OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), in conjunction with the Department of Transportation (DOT), stipulates rules and regulations under which diesel fuel has to be stored or transported. Diesel has a flash point (the minimum temperature at which a liquid emits vapour to make it ignitable) of 93.3 degrees Celsius or less, which means it is classified as highly combustible or inflammable. Thus regulations have been enacted to ensure that diesel fuel, as a highly flammable liquid, is transported and stored safely.
Consumer Storage Rules
If you are a consumer and transporting or storing small quantities of diesel fuel, certain conditions apply. According to the DOT, like petroleum, diesel has to be stored and transported in cans made of any permissible materials. Permissible materials for cans include aluminium, steel, Teflon, fluorinated polythene, and fluorinated polypropylene. Certain containers made of appropriate materials are recommended. For example, jerry cans can be used for transporting diesel. These are yellow in colour and must be 10 litres to 20 litres in size. The jerry can should also be shaped with a spout. Some substances such as brass, lead, copper, tin, and zinc must be avoided.
Storing Large Quantities
If you need to store large quantities of diesel, for example, in industrial use or refineries, OSHA has laid out regulations on the type and nature of containers that must be used. Inflammable liquids such as diesel have to be stored in OSHA-approved or Department of Transportation (DOT) containers. These can be of made of metal, plastic, or glass. Each individual container must have a total volume below 60 gallons.
Under OSHA’s regulations, six types of containers are valid and legal for storing or transporting diesel under any circumstance--whether industrial or commercial. The appropriate classification of container depends on the size. These containers include metal drums that are to DOT specification and are less than 60 gallons; plastic drums that are to DOT specification and are below 60 gallons; metal containers that are five gallons or less; approved safety cans less than five gallons; approved plastic and polythene containers; and DOT specification combination packages, also called POP packaging. The maximum sizes of containers and tanks are labelled as Class IA; IB; IC; II and III. These sizes vary between one and 660 gallons, depending on the material of which the container is made.