but they still have the responsibility for having the tests done and documented. We want tank owners to comply with the rules, and we are asking them to give us ideas on how to accomplish that.”
The Standards Division has posted a survey on its website to gather ideas from customers. Go to www.NCStandards.org and click on “Customer-Owned Propane Tanks.” The survey can be completed online or printed and mailed to the Standards Division. Customers without Internet access can request a copy of the survey by calling 919-733-3313. Comments will be accepted through Dec. 31.
Fredenburg said he is interested in hearing all ideas, even the ones that aren’t practical. “We want to get the pulse of what is important to consumers who own these tanks,” he said.