Drift River Terminal Containment and Tank Volumes

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Unified Command, Drift River Terminal Coordination, presents the following information to address questions about the oil containment systems and the tank volumes at the Drift River Terminal.

Three layers of containment protect the storage tanks at the Drift River Oil Terminal, in addition to a protective perimeter dike.

Initial Layer:

– The tank itself constitutes the initial layer. The tanks are constructed of steel that ranges in thickness from two inches at the base to one inch at the top.

– Currently, only two of the seven-tanks are in use and together contain approximately 6.3 million gallons of oil (148,000 barrels). When drawn down the tanks will remain at a safe working level of about 1.6 million gallons (40,000 barrels) total between the two tanks.

Second Layer:

– Each of the tanks within the terminal has a maximum capacity of 11.6 million gallons (277,000 barrels) and is surrounded by an earthen berm lined with an impermeable material. Each berm is designed to contain 110 percent of the maximum capacity of the tank’s contents.

Third Layer:

– Another berm surrounds the entire seven-tank area.

Protective Dike:

– A massive, concrete-armored earthen dike further protects the terminal storage facility.

– Active Hydrologist Consultants designed the perimeter dike following the 1989 to 1990 eruption of Mt. Redoubt.

– The concrete-armored earthen dike measures approximately two miles in length. The dike measures from 10 feet to 20 feet in height, based on the slope of the terrain. It was built on a ratio of 2.5:1 (2.5 feet wide for every one foot in vertical height).

– The wall is 15 feet wide at its top height and is further protected by articulated armor consisting of concrete blocks measuring from four to eight inches wide secured by mesh and steel rods.

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