KERN COUNTY AIR POLLUTION CONTROL DISTRICT
RULE 414.1 - VALVES, PRESSURE RELIEF VALVES, FLANGES, THREADED CONNECTIONS AND PROCESS DRAINS AT PETROLEUM REFINERIES AND CHEMICAL PLANTS
(Adopted 1/9/79, Amended 6/26/79, 11/27/79, 4/5/82, 8/22/89, 4/3/90, 5/6/91, 3/7/96)
This Rule applies to all valves, pressure relief valves, flanges, threaded connections and process drains at petroleum refineries and chemical plants that may be the source of fugitive VOC emissions.
A. Background: a reading on a portable hydrocarbon detection instrument which is taken at least three
meters upwind from any valve, pressure relief valve (PRV), flange, threaded connections, or process drain to be
inspected and which is uninfluenced by any specific emission point.
B. Chemical Plant: an establishment that produces organic chemicals and/or manufactures products by organic chemical processes.
C. Commercial Natural Gas: a mixture of gaseous hydrocarbons, chiefly methane and less than 10% VOC's excluding ethane as determined in accordance with ASTM Methods E168-67, E169-63, or E260-73, used as a fuel and obtained from a company licensed to dispense such gases.
D. Component Type: any one of the following groups of things: valves, pressure relief valves, flanges, threaded connections, and process drains.
E. Essential Device: any device which cannot be taken out of service without reducing by more than 33% the throughput of the process unit which it serves.
F. Essential Refinery Operation: any operation which cannot be taken out of service without reducing by more than 33% the throughput of the process unit which it serves.
G. Flange: a projecting rim on a pipe used to attach it to another pipe or any other component in a piping system.
H. Inaccessible: a location that is over fifteen (15) feet above ground when access is required from the ground; or a location that is over six (6) feet away from a platform when access is required from the platform.
a. the dripping of liquid organic compounds at a rate of more than three drops per minute:
b. a reading as methane on a portable hydrocarbon detection instrument in excess of 10,000 ppm above background when measured at a distance of one centimeter of the potential source with an instrument calibrated with methane.
J. Maintenance Operation: a routine program of inspection and repair of equipment designed to detect
and eliminate conditions which may result in a breakdown.
K. Portable Hydrocarbon Detection Instrument: a hydrocarbon analyzer which uses the flame ionization detection or thermal conductivity methods and satisfies Method 21, 40 CFR Part 60. The instrument shall be equated to calibrating on methane and sampling at one liter per minute.
L. Pressure Relief Valve (PRV): an automatic pressure relieving device associated with a process vessel or piping system which is activated by static pressure upstream of the device and relieves to the atmosphere.
M. Process Drain: any open portion of a non-continuous piping system, including open origination portion(s) of such a system used for collection and transport of liquids discharged from process vessels. Drains used exclusively during breakdown conditions pursuant to Rule 111 or exclusively for maintenance operations are not process drains for the purposes of this Rule.
N. Refinery: an establishment that processes petroleum as defined in the Standard Industrial Classification Code under 2911 - petroleum refining.
O. Unsafe: those components which are operating at temperatures or pressures which make inspection of these components hazardous to inspection personnel.
P. Valve: any device that regulates the flow of fluid in a piping system by means of an external actuator acting to permit or block passage of fluid.
Q. Volatile Organic Compound (VOC): any compound containing at least one atom of carbon except for compounds exempted by Rule 102, Subsection L.
A. Valves, PRV's, flanges, and threaded connections handling only commercial natural gas are exempt from the
provisions of this Rule.
B. Valves, PRV's, flanges, threaded connections, and process drains handling material which has less than 10% by weight volatile organic compounds (as determined in accordance with ASTM Method E-168-68, E-169-63, E-260-73), are exempt from the provisions of this Rule.
C. The requirements of Subsection IV.B.1., and IV.B.2. shall not apply to valves, flanges, threaded connections and PRV's that are unsafe to inspect due to conditions of operation (e.g. high temperature). Prior written concurrence of the Control Officer shall be obtained and such valves, threaded connections and PRV's shall be inspected for signs of leakage during turnaround.
D. The requirements of Subsection IV.B.1., and IV.B.2. shall not apply to valves, flanges, threaded connections and PRV's which are in inaccessible locations provided the prior written concurrence of the Control Officer has been obtained and such valves, threaded connections and PRV's are inspected for leakage during each process unit shutdown or annually, whichever is more frequent.
E. The requirements of this Rule shall not apply to components handling exclusively heavy liquid streams which have less than 10% evaporation at 150°C as determined by ASTM Method D-86-78 and provided the operator so identifies such components as outlined in Subsection V.A. or prior to changing service of existing components.
F. Except in Kern County, the requirements of Subsection IV.A.1. shall not apply to components handling volatile organic compounds with a true vapor pressure less than or equal to 1.55 pounds, process drains and threaded connections, until November 1, 1991. In Kern County, the requirements of Subsection IV.A.1. shall be effective upon date of adoption.
G. The requirements of Subsections IV.A.4. and IV.B.1. shall not apply to threaded connections provided that the operator inspects each threaded connection after assembly with a portable hydrocarbon detection instrument to establish such connections do not have volatile organic compound emissions under operating conditions, and provided such connections are visually inspected at least quarterly and no leakage is detected. This Subsection shall also apply to threaded connections in service prior to the adoption of this Rule.
H. Ethane shall be excluded from the requirements of this Rule if the ethane content of the stream being handled is less than 20% by volume. A facility operator requesting exemption of ethane shall demonstrate for each leak detected, that such stream has an ethane content less than 20%. Analysis of ethane content shall be by gas chromatographic (qualitative and quantitative determination in accordance with ASTM Method E-260-73) analysis.
a. If the leak rate is less than ten drops per minute the following shall be required and the Control Officer shall be notified of:
b. If the leak rate is greater than 9 drops per minute or 10,000 ppm measured one centimeter from the source, the following shall be required and the Control Officer shall be notified of:
c. Repair an essential device to eliminate the leak during the next process unit shutdown, but in no case later than one year from the date of the original leak detection.
V. Administrative Requirements
A. Operator Management Plans
a. a description of any hazard which might affect the safety of an inspector;
b. identification of process units which cannot be immediately shutdown for repair of leaks;
c. identification of components for which an exemption in accordance with Subsection III.A. through III.F. of this Rule is requested;
d. specific identification of the resource commitment to a program to implement, inspect, and repair components;
e. schedule of quarterly inspections to be conducted in accordance with EPA Method 21.; and
f. repair procedures to be used within 15 calendar days following leak detection which results in compliance with the requirements of this Rule.
a. Specify whether contractor or employee inspection will be used;
b. Specify training standards for personnel performing inspections, and
c. Provide leak detection training (using a portable hydrocarbon detection instrument) for new operators, and for experienced operators as necessary.
a. Name, location, type of components, and description of any unit where leaking components are found.
b. Date of leak detection, emission level (ppm) of leak, and method of detection.
c. Date and emission level of recheck after leak is repaired.
d. Identification of leaks than cannot be repaired until next process unit turnaround.
e. Total number of components inspected, and total number and percentage of leaking components found.
C. Test Methods