COLUMBUS, Ohio –
Three 10,000-gallon fuel tanks were installed at Defense Supply Center Columbus June 1, marking the beginning of a long-term project at the installation’s fuel point to replace aging underground fuel storage tanks with above-ground tanks.
The tanks are an interim solution to continue providing MOGAS, E-85 and diesel fuel for installation customers while work begins at the fuel point to design a permanent replacement. The temporary tanks are expected to be operational as early as June 17 once fuel is transferred from the underground storage tanks.
The project is being managed and funded by Defense Logistics Agency Energy in coordination with Installation Management – Columbus and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Omaha District. The tanks are assigned as real property to DLA Energy.
The underground tanks are more than 30 years old and beyond their useful life while also beginning to require extensive repairs, said Nicole Goicochea, Installation Management – Columbus’ Environmental Division Chief. Potential future environmental concerns led Goicochea to contact DLA Energy for a solution.
“This was the perfect opportunity to proactively assess our installation’s sole fuel point and design it for the future,” Goicochea said.
The fuel point primarily services military units and installation facilities equipment. Installation Management completed an evaluation of the fuel point’s historical use and determined more appropriately sized above ground tanks would lower potential environmental concerns while simultaneously decreasing costs associated with their installation and maintenance over the life of the tanks.
DLA Energy project manager Andy Richards said the proposed project will ultimately save taxpayer money. “Moving the tanks to above-ground storage vs underground storage lightens maintenance costs, inspection costs and inspection frequency,” he said.
The project will require ongoing coordination between installation officials, DLA Energy and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Goicochea said the next step once the fuel transfer is complete will be to clean the existing underground tanks and put them out of service – a task expected to occur sometime this fall. The final design for the future fuel point is currently in the hands of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials, Goicochea said.
Installation officials said the project is expected to be completed in FY 23.