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Hygiene Propane builds bulk storage site in mid-Gilpin

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On Hwy 46 near fairgrounds

By Lynn Volkens

Two very large (30,000 gallon) green-colored propane storage tanks were recently spotted being trucked to the old McCollum’s Excavating site located at 665 Highway 46, just across the highway from the county fairgrounds. A 6.4 acre site was purchased last March by Michael R. Even of the Longmont-based Hygiene Propane Company. Hygiene will use the site as a pumping station for their delivery trucks, as well as a storage site for empty propane tanks.

Even purchased the site in March, 2013. A Bulk Storage/ LPG Installation Application and Plot Plan permit application with the State of Colorado was already in the works by the time of purchase, dated June 28, 2012. Gilpin County Community Planning Department Director, Tony Petersen, said the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has permitted highway access to Highway 46. Gilpin County issued a building permit on March 5, 2013. The site is zoned C-4: Heavy Commercial, which allows Bulk Propane Storage as a use by right. Thus no variance or special use permit is required, and no review by the Gilpin planning commission or county commissioners is needed. Administrative approval is sufficient in use by right cases, but the county can place conditions on that approval, and has. Hygiene plans to meet those conditions. “We want to work with the community,” Even said.

The large storage tanks have been placed 250’ from neighboring property lines and roads, and ¼ mile from the nearest place of public assembly. Even said he would have preferred the tanks be the standard white, but Gilpin County stipulated they be painted green to help camouflage them with the surrounding forest. The state requires the tanks be placed on noncombustible support structures situated on masonry or concrete foundations. Hygiene’s plan includes concrete and steel “saddles.” If the tank bottom is more than 6’ above the flat top of the concrete foundation, as indicated by Hygiene’s state application, the steel saddle must meet a one-hour fire rating requirement. There are numerous other regulations required to be met by the Colorado Department of Labor/Division of Oil and Public Safety. Those listed on the application include CRS: 8-20-401 and 8-20-415; Colorado LP Gas Regulations 7 CCR 1101-15, NFPA 58 Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code, NFPA 30 A Code for Motor Fuel Dispensing Facilities and Repair Garages, and NIST Handbook 44 Specifications, Tolerances and Other Technical Requirements for Weighing and Measuring Devices. Federal regulations require some lighting at the site, mainly to help law enforcement see that no one is tampering with the tanks at night. Hygiene’s plans include a 120 square foot structure (stipulated by the county), a concrete apron, fencing and a security gate.  Once construction is completed, a state inspector, Timberline Fire Protection District and the County must give final approvals before operations can begin. Additionally, Gilpin County has required that the site be screened with a berm to minimize the visual impact when driving from the west on Highway 46.

Even said this is the seventh plant he’s constructed in a career that spans more than three decades. He’s been working out of the Rollinsville area for the past 20 years, he said, noting Hygiene had never had a hazardous incident in all that time. When Amerigas closed their office in Nederland, Even said he realized he’d better prepare for more demand in the Gilpin area. It takes about one year to jump through all the regulatory hoops, he noted, before a site can be operational. He looked at several sites in Gilpin before choosing the one on Highway 46. This site will better serve customers in the southern area of Hygiene’s service area, which stretches from Sugarloaf in Boulder County to the Golden Gate Estates area in Gilpin. The company employs two local drivers who know this area well. Even estimated Hygiene is currently serving 1,200-1,500 customers in Gilpin County.  He hopes to grow his business within the boundaries of that area. “The phone is already ringing off the hook,” Even said. He expects to have this site ready to meet the fall demand for propane. “People like to buy locally,” he concluded.

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