Operating Permit Requirements for Propane Pressure Vessels

22 June 2015

Reference #:  D-BP-2015-01

DIRECTIVE

This Directive is being issued by a provincial safety manager pursuant to section 30 of the Safety Standards Act.

Date of Issue: June 22, 2015
Directive N
O: D-BP-2015-01

General Details:

This Directive is issued to clarify the requirement to obtain an operating permit by any person who owns, operates or maintains pressure vessels that contains propane.

The requirement to obtain operating permits for the use of pressure vessels that contain propane has been in place since 2004 under the legislation referred to below. This Directive does not impose any new requirements, but rather clarifies the existing requirements and sets out a process to enable a person to achieve compliance to the legislation.

In addition to the issuance of this Directive, the BC Safety Authority is taking steps to improve the administration of this requirement. These steps include the development of revised administrative processes and procedures.

Definitions

Act – means the Safety Standards Act

Boiler Regulation -means BC Regulation 104 / 2004 -Power Engineers, Boiler, Pressure Vessel & Refrigeration Safety Regulation (including amendments up to BC Reg 47 / 2014, April 3, 2014)

CSA B51 Code -means the Boiler, Pressure Vessel and Pressure Piping Code

CSA B149.2 Code -means the Propane Storage and Handling Code (as referenced by CSA B51 Section 2)

Cylinder –a “Cylinder” means a container designed and manufactured in accordance with a cylinder specification authorized for the containment and transportation of propane under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Regulations of Transport Canada, as stated in the CSA B149.2 Code, Section 3

Pressure Vessel – for the purposes of the Act a "Pressure Vessel" means a vessel and its fittings, other than a boiler, that is capable of being used to contain, store, distribute, transfer, distil, process or otherwise handle gas, vapour or liquids under pressure, as stated in the Boiler Regulation Section 1.

Propane Storage Tank – a “Tank” means the class of container for the storage of compressed natural gas or propane, designed and fabricated in accordance with CSA B51, as stated in the CSA B149.2 Code, Section 3.

Section 62 (2) of the Boiler Regulation requires that a person must hold an operating permit for each pressure vessel, including propane storage tanks, except for the following:

  • Pressure vessels subject to the jurisdiction of Transport Canada under either the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act (Canada) or the Canada Shipping Act, as stated in the Boiler Regulation, Section 3(2) (p).
  • Propane Cylinders, as defined by CSA B149.2, Section 3.
  • Any other pressure vessel exempted under Section 3 of the Boiler Regulation.

Operating permits are required for all pressure vessels, including propane storage tanks that are not otherwise exempt from the Boiler Regulation.

Propane tanks that have been permanently removed from service or new tanks that have been manufactured, but have not been placed into operation (e.g. never pressurized with propane) would not require an operating permit. However, propane tanks, such as those pressurized with propane and or those tanks that are subject to maintenance as required by a code or standard that is adopted by Regulation must have an operating permit.

The related legislation places responsibility for compliance on a person who owns, operates or maintains regulated equipment.

BCSA Administration of Compliance

BCSA will administer the operating permit requirements applicable to propane storage tanks as follows:

  • As of August 1, 2015, BCSA will commence administration of this regulatory requirement
  • As of February 1, 2016, BCSA will commence enforcement of this regulatory requirement
  • BCSA may take enforcement action at any time to prevent, avoid or reduce the risk of personal injury or damage to property.

A person, who owns, operates or maintains a propane storage tank that has a current and valid operating permit does not need to take any further steps to be in compliance with this Directive.

Tony Scholl
Provincial Safety Manager, Boilers and Pressure Vessels

Brad Wyatt
Provincial Safety Manager, Gas
 

References:

Safety Standards Act

Definitions 1 In this Act: "operating permit" means a permit issued by a safety officer under section 28;

"regulated product" means a product or thing referred to in section 2 (1) (b), and if specified in the regulations, a part of that product or thing;

Application of this Act:

2 (1) This Act and the regulations apply to all of the following:

(a) persons doing regulated work;

(b) all of the following regulated products as they are defined in the regulations:

(i) amusement rides;

(ii) passenger ropeways;

(iii) boilers and boiler systems;

(iv) electrical equipment;

(v) elevating devices and passenger conveyors;

(vi) gas systems and equipment;

(vii) pressure vessels;

(viii) pressure piping;

Operating permits 28 (1) In accordance with the regulations, a safety officer may issue an operating permit that allows the use of a regulated product listed in section 2 (1) (b) for one or more disciplines.

(2) A permit issued under subsection (1) is subject to terms and conditions provided for under the regulations or attached to the permit by a safety officer.

(3) An operating permit may be issued for a term up to 5 years.

(4) A person who holds a permit issued under this section must comply with the terms and conditions of the permit. Compliance orders 38 (3) Without limiting subsection (2) (b), a compliance order may specify any of the following requirements:

(d) that any other action by a person be taken, modified or stopped if necessary to prevent, avoid or reduce risk of personal injury or damage to property.

Safety Standards General Regulation

Part 2 — Permits Permit required unless exempted or in an emergency 12 (1) A person must obtain the appropriate permit from the regulatory authority before performing regulated work or using a regulated product unless exempted from doing so under the Act

Permit application procedure 13 An application for a permit must be accompanied by any required fee and must include the following:

(a) a description of the regulated work to be performed;

(b) the address of the place where the regulated work is to be performed;

(c) the name and address of the person for whom the regulated work under the permit is to be performed;

(d) if the regulated work is to be performed by a licensed contractor, the licensed contractor's name, address and registration number;

(e) if the regulated work is to be performed by a homeowner, the name of each person who will be assisting with the regulated work other than members of the homeowner's immediate family.

Operating permits 18

(1) A person must have an operating permit to do any of the following:

(a) operate a regulated product;

(b) maintain a regulated product.

(2) An operating permit may be issued to any of the following:

(a) an owner of a regulated product;

(b) the owner of a building or other premises where regulated work is to be performed.

(3) An operating permit may be issued for the use of one or more regulated products listed in section 2

(1) (b) of the Act.

Responsibilities of operating permit holder

19 The holder of an operating permit must do all of the following:

(a) if required under the permit, maintain a log of work performed under the permit;

(b) in the case of a multi-year operating permit, pay any required installments of the permit fee;

(c) submit any required declaration confirming compliance with the Act;

(d) if a field safety representative is named in the permit, immediately notify the regulatory authority if the field safety representative ceases to be contracted or employed by the permit holder.

Power Engineers, Boiler, Pressure Vessel & Refrigeration Safety Regulation

Definitions for the Act

1 For the purposes of the Act:

"pressure vessel" means a vessel and its fittings, other than a boiler, that is capable of being used to contain, store, distribute, transfer, distil, process or otherwise handle gas, vapour or liquids under pressure;

Application of this regulation

3 (1) This regulation applies in respect of every boiler and boiler plant, every pressure plant, every pressure vessel, every pressure piping system, every fitting, every plant and all refrigeration equipment and refrigeration plants.

(2) Despite subsection (1), this regulation does not apply to any of the following:

(p) a boiler or pressure vessel subject to the jurisdiction of Transport Canada under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act (Canada) or a boiler or pressure vessel subject to the Canadian Shipping Act;

Permits

62 (1) A person must have an installation permit to install or alter any of the following:

(a) a boiler;

(b) a refrigeration system or part of a refrigeration system.

(2) A person must hold an operating permit for each boiler, pressure vessel or refrigeration system.