In order to do research, Fermilab needs to use oil. Oil is used in transformers and generators to help power the accelerator complex and is also used in our detectors. Because of these activities, Fermilab has over 700,000 gallons of oil on site, which you may be surprised to learn.
Additionally, the lab has three creeks that run through our site: Ferry, Kress and Indian creeks. A spill to any of these creeks would cause severe ecological damage, deteriorate public drinking water supplies, and could be a public relations disaster for the lab.
Oil is a concern not only because we are good stewards of the land we use, but also because we must comply with federal regulations: Facilities that use or store more than 1,320 gallons of oil in containers of 55 gallons or more must comply with 40 CFR 112. This means the lab must have and maintain a Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) Plan, and all oil-handling personnel must be trained. All Fermilab employees, users and subcontractors must be generally familiar with standard spill response procedures as outlined in their Local Area Plan or the Fermilab Emergency Response Plan. The lab must also keep an updated inventory of all sources of oil on site and perform monthly inspections of sources that meet specific criteria.
In order to better manage the site’s oil sources, the ESH&Q Section, along with the Accelerator Division, developed a new SPCC Database. The database allows the lab to keep track of every oil source on site in real time and allows monthly inspections to be performed digitally. The Environmental Protection Group is offering training on how to use the new database. As of April 2016, EPG is no longer accepting paper inspection forms.
If you handle oil or perform monthly inspections and would like receive training, or if you have any other questions, please contact Eric Korzeniowski at email@example.com or x8584.
For more information regarding how the lab handles oil, please see FESHM 8031.
Again, thank you for your role in ensuring that Fermilab remains in compliance!