Most fuel spills result from improper storage and transfer of fuel. As citizens of Black Rock City, we must remember our responsibility for Leaving No Trace. Fuel will expand with heat. Never fill your fuel containers past 80%, no matter if you use a five gallon fuel can or a 55 gallon drum.
Fuel must be stored and transported in containers designed and rated for the type of fuel within. These containers must be in good working order and free from defects or leaks. Black Rock City PETROL reserves the right to refuse containers found to be unusable or a hazard.
Protect the playa surface from fuel spills. All containers, regardless of size, must be stored within “secondary containment” basins even during transport. These basins must be capable of holding 110% of the volume of the largest single fuel container stored within it.
Follow the guidelines below when storing containers of fuel.
Large Scale Storage
- No more than two 55-gallon fuel drums (or no more than a total of 110 gallons of fuel) may be stored in a camp.
- Do not fill fuel containers more than 80% of capacity to allow for heat expansion; do not fill past the maximum fill line marked on containers.
- All fuel containers, regardless of size, must be stored within “secondary containment” basins capable of holding 110% of the volume of the largest single fuel container stored within it. For large fuel containers, a secondary containment solution can be as simple as a fuel pallet or a plastic kiddie pool. If a fuel container should fail, a secondary containment basin will catch all the fuel.
- Fuel and flammables must be stored in approved containers that must remain closed except when filling or dispensing.
- Fuel containers should be “UL” certified for safety and in good condition.
Small Scale Storage (one to five gallons)
- All fuel containers, regardless of size, must be stored within “secondary containment” basins. If a fuel container should fail, a secondary containment basin will catch all the fuel. For small fuel containers, a secondary containment solution can be as simple as a cement mixing tub or fuel-resistant tarp with a raised frame placed beneath to create a containment area.
- Fuel containers (even little ones) should not be filled more than 80% of capacity to allow for heat expansion. Do not fill past the maximum fill line marked on containers.
- Fuel containers are to remain closed except when filling or dispensing.
- Fuel containers should be CARB and EPA certified.
- Never use fuel containers that are degraded by the sun, cracked or damaged.
Fuel Storage Area Safety Guidelines
- No more than two 55 gallon fuel drums (or no more than a total of 110 gallons of fuel) may be stored in a camp. [MANDATORY]
- A safety radius of 100 ft. must separate fuel storage areas between neighboring camps. [MANDATORY]
- A safety radius of 10 ft. must separate fuel storage areas from heat sources such as burn barrels, grills/stoves, running generators, RVs, trailers, tents, camp structures, and public areas. [MANDATORY]
- Within 10 ft. of your fuel storage, keep a fire extinguisher easily visible and accessible. [MANDATORY] We recommend a 40-B rating / five pound fire extinguisher.
- Fuel storage area must be kept away from where it can be struck by vehicles. [MANDATORY] Fuel storage areas must be protected from vehicle collision. Establish a safety perimeter around fuel storage areas using caution tape or equivalent.
- If your fuel must be in the sun, make sure that it’s only filled to 80% so that when the fuel expands, it does not break your container. [MANDATORY]
- Fuel should not be stored inside or under a living area. [RECOMMENDED]
- Storing fuel in the shade is recommended, particularly in a designated fuel storage depot. However, fuel should never be stored in a confined space, under or near a structure or vehicle, or close to sources of ignition. [RECOMMENDED]
- “NO SMOKING – FLAMMABLE” signage must be visible from all four directions around fuel storage areas. [RECOMMENDED]
Fuel Spills & Playa Protection
- Bring a shovel and sealable five-gallon bucket for removing fuel spills and contaminated soil from the playa and take it with you post event to dispose of.
- Fuel spills and contaminated soil that are larger than 5 gallons must be reported to Black Rock Rangers or Emergency Services Department at either Center Camp or the 3 and 9 O’Clock plazas. Any Burning Man staff member can also help you call for the ESD-Hazmat team. Reports should include location and contact person. Possible sources of ignition should be eliminated in the area of a spill. Vapors can travel significant distance away from the spill.
- Do not fuel generators while they are running.
- Beware the dangers of static electricity. A spark can ignite gas vapors. Static can be generated anytime fuel is moving from one container to another.
Fuel Delivery & Filling
Purchasing fuel onsite and planning for fuel usage will reduce the amount of fuel you need to transport and store. Transporting and storing the minimum amount of fuel necessary reduces safety risks as each point of transfer is a risk of spill, fire or worse. It is preferable to have generators filled daily by the fuel team rather than storing fuel in your camp and filling equipment yourself.
Fuel deliveries for generators and/or fuel drums can be arranged with the PETROL Department prior to the event. Once these arrangements are made, fuel will be delivered to your camp location. There are no account registrations on-playa. All fuel registrations must take place in the fuel registration window so the department can plan pre-event and allocate resources needed to run effectively.
Mutant Vehicles should pre-register for fueling through the PETROL Department. Approved Mutant Vehicles can then be fueled at the Hell Station at 10:00 & L.
Review the fuel container handout.
Read more about the fuel program and setting up an account here.
For more information email email@example.com.