Inspectioneering Journal

Revisions to California Code of Regulations

Piping, Risk-Based Inspection and Fitness for Service

This article appears in the May/June 2006 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.

Revisions to the California Code of Regulations Title 8 Petroleum Safety Orders are nearly complete and the new regulations should be published late summer 2006. The regulations will affect both drilling and production facilities and refining, transportation, and handling facilities.

The primary changes are updating the API 510 Pressure Vessel Inspection Code from the 1992 Edition to the 1997 Eighth Edition Addendum 4, August 2003 and the National Board Inspection Code from the 1992 Edition to the 2004 Edition. New to the regulations are API 570, Piping Inspection Code, Second Edition, October 1998, Addendum 3, August 2003; API 579 Fitness-for-Service, Recommended Practice, First Edition, January 2000; and API 580 Risk-based Inspection, Recommended Practice, First Edition, May 2002.

An advisory committee representing all interested parties, such as industry management and represented employees, insurance companies, pressure vessel repair organizations, and the state, spent three years developing the language incorporated into the final regulations. The regulations include provisions to require a company that uses Risk-based Inspection or Fitness for Service to establish a written program for implementation of these recommended practices. This written program must be accepted by the state and reviewed on a triennial basis, similar to National Board owner/user authorization. The open-ended inspection intervals found in API 580 were limited to 15-years for an internal or on-stream inspection and to 10-years for an external inspection, ensuring that all pressure vessels receive a mandatory inspection. Language was created and incorporated into the regulation for the inspection of piping in production service similar to that found in API 570, as production piping is not included in the scope of API 570.

The new regulations can be found on the Occupational Health and Safety Standards Board website OSHSB/ under Proposed Regulations or Approved Standards, depending upon the status of the regulatory process.

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