Rule 1123. Refinery Process Turnarounds
(Adopted May 4, 1979)(Amended April 4, 1980)(Amended Dec. 7 1990)

(a) Definition

For the purpose of this rule, the following definition shall apply.

VESSEL means any container or structural envelope in which materials are processed or treated; it does not include any container whose principal purpose is material storage.

(b) Requirements

  1. During refinery process turnaround, a person shall not depressurize any vessel containing organic materials unless the vapors released from the vessel are collected and contained for use as fuel or sent to a gas disposal system until the pressure in the vessel is below five pounds per square inch, gauge, or is within ten percent above the minimum gauge pressure at which the vapors can be collected, whichever is lower.
  2. For every refinery that uses inert gas displacement or vacuum eduction for process turnaround, a person operating the refinery shall submit to the Executive Officer a plan which describes at least the following:

    (A) the procedure used for gas displacement or eduction;

    (B) the disposition of the displaced or educed organic gases;

    (C) the stage in the displacement or eduction procedure at which the disposition is changed from a control facility to atmospheric venting, and

    (D) the criteria by which said stage is identifiable.

  3. The Executive Officer shall approve the plan upon his determination that it provides for the maximum feasible control of emissions of displaced or educed organic gases without causing damage to equipment, malfunction of pollution control or safety devices, or violations of safety regulations and without installation or structural modification equipment which is not needed to comply with subparagraph (b)(1) of this rule.
  4. After approval of a plan, all displacement operations shall be conducted according to said plan unless another specifically approved plan is used.

(c) Recordkeeping

A refinery operator shall maintain a record of each refinery process unit turnaround containing at a minimum the date the unit was shut down, the approximate vessel hydrocarbon concentration when hydrocarbons were first discharged into the atmosphere, and the approximate amount of hydrocarbons emitted into the atmosphere. Such records shall be kept at the facility for at least two years, and shall be made available to District staff upon request.

(d) Exemptions

Any vessel, or group of vessels, that has been depressurized to less than five pounds per square inch, gauge, shall be exempted from the provisions of subparagraph (b)(2) by the Executive Officer upon determination by the Executive Officer that the use of existing control facilities to comply with subparagraph (b)(2) is likely to damage equipment, cause the malfunction of pollution control or safety devices, or cause violations of safety regulations.