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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation P-81-031
Details
Synopsis: ON DECEMBER 1, 1980, A PIPELINE TRANSPORTING NAPHTHA RUPTURED UNDER THE ROAD AT THE INTERSECTION OF 28TH STREET AND GALE AVENUE IN LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA. ESCAPING PRODUCT UNDER HIGH PRESSURE BLEW A HOLE THROUGH THE PAVEMENT AND SPRAYED INTO THE AIR UP TO 20 FEET AND THEN FLOWED INTO THE GUTTERS. MOMENTS LATER, THE PRODUCT IGNITED BY AN UNDETERMINED SOURCE. THE ENSUING FLAMES REACHED A HEIGHT OF APPROXIMATELY 70 FEET. AS A RESULT OF THE FIRE, 5 PERSONS WERE INJURED, 1 HOUSE WAS DESTROYED, 11 HOUSES SUSTAINED MODERATE TO SEVERE DAMAGE, AND 11 MOTOR VEHICLES WERE DESTROYED.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE UNION OIL COMPANY OF CALIFORNIA: INSTRUCT ITS EMPLOYEES REGARDING THE EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR PROGRAM FOR PRESSURE RELIEF VALVES AND SHUTDOWN EQUIPMENT AT ITS LEASE AUTOMATIC CUSTODY TRANSFER (LACT) UNITS AND MAKE PERIODIC CHECKS TO SEE THAT THE PROGRAM IS CARRIED OUT.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Pipeline
Location: Long Beach, CA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA81MP002
Accident Reports:
Four Corners Pipeline Company Pipe Rupture and Fire
Report #: PAR-81-04
Accident Date: 12/1/1980
Issue Date: 8/26/1981
Date Closed: 3/5/1997
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Union Oil Company of California (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Union Oil Company of California
Date: 3/5/1997
Response: THE BOARD IS PLEASED TO LEARN THAT UNOCAL HAS DEVELOPED & IMPLEMENTED A COMPREHENSIVE, COMPANY-WIDE SAFETY PROGRAM TO IMPROVE THE TRAINING, SKILL EDUCATION, & PERFORMANCE OF UNOCAL EMPLOYEES. WE UNDERSTAND THAT THE SAFETY PROGRAM INCORPORATES WELL-FOCUSED TRAINING & INSPECTIONS TO ENSURE THAT THE APPROPRIATE MAINTENANCE, REPAIR, INSPECTION, & TESTING ARE ACCOMPLISHED. BASED ON THIS INFO, P-81-31 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: Union Oil Company of California
To: NTSB
Date: 12/26/1996
Response: IN RESPONSE TO RECOMMENDATION P-81-31, UNOCAL HAS HAS DEVELOPED & IMPLEMENTED A COMPREHENSIVE, COMPANY-WIDE SAFETY PROGRAM TO CONTINUE TO IMPROVE THE TRAINING, SKILL, EDUCATION, & PERFORMANCE OF UNOCAL EMPLOYEES. THE PROGRAM SPECIFICALLY DETAILS WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ESTABLISHING STANDARDS, ASSIGNS SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES & PROCEDURES FOR IMPLEMENTING FUNCTIONS SUCH AS MAINTENANCE, & CALLS FOR WELL FOCUSED TRAINING & INSPECTIONS TO ASSURE APPROPRIATE REPAIRS, INSPECTIONS, & TESTING ARE ACCOMPLISHED AT THE CORRECT INTERVALS. IT ALSO MANDATES FOLLOW-UP THROUGH THE PERFORMANCE OF PROPER AUDITING & EVALUATIONS ON ALL EQUIPMENT, INCLUDING LACT UNITS, TO ASSURE CONTINOUS IMPROVEMENT OF THE PROCESS.

From: NTSB
To: Union Oil Company of California
Date: 5/19/1989
Response: We have reviewed the letter signed by Mr. Kendall Smith in response to the National Transportation Safety Board's Safety Recommendations P-81-31 and -32 concerning equipment maintenance and repair for pressure relief valves and shutdown equipment. With regard to Safety Recommendation P-81-31 to instruct your employees concerning the equipment maintenance and repair program for pressure relief valves, the Safety Board notes your efforts to institute a periodic inspection and testing program for pressure relief valves and shutdown equipment at your Lease Automatic Custody Transfer Units. This action is considered an acceptable response to the second part of Safety Recommendation P-81-31. We would appreciate a further discussion of ethods you have employed to instruct your employees regarding maintenance and repair of the equipment. Pending that further discussion, this recommendation has been classified as "Open--Acceptable Action." Concerning Safety Recommendation P-81-32, the Safety Board is pleased to learn that recording ammeters have been installed on the electric motors which drive the Fort Apache shipping pumps and a pressure recorder has been installed on the discharge side of the positive displacement shipping pumps. As a result of this action taken by the Unocal Corporation, Safety Recommendation P-81-32 has been classified as "Closed--Acceptable Action."

From: Union Oil Company of California
To: NTSB
Date: 2/1/1989
Response: THE LACT UNIT METER IS REQUIRED TO UNDERGO A MONTHLY "PROVING" WITNESSED BY REPRESENTATIVES OF BOTH UNOCAL AND THE PIPELINE COMPANY. A VISUAL INSPECTION OF THE RELIEF VALVES AND AN OPERATIONAL TEST OF THE HIGH DISCHARGE PRESSURE SHUT-DOWN SWITCH WERE INCORPORATED INTO THIS MONTHLY METER "PROVING" PROCEDURE.

From: NTSB
To: Union Oil Company of California
Date: 8/12/1988
Response: In a letter dated May 11, 1982, signed by Mr. Kendall Smith, Union Oil provided a response to the Board's safety recommendations. With respect to Safety Recommendation P-81-31, the company indicated that it agreed with the recommendation and was in the process of implementing it. In response to Safety Recommendation P-81-32, Union Oil stated that it believed that an alternative to the Board's recommendation might be available which would provide equivalent or better protection from pipeline ruptures. The company further stated that it was conducting a study of its facilities to explore alternate approaches and anticipated providing the Board with a supplemental response at the completion of the study. The Board noted this positive action in its subsequent letter of June 30, 1982, and indicated that we would hold Safety Recommendations P-81-31 and -32 in an "Open--Acceptable Action" status and an "Open--Acceptable Alternate Action" status, respectively, pending a further and more detailed response to the Board's recommendations. Our records indicate, however, that there has been no further correspondence on this matter. Therefore, in view of the time that has elapsed since the Board's previous letter, we would appreciate an update on any action that was taken or is being taken to address the concerns outlined in our recommendations. Copies of the above mentioned letters are enclosed for your easy reference. Your prompt attention to this matter will be appreciated. We look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

From: NTSB
To: Union Oil Company of California
Date: 6/30/1982
Response: We have reviewed your May 11, 1962, letter addressed to Mr. H. M. Shepherd, Chief of our Pipeline Accident Division, in responsb to- the National Transportation Safety Board’s Safety Recommendations P-81-31 and -32 which resulted from our investigation of the pipeline rupture and fire in Long Beach, California, on December 1,196O. -Your positive response’ to both of these recommendations is appreciated. We look forward to being informed of the method of implementing the program for employee instruction regarding equipment maintenance and repair for pressure relief valves and shut-down equipment. A copy of any instructions issued, along with copies of directives calling for periodic evaluations of the program, would be helpful in completing our assessment of the action taken; We will hold P-81-31 in an “Open-Acceptable Action” status pending such further response. The intent of th$ Safety Board in recommending the installation and maintenance of pressure record devices was to provide an incident investigation tool for your own use in observing an correcting unusual pressure fluctuations. We urge Union Oil to consider such a program without regard to the success of the alternate action proposed. If, indeed, a rupture protection device can be developed, the Safety Board would enthusiastically welcome it and foster its use. While we do urge the use of pressure recording devices in any case, we have placed this recommendation (P-81-32) in an “Open--Acceptable Alternate Action” status and await your further response regarding your study of rupture controL

From: Union Oil Company of California
To: NTSB
Date: 5/11/1982
Response: UNION OIL COMPANY OF CALIFORNIA LTR: UNION OIL CERTAINLY AGREES WITH THE BOARD'S RECOMMENDATION, AND IS CURRENTLY INTO THE PROCESS OF IMPLEMENTING IT.