There are inherent potential dangers associated with locating HUD-assisted projects near hazardous facilities which store, handle, or process hazardous substances of a flammable or explosive nature. Project sites located too close to facilities handling, storing or processing conventional fuels, hazardous gases or chemicals of an explosive or flammable nature may expose occupants or end-users of a project to the risk of injury in the event of a fire or an explosion.
To address this risk, regulations at 24 CFR Part 51 Subpart C require HUD-assisted projects to be separated from these facilities by a distance that is based on the contents and volume of the aboveground storage tank, or to implement mitigation measures.
When considering explosive and flammable facilities in the context of HUD-assisted projects, two lines of inquiry are appropriate:
Does this project include any of the following activities: development, construction, rehabilitation that will increase residential densities, or conversion?
If so, within one mile of the project site, are there any current or planned stationary aboveground storage containers:
For a list of common industrial fuels, consult Appendix I of the Regulation and HUD’s guidebook Acceptable Separation Distance. Sources of information on tank capacity and contents include, but are not limited to, direct observation, the property/facility owner/operator, the local Fire Department, and the local Emergency Planning Committee.
If such aboveground tanks are present, do any of the following exceptions apply?
The following categories of containers are not covered by 24 CFR Part 51 Subpart C requirements, in spite of the fact that they store or handle covered gases or liquids:
Is the Separation Distance from the project acceptable based on standards in the regulation?
For proposed development activities in proximity to aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) that are not excluded by the exceptions listed, the Acceptable Separation Distance (ASD) can be calculated based on the volume of the container, the contents, and whether or not the container is diked. If there are multiple such tanks to consider, use the Fact Sheet: Determining Which Tanks to Evaluate for ASD. Once the volume of the container (gallons), dike dimensions, and phase of state of the product (liquid or gas) are known, the ASD can be calculated using the electronic calculator.
The ASD is measured from the center of the assessed container to the perimeter of the proposed HUD–assisted project site. If the ASD is not met, mitigation is required, or another site must be considered. Mitigation options are discussed in the HUD guidebook Acceptable Separation Distance.
If the separation distance is not acceptable, mitigation is required. Otherwise, the project should be moved to a different location. A technical evaluation by a licensed engineer must be conducted to determine whether an existing barrier (natural or man-made) is sufficient mitigation or to design a barrier. For more guidance on barriers and mitigation, contact Nelson Rivera, a licensed engineer at HUD, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-402-4455.
Does the proposed HUD-assisted project include a hazardous facility (a facility that mainly stores, handles or processes flammable or combustible chemicals such as bulk fuel storage facilities and refineries)?
If so, is the hazardous facility located at an acceptable separation distance from residences and any other facility or area where people may congregate or be present? See earlier guidance on calculating the ASD.
The environmental review record should include:
One of the following on aboveground storage tanks in proximity to the proposed HUD-assisted project site:
AND one of the following on hazardous facilities that are proposed for development using HUD assistance:
View Explosive and Flammable Facilities - Worksheet.
Acceptable Separation Distance Electronic Assessment Tool
Guides and Training Manuals
Determining Which Tanks to Evaluate for Acceptable Separation Distance Fact Sheet
Final Propane Rule - 24 CFR Part 51 Subpart C Fact Sheet
Sample Memo: Documentation of Compliance with NFPA 58 (2017)(for individual tank or tanks)
Acceptable Separation Distance Guidebook
Acceptable Separation Distance Flow Chart
Acceptable Separation Distance Mitigation Options Flow Chart
Barrier Design Guidance for HUD Assisted Projects Near Hazardous Facilities
Webinars and Virtual Trainings
OEE Updates to HUD's ASD Requirements for Propane Tanks Webinar
WISER: Explosive and Flammable Materials Online Module
24 CFR Part 51 Subpart C Mitigation Training Module - Slides
Acceptable Separation Distance Training Webinar
Explosive and Flammable Facilities