Tank Emissions Modeling: Post-TANKS 4.09

Defining requirements and stakeholder consensus were key to success

Challenge

After the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ended support of the industry standard tool TANKS 4.09, companies were left to address standard chemical tank calculations on their own. Ergon, a petrochemicals company based in Jackson, Mississippi, took steps to incorporate their required tank emissions modeling into their Enablon Air Quality System (AQS) deployment. With a variety of operations including chemical refining, terminaling, storage, and asphalt and emulsion distribution, this was considered a sophisticated and “uncharted” process. A cutting-edge firm, Ergon needed to ensure their system was flexible enough to handle a wide variety of possible situations. Ergon turned to E2 ManageTech to support this sophisticated implementation.

Solution

Ergon needed to move from site-level spreadsheets to an enterprise air quality data management solution. By standardizing calculation methodologies and centralizing data, Ergon would ensure compliance and develop a comprehensive environmental strategy for their entire organization.
E2’s team of EMIS and air quality experts assisted Ergon with an all-encompassing design strategy together with an organization-wide inventory of sites with air quality concerns. In addition, E2 worked with software vendor Enablon to enhance their current Tank Emissions module to accommodate calculations for the types of calculations that were not previously included – heated tanks, floating roof tank landings, and tank cleanings.

The E2 Approach

E2 has supported dozens of clients across the country with complex air emissions calculations – we know what data to collect and the most efficient ways to collect it. Our team designed processes and templates specifically for Ergon, and our experts trained the Ergon team in using the tools efficiently and effectively. This initial training and our options for continued support helped Ergon personnel feel confident in using these tools both now and as their company grows.

Results

Creating Efficiencies
Creating efficiencies is critical to the successful acceptance of a system, and this system was no different. Ergon needed to reduce the amount of manual data entry to cut down on errors and man-hours spent entering and checking data. E2 made Ergon’s job easier by integrating their Enablon solution with two existing systems currently tracking the organization’s tank transactions.
By integrating these systems, we ensured accurate, up-to-date values and a single data source. Because air quality calculations rely on throughput and not individual transactions, E2 created aggregations by tank as part of the integration. Now, a majority of Ergon’s sites will require minimal data entry, significantly reducing the EHS burden on operational staff.

Understanding the Issues
The state-specific regulations on tank cleaning posed a unique specialized challenge to the Ergon effort, with different solutions offered by Enablon and Ergon. After consulting with both groups to fully understand the complexities of the challenge, E2 brokered a compromise which successfully allowed Ergon to appropriately calculate all tank cleaning emissions while incorporating the constraints of the Enablon innovation team.

Customizing Solutions
While E2 has standardized processes and templates to allow for more efficient projects, we also have the experience and insight to customize solutions for each of our client’s unique needs. E2 has a culture of collaboration both internally and externally and the air quality project with Ergon is a key example of our commitment to this ideal. Through this and previous projects, E2 has been able to build a basis of trust with Ergon to create a strong partnership.

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Date : 02 Oct 2015

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