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Garry W. Gibbs designated Acting Assistant Secretary for Environment, Safety and Health, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in January 1988.

In this position, Mr. Gibbs manages the Department's environmental and safety guidance, compliance and oversight functions. His responsibilities include oversight of over 260 nuclear facilities and 160 non-nuclear facilities. Me also develops the DOF's environmental and safety policies and standards and assists the Department's field operations and programs in the areas of new project review, liaison with states and federal agencies, technical expertise and compliance.


Previously, Mr. Gibbs served Principal

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment, Safety and Health. Before that, he served for 2 1/2 years as Special Assistant for Defense Programs to the Under Secretary of Energy. He joined the Department in 1980 and held increasingly senior positions of technical management and technology development, notably as Laser Program Manager for the Defense Programs Inertial Fusion Program.

In 1967, Mr. Gibbs joined the Department of the Navy and spent 10 years at a Navy field test and evaluation center in Point Mugu, California, where he was responsible for the technical direction and management of missile and laser test and evaluation activities. In 1977 he came to the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, D.C., where he directed the analyses of weapons applications for High Energy Lasers. Mr. Gibbs received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in physics from the University of North Dakota and an M.S. degree in systems management from the University of Southern California. He is also a graduate "With Highest Distinction" from the U.S. Naval

War College. Mr. Gibbs has numerous technical publications on laser technology and applications. He received an invention disclosure award for an explosive driven gas dynamic laser. He is listed in Who's Who in Technology Today, 1984. He has also been a member of numerous technical and scientific groups.

February 1988


Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:

As part of its fiscal year 1989 budget proposal for Fossil Energy

related programs, the Department of Energy is requesting $0.766 million

for the Liquefied Gaseous Fuels Spill Test Facility program.


facility serves as a "test bed" for both industry and government in

developing safety and environmental control information on the potential

hazards of liquefied gaseous fuels and other toxic liquids should they

be accidentally released during commercial transport, manufacturing, or


Construction of the $7.9 million facility began in June 1984.


on an isolated section of the Frenchman Flat Basin in the southeast

corner of the Nevada Test Site, the facility was completed in December

1985 and underwent a series of rigorous check-out tests to ensure that

all equipment and instrumentation functioned properly. The test

"window"..a time when actual spills can be conducted as dictated by

local weather patterns--opens in April and extends through September of

each year.

This allows for the conduct of two to three series of tests,

each series consisting of four to six spill tests.

The facility was

utilized by the private sector during calendar years 1986 and 1987.

Commercial user fees cover actual costs of the tests plus any clean up

necessary to prepare the facility for the next user.


The facility consists of a control building housing data acquisition and

recording instruments, a command and control computer, and a tank farm

and spill area.

The tank farm includes the following: (1) a spherical.

shaped, 8,000-gallon tank to house liquid nitrogen, (2) a nitrogen

vaporizer to convert liquid nitrogen to a drive and control gas, (3)

pressure vessels to store the nitrogen gas, (4) a 24,000-gallon tank to

store noncryogenic fluids for spill tests, (5) two 26,000-gallon dewars

for storage of cryogenic test fluids, and (6) two 12-inch diameter

insulated lines and one 6-inch diameter insulated line, all extending

500 feet from the tank farm to a point where fluids will be spilled for


The facility has been designed to satisfy the requirement for

information for risk assessment, emergency response, regulation, plant

design, plant siting, and hazard mitigation.

It is capable of spilling

up to 53,000 gallons of cryogenic fluids, such as refrigerated ammonia,

in two minutes. In addition, up to 24,000 gallons of ambient temperature

materials such as chlorine can be released in five minutes.

The sensor

and data acquisition system is available to acquire data


characteristics such as rate, volume, temperature, and pressure;

downwind gas concentration and aerosol characteristics; meteorological

parameters; and blast or fire effects.

When spill tests are conducted, gaseous nitrogen (obtained by vaporizing

the liquid) forces the test fluids from their storage tanks through the

spill lines.

Spill rate and duration, as well as test condition

parameter checks, occur under computer control from the control

building. Also, 700 channels of data originating from remotely located

sensors can be recorded.


The ultimate objective of the Liquefied Gaseous Fuels Spill Test

Facility is to give both private and public sector users the technical

data they need to better protect the public from the potential health

and safety hazards posed by a spill of liquefied gaseous fuels or other

toxic fluids.

An aggressive effort, therefore, has been undertaken to

apprise relevant sectors of the availability of this one-of-a-kind test


This effort has extended both to domestic and international

organizations that have an interest in and need for safety-related data

on liquefied gaseous fuels or toxic chemicals.

During calendar year 1986, tests funded by Amoco Oil Corporation were

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released in a horizontal jet and the mitigation effects of various

water-spray systems for controlling downwind dispersion. They value of

these tests to industry is indicated by their interest in follow-on work

in 1988, as discussed below.

In the 1987 test season, experiments were conducted for the Gas Research

Institute and the Department of Transportation. These tests evaluated

the effectiveness of "vapor fences" in mitigating the accidental release

of liquefied natural gas at peak shaving plants.

The test scenario was

comprised of six large-scale releases of liquefied natural gas; the

acquired data is being used in an attempt to validate wind tunnel

simulations of vapor fence effects on heavy gas dispersion.


validated, the wind tunnel models will be used to determine the vapor

fence performance for several different accident scenarios,

Currently, test plans, agreements, and operational procedures are being

negotiated between the Energy Department and a consortium of industry

sponsors represented by Mobil Research and Development Corporation.

Mobil is a participant in the Joint Industry Hydrogen Fluoride

Mitigation Program which is addressing the impact assessment of

accidental releases of hyrdogen fluoride.

On behalf of the participants

(Amoco, Exxon, Marathon and Allied Signal, Inc.), Mobil is planning to

conduct, during calendar year 1988, a series of releases which will test

the effect of major variables on the mitigation efficiency of

water-spray systems.

Also being negotiated for the 1988 test season are efforts to be

sponsored by National Foam System, Inc., which will evaluate the

efficacy of various foams in suppressing vapor releases from a variety

of hazardous materials.

These tests involving materials such as sulfur

dioxide, bromine, phosgene and chlorine will be conducted in cooperation

with their respective manufacturers.

During 1987 in response to the requirements of Section 118(n) of the

Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 and the legislative

guidance contained in House Report 99-670, accompanying the Continuing

Appropriations, Fiscal Year 1987, the Department entered into a

Memorandum of Understanding with the Environmental Protection Agency and

the Department of Transportation in support of a collaborative research

and development program involving

hazardous substance spills to be conducted at the Spill Test Facility.

The agreement allows the agencies, in collaboration with the private

sector and other government organizations, to develop, structure and

prioritize the establishment of a generic national research and

development program germane to heavier-than-air gas dispersion,

hazardous substance releases and related mitigating technologies.


action plan is in its final stages of formulation and is planned for

implementation during calendar year 1988.

As the program unfolds, it is

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