Petition File No. 601

Emergency Rulemaking under Section 5189.1, Process Safety Management for Petroleum Refineries

Petition File No. 601

United Steel Workers  Local 5, (USW)
Tracy W. Scott, President, Staff Representative

To amend Title 8, General Industry Safety Orders (GISO), section 5189.1, Process Safety Management (PSM) for Petroleum Refineries. The Petitioner requests to expand the scope of section 5189.1, Process Safety Management (PSM) for Petroleum Refineries, to include refineries that are now processing renewable feedstocks in place of petroleum. The Petitioner notes that physical properties of petroleum crude oil versus renewable fats, oils and greases may be different, but those differences end at the point of delivery to the facility where the feedstock is processed into highly flammable gasoline, jet fuel, diesel and industrial chemicals.

Petitioner states that because the scope of 5189.1 does not explicitly include refineries that process renewables, management has exempted their plant from 5189.1 (California’s groundbreaking PSM regulation for oil refineries that the Standards Board adopted in 2017) and decided to revert to the antiquated 1992 PSM standard, section 5189. Petitioner states that Section 5189 is ineffective and adds that under section 5189, this refinery is on the path to a catastrophic loss of containment that could injure or kill many workers and could threaten the safety and health of thousands of nearby residents.

The Petitioner requests an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to correct this flaw in Cal/OSHA’s refinery safety regulations after one of their members was critically burned at their refinery from a loss of containment of flammable liquids.