§ 60.482-7a - Standards: Valves in gas/vapor service and in light liquid service.
(a)(1) Each valve shall be monitored monthly to detect leaks by the methods specified in § 60.485a(b) and shall comply with paragraphs (b) through (e) of this section, except as provided in paragraphs (f), (g), and (h) of this section, § 60.482-1a(c) and (f), and §§ 60.483-1a and 60.483-2a.
(2) A valve that begins operation in gas/vapor service or light liquid service after the initial startup date for the process unit must be monitored according to paragraphs (a)(2)(i) or (ii), except for a valve that replaces a leaking valve and except as provided in paragraphs (f), (g), and (h) of this section, § 60.482-1a(c), and §§ 60.483-1a and 60.483-2a.
(i) Monitor the valve as in paragraph (a)(1) of this section. The valve must be monitored for the first time within 30 days after the end of its startup period to ensure proper installation.
(ii) If the existing valves in the process unit are monitored in accordance with § 60.483-1a or § 60.483-2a, count the new valve as leaking when calculating the percentage of valves leaking as described in § 60.483-2a(b)(5). If less than 2.0 percent of the valves are leaking for that process unit, the valve must be monitored for the first time during the next scheduled monitoring event for existing valves in the process unit or within 90 days, whichever comes first.
(b) If an instrument reading of 500 ppm or greater is measured, a leak is detected.
(c)(1)(i) Any valve for which a leak is not detected for 2 successive months may be monitored the first month of every quarter, beginning with the next quarter, until a leak is detected.
(ii) As an alternative to monitoring all of the valves in the first month of a quarter, an owner or operator may elect to subdivide the process unit into two or three subgroups of valves and monitor each subgroup in a different month during the quarter, provided each subgroup is monitored every 3 months. The owner or operator must keep records of the valves assigned to each subgroup.
(2) If a leak is detected, the valve shall be monitored monthly until a leak is not detected for 2 successive months.
(d)(1) When a leak is detected, it shall be repaired as soon as practicable, but no later than 15 calendar days after the leak is detected, except as provided in § 60.482-9a.
(2) A first attempt at repair shall be made no later than 5 calendar days after each leak is detected.
(e) First attempts at repair include, but are not limited to, the following best practices where practicable:
(1) Tightening of bonnet bolts;
(2) Replacement of bonnet bolts;
(3) Tightening of packing gland nuts;
(4) Injection of lubricant into lubricated packing.
(f) Any valve that is designated, as described in § 60.486a(e)(2), for no detectable emissions, as indicated by an instrument reading of less than 500 ppm above background, is exempt from the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section if the valve:
(1) Has no external actuating mechanism in contact with the process fluid,
(2) Is operated with emissions less than 500 ppm above background as determined by the method specified in § 60.485a(c), and
(3) Is tested for compliance with paragraph (f)(2) of this section initially upon designation, annually, and at other times requested by the Administrator.
(g) Any valve that is designated, as described in § 60.486a(f)(1), as an unsafe-to-monitor valve is exempt from the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section if:
(1) The owner or operator of the valve demonstrates that the valve is unsafe to monitor because monitoring personnel would be exposed to an immediate danger as a consequence of complying with paragraph (a) of this section, and
(2) The owner or operator of the valve adheres to a written plan that requires monitoring of the valve as frequently as practicable during safe-to-monitor times.
(h) Any valve that is designated, as described in § 60.486a(f)(2), as a difficult-to-monitor valve is exempt from the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section if:
(1) The owner or operator of the valve demonstrates that the valve cannot be monitored without elevating the monitoring personnel more than 2 meters above a support surface.
(2) The process unit within which the valve is located either:
(i) Becomes an affected facility through § 60.14 or § 60.15 and was constructed on or before January 5, 1981; or
(ii) Has less than 3.0 percent of its total number of valves designated as difficult-to-monitor by the owner or operator.
(3) The owner or operator of the valve follows a written plan that requires monitoring of the valve at least once per calendar year.