IIAROn December 3, 2015, the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) published the new ANSI/IIAR 2-2014: American National Standard for Safe Design of Closed-Circuit Ammonia Refrigeration Systems. This standard replaces the 2008 edition of the standard. This is IIAR’s first comprehensive safety standard and was written specifically for adoption by code making bodies. This change sees the new standard written using enforceable language. Informative topics and guidance are now included in appendices. Historically, ANSI/IIAR 2 has served as the recognized and generally acceptable good engineering practices (RAGAGEP) for safe design and compliance for ammonia refrigeration facilities subject to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Process Safety Management (PSM) and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Risk Management Plan (RMP). This won’t change with the new standard; however, we could see a more formal adoption of the standard by OSHA and EPA.

Continue reading “IIAR Publishes New Standard for Ammonia Refrigeration Systems”

On January 18, 2016, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) published the 2nd draft report for NFPA 499: Recommended Practice for the Classification of Combustible Dusts and of Hazardous (Classified) Locations for Electrical Installations in Chemical Process Areas. It is now open for a Notice of Intent to Make a Motion (NITMAM) until February 19, 2016 for those on a Committee Comment, Second Revision, or Second Correlating Revision. The purpose of NFPA 499 is to provide information on classifying combustible dusts and locations and provide recommended practices on proper selection of electrical equipment in hazardous (classified) locations per NFPA 70, National Electrical Code. NFPA 499 is a compendium document to Chapter 5 (Article 500) of NFPA 70 and does not supersede any requirements of other NFPA standards (e.g. NFPA 61, 68, 69, 654, 664, etc.).

The significant changes for the 2016 revision includes classifications and definitions for the following: Continue reading “NFPA 499 Revision Update”

In September 2015, the USEPA published proposed, revised rules under the title, “Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements”. Initially, a public comment period ending November 24, 2015 was established, but the comment period has been extended until Dec. 24, 2015.  The new rules are meant to clarify and streamline the regulations, but they also include additional labeling and recordkeeping requirements for some.   Continue reading “EPA Extends Comment Period on the New Hazardous Waste Rules”

Title: NFPA 652 – The New Standard for Combustible Dust
Date: Thursday, December 03, 2015
Time: 02:00 PM Eastern Standard Time
Duration: 1 hour

In 2015, The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) released NFPA 652, a new, overarching standard for combustible dust that covers all materials – agricultural products, wood products, chemicals, etc. Continue reading “Free Webinar: NFPA 652 – The New Standard for Combustible Dust”

By Joshua Haar, EIT

The US EPA has revised the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground level ozone. This will impact new and existing industrial facilities in some locations.

Background

The NAAQS were implemented as part of the Clean Air Act in the 1970’s to protect public health from a variety of pollutants, including particulates, carbon monoxide, and ozone, among others. The ozone NAAQS were instituted to limit the health effects (e.g. reduced lung function and pulmonary inflammation) caused by ground level ozone in the atmosphere; effects that primarily impact children, older adults, and people with asthma or other lung diseases. While ozone in the stratosphere helps block harmful radiation from reaching the surface of the earth, ozone at ground level is harmful. Specifically, it is not easily removed by our upper respiratory tract and is absorbed in our lungs, where it can cause narrowing of airways and decrease lung function. Continue reading “New Primary and Secondary Ozone NAAQS Requirements”

The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and US Army Core of Engineers (USACE) have issued a revised regulation to define what qualifies as Waters of the United States (WOTUS), and this will become effective on August 28, 2015. The new definition is an attempt by the USEPA and USACE to determine their jurisdictional limits in what has become an ambiguous regulatory framework thanks to two Supreme Court cases in 2001 and 2006.

The new definition will not: Continue reading “Waters of the United States”

Earlier this week, NFPA published the Second Draft Meeting Minutes for the next edition of NFPA 664 – Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Explosions in Wood Processing and Wood Working Facilities.  This meeting was held in Atlanta on July 14-15, and I was in attendance both days. For those of you in the wood products industry in North America, this is the go-to guide to fire protection.  This meeting was to discuss the 2017 Edition of 664, which, contrary to its name, is scheduled to be released in Fall of 2016. Continue reading “NFPA 664 (Wood Products) Revision Update”

The EPA’s Risk Management Plan (RMP) regulation (40 CFR Part 68) was issued in multiple stages, beginning in 1994. The regulation was modeled after OSHA’s Process Safety Management (PSM) standard (29 CFR 1910.119). The RMP regulation is about reducing chemical risk at the local level. The information from the RMP aids local fire, police, and emergency response personnel in responding to chemical accidents. It also helps citizens to understand the chemical hazards in their communities. The regulation has been left relatively unchanged since its issuance.

Under the regulation, companies of all sizes that use listed regulated flammable and toxic substances above threshold quantities are required to develop a Risk Management Plan and submit the plan to the EPA every 5 years. The RMP must include: Continue reading “Modernizing the Risk Management Plan (RMP) Regulation”

Today, during the Technical Meeting at NFPA’s 2015 Annual Conference, there were two certified motions up for a vote related to the new NFPA Standard on Fundamentals of Combustible Dust – NFPA 652.  One motion was to remove the requirement for a Dust Hazard Analysis, and the other was to delay the issuance of the Standard completely.  Both motions were defeated by an overwhelming majority of the NFPA voting members, including myself. These votes were the last hurdle in the issuance of the Standard later this year.

NFPA 652 is the first step in developing a single, overarching standard to deal with fire and explosion hazards associated with combustible dust of all types and in all industries.  Currently, there are several industry and commodity specific standards, such as NFPA 61 for agricultural dust and 664 for wood dust, that often lack consistency, leading to confusion among users, authorities having jurisdiction (e.g. OSHA), and safety professionals. The development of NFPA 652 intends to alleviate some of the confusion … eventually. Over the coming months, CTI will be writing articles, providing presentations at conferences and online, and consulting our clients with the specifics of the standard.  If you are interested in staying in touch with these developments and other news, please email cti@conversiontechnology.com and ask to be included on our Newsletter list.