Unsafe mobile fueling causes alarm

| 11/07/2016 | 26 Comments
Cayman News Service

Unsafe mobile fueling causes alarm

(CNS): The chief petroleum officer has raised concerns that motorists are fueling vehicles in unsafe and illegal locations directly from mobile fuel trucks, also known as road tank-wagons (RTWs). Duke Munroe said this dangerous practice continues to happen across the islands at private homes, car parks and roadsides and the risky behaviour exposes motorists and residents to danger and present adverse consequences to property and the environment.

Munrow urged people to stop this practice, and officials called on the public to report any case of mobile fueling on at unauthorised locations.

“We cannot overemphasise that fuelling in unapproved locations is an inherently dangerous practice that puts lives, property and the environment, at risk,” said Munroe. “Among other factors, these RTWs are not ordinarily fitted with the capacity to handle spills or other accidents.”

While diesel and gas are both dangerous, gasoline is extremely hazardous, he noted, and warned, “If not handled properly in a controlled and regulated area, the consequences can be dire.”

Officials explained that mobile operators are licensed to dispense both gasoline and diesel to industrial and commercial consumers with storage tanks or equipment and machinery which cannot typically be fuelled at a fuel retail outlet.

Mobile fuelling vehicles require basic measures, including hazard warning signs, specific fire extinguishers, and a designated or cordoned area to fuel equipment and vehicles. Drivers must also be trained in the proper operation of the vehicles, including emergency and safety procedures.

Even with these precautions, mobile fuelling is only allowed under certain exceptional circumstances, and under specific requirements and appropriate procedures.

Fuelling from fuel trucks into motor vehicles in the ‘open’ is permitted at commercial, industrial, manufacturing or governmental locations but only in relation to their own business — not as a public service.

Even in authorised locations, operators must comply with the relevant provisions under National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes and other requirements of the Petroleum Inspectorate. In controlled environments such as at the gas stations, staff are trained to carry out automobile fuelling.

There is also a heightened level of safety awareness, signs, warnings and other precautions which allow fuelling to be carried out relatively incident-free under normal circumstances.

“Safety is our major concern, and the public should only fuel up at approved facilities, such as service stations or marinas with public access,” Munroe said. “We implore the public’s cooperation in this regard.”

Such illegal activities can be reported anonymously by calling 911 and providing details of vehicles involved, location and time.

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Comments (26)

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  1. Robert says:

    BP showed they where Experts in safety delivering fuel to the whole of the gulf of mexico , they sure know what their doing . Esso with the gulf of Vadez in Alaska ? Safety Experts , Oil pipe lines rupturing , Genius , train delivery in Canada , blew up a whole town , yep the oil companies are very safe . To many more to even mention.

  2. Anon, and on and on..... says:

    (With my “irony hat” on)…. Typical Nanny State. We are talking free enterprise here. Who are CIG to think they should even consider the regulation of the import, storage, distribution and sale of gasoline and diesel? Just because these products are highly flammable, potentially explosive, toxic to aquatic life, cause organ damage in people, carcinogenic, teratogenic, environmentally damaging and,well, just nasty; that is no reason to interfere with “making an honest buck”.

    (Hint: Google “MSDS Gasoline” and “MSDS Diesel” before commenting that it is just “gas and diesel”. I hope that at least a few cents on the gallon I pay to Rubis goes on “product safety”.)

    I’m very much in favor of anyone making that “honest buck”, but even the most entrepreneurial societies tend to have quite strict requirements on the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health. Anyone know if we do (or if we do, are they fit for purpose and properly enforced)?

    Perhaps a level playing field that holds all players to the same standard for the protection of all Cayman, with equal opportunities for all, may be the answer?

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you really think it’s safer in any way at the gas station or a boat dock than in your driveway? This a non problem being raised by a useless regulatory agency that has become captive of the two big fuel companies. Are you one of them?

      • Anon, and on and on..... says:

        No, but boy do I wish! If I was a “captive” of a major oil company I wouldn’t be checking the supermarket fliers every week and making the trek from Kirks to Hurleys to Fosters to afford our groceries each Saturday $$$$$$. Oh, and not a PI employee either.

        Don’t think the “driveway” is where the largest risk lies, but rather how (and in what containers) the fuel is imported, how it is stored on Island, distributed from storage to driveway, and what plans are in place should the unexpected happen. Would like to hope for something a bit more proactive than “Sh*t Happens”.

        Anyway, “my view”, not better than “your view”, just “my view”.

  3. Anonymous says:

    what a pile of CRAP CRAP. CRAP in a barrel

  4. Anonymous says:

    I bet someone has figure out the diesel line to CUC has been tapped and they thought it was leaking naturally

  5. Mad Max says:

    I buy my gas from a backyard in Rock Hole. I am not alone.

  6. Buffalo Bill says:

    Can we get something like that here on the Brac?

    • Anonymous says:

      What happens to restaurants and homes that have to be refilled with propane??
      We are getting to beuracratic and too many laws. The independent fuel suppliers are safe. Please find something else to regulate that makes sense.

      • Anonymous says:

        Shhhhhhhh… Your givin them ideas

      • Give Me Fuel - Give me Fire ? says:

        @1:22pm – Please read the entire article. Your concerns have/are addressed. This is about fueling private, passenger vehicles. Yes, it should be illegal. Or just wait until something catches fire and burns. Then make it illegal, until then, I’ve got popcorn.


  7. Anonymous says:

    Mate it seems the gasoline mafia does not want the un-initiated in the business.

  8. Haranguer says:

    Let the free market rule! Rubis and Sol are ripping us off, if these small operates can bring in gas in small quantities and sell it cheaper than those two rip off artists, leave them alone, they will fix our problem.

    • Anonymous says:

      What is the procrastinating inspectorate doing to help the fuel problem? The only thing that useless department can do is advise the public about fuel price increases.
      January 2016, everything was going to happen about pricing. The world at large had fuel prices dip to as low as less than $2.00 and what was our price? All you could read was, government didn’t know what price the fuel suppliers were paying for fuel, yet when the poor man imports goods, he has to produce an invoice. So much so, if customs thinks that invoice is false, they will make their own checks to verify its authenticity.
      What world does that department think we are living in? Get your act together, 2017 is not that far away. Promises mean nothing to fools.

  9. Jotnar says:

    We have had mobile fuelling – particularly for boats – for years and not a squeak. Now its “unsafe”. Perhaps the caption should read “Petrol station cartel concerned at competition not following price fixing”

  10. Anonymous says:

    Gas station staff are trained to carry out automobile refuelling? Assuming I believe that, what about the self service pumps? This is BS.

    • Anonymous says:

      Precisely..I’ve been fueling vehicles since 1974, now I have a new gas pump attendant that learnt this year ‘Showing me’ how it should be done , literally grabbing the nozzle off me at the self service aisle ? Give it a break

  11. John says:

    Can you give some examples where this extremely dangerous practice has caused a problem?

  12. Anonymous says:

    The Petroleum Inspectorate don’t move a muscle unless yanked out of their ivory towers by something catastrophic or a phone call from big business. A reactive, impotent Authority now spouts about something they have no teeth nor idea on how to equitably control.

    This is laughable at best

    • Anonymous says:

      Petroleum Inspectorate? Didn’t know the Cayman Islands produced oil. A set of jokers, who can’t find out the cost/quantity of fuel that’s imported.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Safety…ok. This is the petroleum partnership protecting their piece of the pie.

  14. Anonymous says:

    As usual the lawmakers are years behind the reality.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because they don’t have to worry. They simply increase their own pay and benefits to meet increased prices. In fact KT now leaves his car home mostly and drives the Expedition (Ju Ju old Govt. car)….with Gas Boy card

  15. Ken says:

    Didn’t even realize this was happening; however, that being said, was that picture taken in the United States or here?

    Also, can the police be more specific as to where this sort of thing is happening on island?

    CNS: The picture is a generic illustration taken elsewhere.

    • Anonymous says:

      its not the Police buddy, let get it straight they have enough on their hands to go chasing gas trucks lol

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