PORT MANATEE -- The owner of a Port Manatee fuel depot is expanding its tank farm operation.
TransMontaigne Product Services has applied for a Florida Department of Environmental Protection permit to build a new 8,000-gallon storage tank and to modify three of its existing tanks at the northwest corner of the port's 1,000-acre property.
TransMontaigne operates 16 tanks at the port, according to Port Manatee's official directory. The tanks are used to store diesel and bunker fuel, two fuels used extensively in the maritime industry. The company also has a laboratory onsite.
According to a public notice issued by DEP, the facility has plans to change the amount of fuel going through its truck loading rack and its storage tanks. The agency states that this will "affect volatile organic compounds actual emissions" but will not require an increase in the facility's maximum allowable limit of fumes.
Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are substances that release a high amount of fumes at room temperature. Petroleum fuels are commonly used VOCs.
Karl Bernard, the Florida terminal director for TransMontaigne, did not immediately respond to a request to comment on the changes at the tank farm. Several other company officials also did not respond.
DEP is involved with TransMontaigne on a number of fronts. In addition to being the permitting agency for the company's expansion, it is also monitoring two cleanup sites at Port Manatee for which TransMontaigne is responsible. Those sites include fuel oil spill and a cleanup at the tank farm.
DEP has issued a public notice of its intent to issue an air permit for the expansion. This is the last step in the permitting process before the agency issues a permit.
TransMontaigne operates five other port-based fuel depots in Florida, including one at Port Tampa Bay.
Matt M. Johnson, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7027 or on Twitter @MattAtBradenton.