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Subchapter 15. Petroleum Safety Orders--Refining, Transportation and Handling
Article 18. Unfired Pressure Vessels, Boilers, and Fired Pressure Vessels and Pressure Relief Valves

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§6857. Vessels, Boilers and Pressure Relief Devices.

(a) All unfired pressure vessels, boilers, and fired pressure vessels shall meet all applicable requirements of the Unfired Pressure Vessel Safety Orders and the Boiler and Fired Pressure Vessel Safety Orders unless the design, material and construction of the pressure vessel or boiler is accepted by the Division as equivalent to the ASME Code.

(b) Maximum allowable working pressure.

(1) The employer shall establish, or cause to be established, the maximum allowable working pressure of each boiler or pressure vessel in accordance with the rules of recognized pressure vessel codes applicable to the pressure vessel service involved.

(2) No pressure vessel shall be operated above its maximum allowable working pressure at coincident design temperature(s).

(3) The maximum allowable working pressure for each vessel shall be evaluated at intervals sufficiently frequent to give due consideration to corrosion and other factors causing deterioration. The original code of construction shall be used to establish the allowable stresses and joint efficiencies when re-rating, de-rating or calculating the pressure boundary minimum thickness of a vessel.

(c) Maintenance, inspection, and repair procedures.

(1) Maintenance, inspection, and repair procedures of unfired pressure vessels shall comply with API 510, Pressure Vessel Inspection Code, Eighth Edition, June 1997, Addendum 4, August 2003; API 580, Risk-based Inspection, Recommended Practice, First Edition, May 2002; API 579, Fitness-for-Service, Recommended Practice, First Edition, January 2000; or the National Board Inspection Code/American National Standard ANSI/NB-23, 2004 Edition; which are hereby incorporated by reference.

(2) A written risk-based inspection program, as described in API 510-2003 and API 580-2002, may be used to increase the internal or on-stream inspection limits required by API 510-2003 Section 6.4 to a maximum of 15 years, or the external inspection interval described by API 510-2003, Section 6.3 to a maximum of 10 years, provided it is reviewed and accepted by the Division before the program is implemented, and every three years thereafter. Any revisions made to the accepted risk-based inspection program must also be submitted, reviewed, and accepted by the Division prior to implementation of these revisions.

(A) The risk-based inspection program shall not apply to pressure vessels and boilers that require "Permits to Operate" issued by the Division.

(B) The plan shall not apply to safety relief devices.

(C) The program shall indicate:

1. Acceptance by signature of plant management.

2. Involvement of plant operating, engineering, inspection, and maintenance personnel by signature.

3. The type of vessels covered.

4. The methodology used to create the program.

5. A listing of the vessels covered by the program, with a clear indication of those vessels that have an inspection interval beyond the 10-year or half remaining life as required by API 510-2003 Section 6.4.

(3) A written fitness-for-service program, as described in API 510-2003 and API 579-2000, may be used to evaluate pressure vessels for continued service when found to have degradation that could affect their load carrying capability, provided it is reviewed and accepted by the Division before the program is implemented, and every three years thereafter. Any revisions made to the accepted fitness-for-service program must also be submitted, reviewed, and accepted by the Division prior to implementation of these revisions.

(A) The program shall indicate:

1. Acceptance by signature of plant management.

2. The type of vessels covered.

3. How fitness-for-service results are documented. As a minimum, this documentation shall include acceptance of the fitness-for-service evaluation by signature of a technically competent company employee that is designated to review and accept the evaluation.

4. Involvement of plant operating, engineering, inspection, and maintenance personnel by signature.

5. The procedures in place for notifying the Division within the next business day of initiating a level 2 or 3 fitness-for-service evaluation as described in API 579-2000. Level 2 and 3 evaluations are subject to the acceptance of the Division. If the review is subsequent to returning the vessel to service, the Division may, in its reasonable discretion, require the unit be removed from service.

(4) Repair and alterations.

(A) Repair and alteration of boilers and pressure vessels shall meet all applicable requirements of the Unfired Pressure Vessel Safety Orders and the Boiler and Fired Pressure Vessel Safety Orders.

(B) Repairs and alterations of pressure vessels performed in a state other than California shall be done by a company with a valid National Board 'R' stamp and inspected by an inspector holding a valid National Board Commission and Certificate of Competency (or equivalent) for the state in which the work is being performed. The repair or alteration shall conform to all the requirements of this section and be stamped in accordance with ANSI/NB-23-2004.

(C) Repairs.

1. Repairs shall be performed by one of the following:

a. An organization in possession of a valid ASME Certificate of Authorization;

b. An organization in possession of a valid National Board Certificate of Authorization;

2. The API 510-2003 Code shall not be used for the repair of boilers and pressure vessels as follows:

a. Boilers and fired pressure vessels as defined in the Boiler and Fired Pressure Vessel Safety Orders;

b. Vessels as defined in the Unfired Pressure Vessel Safety Orders, Section 460;

c. Vessels used in compressed air, LPG, CNG, LNG, and NH3 services as defined in the Unfired Pressure Vessel Safety Orders.

3. The employer making the repair in accordance with API 510-2003 or ANSI/NB-23, 2004 shall provide for inspection, documentation and certification of the work and shall ensure prior authorization for the repair by a Qualified Inspector as defined in the Unfired Pressure Vessel Safety Orders.

4. Inspection and certification of repairs shall be made by an inspector, regularly employed by one of the following:

a. The Division;

b. A City or County;

c. The Authorized Inspection Agency of the organization making the repair;

d. The Authorized Inspection Agency which insures the boiler or pressure vessel; or

e. The owner/user inspection Agency.

5. Fillet weld patches shall not be permitted unless acceptable to the Division. Acceptance by the Division will be based on the materials, design and construction providing safety equivalent to the original code of construction.

(D) Alterations.

1. Alterations to pressure vessels shall be performed in compliance with ANSI/NB-23-2004, unless the material design and construction are accepted by the Division as equivalent to the ASME Code.

2. No alteration to a pressure vessel shall be made until authorized by a Qualified Inspector as defined in the Unfired Pressure Vessel Safety Orders.

3. Alterations shall be performed by one of the following:

a. An organization in possession of a valid ASME Certificate of Authorization, provided that the alteration is within the scope of such authorization, and provided that the organization's alteration program has been reviewed and accepted by the Division.

b. An organization in possession of a valid Certificate of Authorization issued by the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors to use the National Board "R" symbol stamp provided that the alteration is within the scope of such authorization, and provided that the organization's alteration program has been reviewed and accepted by the Division.

4. For alterations performed at a field site, the scope of such authorization shall include field fabrication.

5. The employer making the alteration shall provide for inspection, documentation, and certification of the work and shall ensure prior authorization of the alteration by a Qualified Inspector holding a valid Certificate of Competency issued by the Division.

6. Inspection and certification of alterations shall be made by a Qualified Inspector, employed by one of the following:

a. The Division;

b. A City or County;

c. The Authorized Inspection Agency of the organization making the alteration;

d. The Authorized Inspection Agency which insures the boiler or pressure vessel; or

e. The owner/user inspection agency, provided the work was not performed by the Qualified Inspector's employer.

7. A pressure test shall be applied after an alteration as required by the applicable ASME Code section. An alternative test or examination may be used subject to prior acceptance by the Division.

Note: Authority cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code. Reference: Section 142.3, Labor Code.

HISTORY

1. Repealer of subsection (e)(3) and new subsections (e)(3)-(e)(3)(F) and Notefiled 2-26-93; operative 3-29-93 (Register 93, No. 9).

2. Amendment of article heading and section heading, repealer and new text filed 9-6-94; operative 10-6-94 (Register 94, No. 36)

3. Amendment of section heading and section filed 6-26-2006; operative 7-26-2006 (Register 2006, No. 26).

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