Inspectioneering Journal

Who Are Those People and What Are They Doing on My Tank?

By Steven L. Braune, P.E. at AEC Engineering, Inc. This article appears in the March/April 1996 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.

Since the publication of API Standard 653, Tank Inspection, Repair, Alteration and Reconstruction in early 1991 it has gained wide acceptance within the petroleum and chemical industries. In addition, six states (Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington) have referred to or incorporated API-653 into their petroleum AST regulations. At the very least, API-653 has become the new buzzword throughout the industry and the phrase "inspected in conformance with API-653" is tossed around freely in most inquiries for inspection services. In spite of the widespread acceptance of API-653, I am not sure that most facility owners understand that the proper inspection of an AST involves more than just an API certified inspector.

The API Aboveground Storage Tank Inspector Certification Program (ASTICP), initiated in early 1992, began a process for certification for AST inspectors. The program was patterned after the API-510 Pressure Vessel inspector Certification Program. The ASTICP required a written examination of each inspector after the candidate has demonstrated evidence of adequate experience to API. The examination process is conducted by a third party contractor to API; however, the inspector is certified by API. The certification period is for three years.

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