On October 8, 2015, a pipeline facility in LA experienced a reportable incident that resulted in a series of explosions, fire, four fatalities, two injuries, evacuations of nearby residences and closure of a state highway. Representatives of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) Southwest Region (SWR), responded to the site and initiated an investigation into events surrounding the incident. In conjunction with the incident investigation. As a result of the investigation and inspection, it appears that the facility committed probable violations of the Pipeline Safety Regulations, Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations. The items inspected and the probable violations are:
New Zealand's EPA is seeking submissions on an application to import a heat transfer gas to be used for refrigeration and air conditioning. The gas – HFO-1234yf – is for use in refrigeration and air conditioning systems in commercial and domestic settings, including in cars. The applicant, Honeywell International Inc, has applied to import HFO-1234yf (2,3,3,3-tetrafluoropropene) to replace some existing refrigerants because it has a much lower global warming potential and better energy performance than existing HFC and HCHC refrigerants, breaks down rapidly in the environment, and is not ozone depleting. Because HFO-1234yf is a flammable gas, the EPA is seeking submissions from the refrigerant industry and other parties about managing the flammability risks. Public submissions open on Monday 18 July and close at 5pm on Monday 29 August 2016.
Go to the submissions page [EPA website]
Yes. When OSHA enacted the PSM requirement, it did so in an effort to eliminate or minimize catastrophic incidents involving highly hazardous chemicals. PSM programs are risk reduction strategies. When implemented correctly, reducing storage inventories of highly hazardous chemicals and isolating stored quantities in distinct facility areas are acceptable risk reduction strategies. Employers at storage facilities may therefore choose to safely alter their storage practices to reduce chemical risks—and fall below PSM applicability criteria—instead of complying with PSM. However, such facilities must still comply with other applicable OSHA standards and section (5)(a)(1) of the OSH Act, the “General Duty Clause” (which requires that employers provide workplaces free from recognized hazards that are likely to cause death or serious physical harm).
OSHA has published a DRAFT revision of their OSHA 3132, Process Safety Management. This new version is NOT meant to be a replacement for OSHA 3132, but instead meant to be a companion to the original OSHA 3132 specifically for small businesses that may be impacted by the PSM standard. The booklet calls attention to five (5) of the fourteen PSM elements that may have the most impact on small businesses and their process risks...
The diffuser tank discussion continues and Peter Thomas, P.E. from Resource Compliance, Inc. was kind enough to offer us the following insight as to when a diffuser tank would be required. In most of my postings, I reference the International Fire Code (IFC) and International Mechanical Coden(IMC) quite often, but the Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC) is a code that I have very little experience with and as Peter points out, it is alive and well on the west coast. So it is worth noting that the Uniform Mechanical Code required Diffusion Tanks from 1994-2014 (the requirement removed in 2015 UMC)AND the UMC also required diffuser tanks be of steel construction. Most states utilize the International Mechanical Code, but select western states still use the UMC, or in the case of California the California Mechanical Code which is a derivative of the UMC. Here are some parts of the UMC that Peter provided: