Terms and Conditions for a Gas Utility Operating Permit

28 November 2016

Reference #:  D-G5 070330 4 Rev 02

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

General Details 

Gas utilities are located throughout British Columbia supplying natural gas and propane through distribution systems.  These include the gas utilities which distribute gas through a large network to many customers, as well as those that supply gas to a small number of customers, e.g. a strata or a residential subdivision.  The owners of these gas distribution systems must ensure the safe delivery of gas to the users of these systems. 

To ensure safe operation of these systems Section 28 1(h) of the Gas Safety Regulation requires the owner of a gas utility to obtain an operating permit. To obtain an operating permit the owner of an underground gas distribution system must implement a safety management program.   This directive specifies the terms and conditions for safety management programs that are attached to operating permits issued to these owners. 

Specific Details 

The owner of an underground gas piping distribution system is responsible for maintaining that system and for being in compliance with this directive. 

An application for a “Utility Operating Permit” (Gas Utility) may be obtained from any B.C. Safety Authority office.  The annual fee is listed in the BCSA Fee Schedule: Gas, which can be viewed at www.safetyauthority.ca   Pursuant to section 18 (1) (b) of the Safety Standards Act, the following terms and conditions are hereby attached to an operating permit issued for a gas utility: 

1)     The owner of an underground gas piping distribution system must designate a licensed gas contractor or their representative to be responsible for the operation and maintenance of that system.  The designate must have the authority to ensure that the underground gas piping distribution system is operated and maintained in a safe manner. 

2)     The name and contact information of the designate responsible for the underground gas piping distribution system must be entered on the operating permit application as the “Site Contact:” 

3)     The designate must: 

  1. ensure that only certified and qualified personnel install, operate and maintain the underground gas piping distribution system;
  2. ensure compliance with applicable regulations, codes and standards relating to the construction, operation and maintenance of the underground gas piping distribution system. 

4)     Operation, maintenance procedures and records must be maintained for the underground gas piping distribution system and be available for inspection by a safety manager or safety officer on request. At a minimum, those procedures and records must include: 

  1. qualifications of workers who operate and maintain the gas distribution system;
  2. emergency response, shutdown and evacuation procedures;
  3. processes to identify the location of underground gas piping;
  4. processes for testing the integrity of the underground piping system, including tracer wire continuity, cathodic protection, and leakage
  5. propane tank maintenance procedures and valid propane pressure vessel operating permits for all propane pressure vessels owned by the utility in accordance with the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Safety Program. 

5)     The operation and maintenance procedures must be submitted for review prior to the issuance of an operating permit. 

Brad Wyatt
Provincial Safety Manager - Gas 

References:
Safety Standards Act
Gas Safety Regulation