Amendments to the petroleum refining and petrochemical - industry standards under the Local Air Quality Regulation (O. Reg. 419/05)

ERO number
013-1374
Notice type
Policy
Act
Environmental Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
Transferred to
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Notice stage
Decision
Decision posted
Comment period
September 22, 2017 - November 6, 2017 (45 days) Closed
Last updated

This consultation was open from:
September 22, 2017
to November 6, 2017

Decision summary

We have made changes to the technical standards for petroleum refining and petrochemical industries. This will improve the air quality and make industries operate responsibly.

Decision details

Decision on policy

The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change has amended the Petroleum Refining – Industry Standard and Petrochemical – Industry Standard to clarify requirements related to air emissions from industrial sewage (Part IV), and rim seal gap inspections for external floating roofs (Parts III and IV). These minor amendments to the technical standards better clarify the requirements for industry without negatively impacting the environment. The Petroleum Refining and Petrochemical Industry Standards were contained in version 5 of the publication titled “Technical Standards to Manage Air Pollution” (“Technical Standards Publication”) (published July 2016). The amended Petroleum Refining and Petrochemical Industry Standards are contained in version 5.1 of the Technical Standard Publication (published February 2018).

Facilities within the petroleum refining and petrochemical sectors are complex. In the 2016 decision notices (012-6857 and 012-6859), the ministry acknowledged the need to develop guidance on some of the technical details such as industrial sewage treatment process sampling methods.

The following amendments were made to these two industry standards and are set out in the attached document.

1. Amendments to replace the term API separator:

API separator was defined in the industry standards as: “a device that separates oil and suspended solids from the industrial sewage of oil refineries, petrochemical plants, chemical plants, natural gas processing plants and other industrial sources. The name is derived from the fact that such separators are designed according to specifications published by the American Petroleum Institute (API).”

The ministry identified that there are primary oil-water separators used by petroleum refining facilities and petrochemical facilities, which are not designed according to specifications published by the American Petroleum Institute and which it had intended the primary oil-water separator rules to apply to.

To ensure that the relevant rules apply to all primary oil-water separators in the sewage treatment system, which may emit benzene, the ministry replaced the term API separator with the term primary oil-water separator, along with a detailed definition. The definition includes primary oil-water separators regardless of whether they are designed according to specifications published by the American Petroleum Institute but excludes oil-water separators that are used for treating segregated cooling water effluent and segregated storm water effluent.

2. Amendments to address sampling and measurements required for primary oil-water separators (formerly API separators):

Facilities have a choice of how to address benzene emissions from primary oil-water separators in the Petroleum Refining and Petrochemical Industry Standards. One option is to undertake a sampling/monitoring program to quantify the annual average benzene emissions from each primary oil-water separator in the sewage treatment system, where measurements must be taken at least once a week of four items: influent, effluent, skimmed oil waste and waste sludge.

The current requirement to take weekly samples of skimmed oil waste and waste sludge for measurement of benzene concentration is not feasible for some primary oil-water separators, since these respective waste streams may be removed on a less frequent basis. Therefore, the amendment allows for a more conservative and flexible approach to determine benzene levels where there are fewer measurement points, by assuming a value of zero for this parameter for the respective waste stream(s) or by reducing the frequency of sampling of the waste stream(s), where applicable.

The original election and implementation date for whether required aspects of the industrial sewage treatment system will be covered/treated or whether benzene emissions will be monitored was October 28, 2017 (three months after registration). Because this date could not be met, the election date has been extended to March 1, 2018 and the monitoring plan implementation date has been extended to July 1, 2018.

3. Amendments to sampling and measurements for drains and maintenance access points:

The Petroleum Refining and Petrochemical Industry Standards require facilities to either minimize benzene emissions from drains and maintenance access points or effectively determine the concentration of benzene in the sewage in drains and maintenance access points. The amendments provide flexibility to allow facilities to sample a subset of drains/maintenance access points for the determination of benzene concentration if the subset represents the highest potential concentration of benzene in the sewage in the drain or maintenance access point by measuring the concentration of benzene in the sewage in an upstream drain or maintenance access point and using that concentration for the applicable downstream drain or maintenance access point.

4. Amendments so that rim seal gap inspections are required only for external floating roofs, and to fix error in section 27:

Consistent with U.S. federal requirements, the rim seal gap inspection requirements for storage vessels and primary oil-water separator only apply to external floating roofs (currently also applies to internal floating roofs).

The ministry fixed an error in section 27 of the Petroleum Refining and Petrochemical Industry Standards.

5. Amendments to appendix of method 21 and optical gas imaging

The appendix for Portable Gas Detector (Method 21) and Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) were amended for administrative changes and also to reflect the more recent technical information such as the changes to determination of response factor and changes to calibration procedure for Method 21, and for the Optical Gas Imaging, on the calibration frequency of the Optical Gas Imaging camera and the removal of tripod requirements.

6. Amendments to complaint procedures:

The amendments clarify that:

  • If there is complaint that relates to a matter addressed in the industry standard, the facility needs to make the record and also to keep that record at the facility;
  • If that complaint relates to a discharge of a contaminant to air from the facility, the facility needs to notify the Spill Action Centre and provide follow-up information to a provincial officer.

Comments received

Through the registry

2

By email

0

By mail

3
View comments submitted through the registry

Effects of consultation

Effect(s) of consultation on this decision

All comments received during the comment period are being considered as part of the decision-making process by the Ministry.

The following are highlights for key comments received and how they were considered by the ministry in finalizing the amendments.

Comment: 

We are all supportive of these minor amendments because they provide improved clarity and flexibility to the industrial sewage part and other items of these two technical standards, such as providing clarity to certain definitions, some flexibility with respect to monitoring aspects of the industrial sewage, and also clarity regarding the rim seal gap inspection.

Comment:

To clarify on the use of travelling skimmers underneath a floating roof in the separation bay of a primary oil-water separator.

Response:

Amendments to clarify that a floating roof can be used as control for submerged travelling skimmers in the separation zone (e.g., bay) of a primary oil-water separator. An exception is allowed for the travelling skimmer drive chain if its surface area is considered negligible relative to the surface area of the separation zone in the primary oil-water separator.

Comment:

To clarify Appendix for Method 21 (Portable Gas Detector) such as on calibration procedure and determination of response factors, and for Optical Gas Imaging (OGI), such as on calibration frequency and tripod requirement.

Response:

The appendix on Portable Gas Detector (Method 21) and Optical Gas Imaging were amended for administrative changes and also to reflect the more recent technical information such as the changes to determination of response factor and changes to calibration procedure for Method 21, and for the Optical Gas Imaging, on the calibration frequency of the Optical Gas Imaging camera and the removal of tripod requirements.

Comment:

To clarify on Complaints Procedures

Response:

The amendments clarify that:

  • If there is a complaint that relates to matter addressed in the industry standard, the facility needs to make the record and also to keep that record at the facility;
  • If that complaint relates to a discharge of a contaminant to air from the facility, the facility needs to notify Spills Action Centre and provide follow-up information to a provincial officer.

Supporting materials

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Some supporting materials may not be available online. If this is the case, you can request to view the materials in person.

Get in touch with the office listed below to find out if materials are available.

Environmental Assessment and Permissions Branch
Address

135 St Clair Avenue West
1st floor
Toronto , ON
M4V1P5
Canada

Office phone number
Technical Assessment and Standards Development Branch
Address

40 St. Clair Avenue West
7th floor
Toronto, ON
M4V 1M2
Canada

Office phone number
West Central Regional Office
Address

119 King Street West
12th floor
Hamilton, ON
L8P 4Y7
Canada

Office phone number
Sarnia District Office
Address

1094 London Road
Sarnia, ON
N7S 1P1
Canada

Office phone number

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Contact

Nicholas Ting

Phone number
Office
Standards Development Branch
Address

40 St. Clair Avenue West
7th floor
Toronto, ON
M4V 1M2
Canada

Office phone number

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Original proposal

ERO number
013-1374
Notice type
Policy
Act
Environmental Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
Proposal posted

Comment period

September 22, 2017 - November 6, 2017 (45 days)

Proposal details

Description of policy

This proposal is to amend the Petroleum Refining – Industry Standard [PRIS] and Petrochemical – Industry Standard [PCIS], which are contained in the ministry’s Technical Standard Publication version 5 (published July 2016) to clarify requirements related to air emissions from industrial sewage (Part IV), and rim seal gap inspections for external floating roofs (Parts III and IV). These minor amendments to the technical standards would better clarify requirements for industry without negatively impacting the environment.

Facilities within the petroleum refining and petrochemical sectors are complex. In the 2016 decision notices (012-6857 and 012-6859), the ministry acknowledged the need to develop guidance on some of the technical details such as industrial sewage treatment process sampling methods. As part of the implementation of the PRIS and PCIS, the ministry has been working on a technical bulletin to provide guidance on the requirements related to air emissions from the sewage treatment process.

In the course of preparing this technical guidance on sewage sampling/monitoring, areas were identified where proposed amendments would be required for the two industry standards. Proposed amendments are set out in the attached document.

  1. Proposed Amendments to Replace the term API Separator:

    API separator is defined in the industry standards as: a device that separates oil and suspended solids from the industrial sewage of oil refineries, petrochemical plants, chemical plants, natural gas processing plants and other industrial sources. The name is derived from the fact that such separators are designed according to specifications published by the American Petroleum Institute (API).

    The ministry has identified that there are primary oil-water separators used by petroleum refining facilities and petrochemical facilities, which are not designed according to specifications published by the API and which it had intended the primary oil-water separator rules to apply to.

    To ensure that the relevant rules apply to all primary oil-water separators in the sewage treatment system, which may emit benzene, the ministry is proposing to replace the term API separator with the term primary oil-water separator, along with a detailed definition. The definition would include primary oil-water separators regardless of whether they are designed according to specifications published by the API but would exclude oil-water separators that are used for treating segregated cooling water effluent and segregated stormwater effluent.

  2. Proposed Amendments to Address Sampling and Measurements Required for Primary Oil-Water Separators (formerly API Separators):

    Facilities have a choice of how to address benzene emissions from primary oil-water separators in the PRIS and PCIS. One option is to undertake a sampling/monitoring program to quantify the annual average benzene emissions from each primary oil-water separator in the sewage treatment system, where measurements must be taken at least once a week of four items: influent, effluent, skimmed oil waste and waste sludge.

    The current requirement to take weekly samples of skimmed oil waste and waste sludge for measurement of benzene concentration is not feasible for some primary oil-water separators, since these respective waste streams may be removed on a less frequent basis. Therefore, the proposed amendment is to allow for a more conservative and flexible approach to determine benzene levels where there are fewer measurement points, by assuming a value of zero for this parameter for the respective waste stream(s) or by reducing the frequency of sampling of the waste stream(s), where applicable.

    The ministry is proposing to amend the starting date from July 1, 2017 to January 1, 2018 for monitoring the concentration of benzene in the air and in the industrial sewage for the primary oil-water separator so that monitoring can be undertaken over a full calendar year, starting, January 1, 2018.

  3. Proposed Amendments to Sampling and Measurements for Drains and Maintenance Access Points:

    The PRIS and PCIS require facilities to either minimize benzene emissions from drains and maintenance access points or effectively determine the concentration of benzene in the sewage in drains and maintenance access points. The ministry is proposing to provide flexibility to allow facilities to sample a subset of drains/maintenance access points for the determination of benzene concentration if the subset represents the highest potential concentration of benzene in the sewage in the drain or maintenance access point by measuring the concentration of benzene in the sewage in an upstream drain or maintenance access point and using that concentration for the applicable downstream drain or maintenance access point.

  4. Proposed Amendments so that Rim Seal Gap Inspections are required only for External Floating Roofs, and to fix Error in Section 27:

    The ministry is proposing that, consistent with U.S. federal requirements, the rim seal gap inspection requirements for storage vessels and primary oil-water separator should only apply to external floating roofs (currently also applies to internal floating roofs).

    The ministry is also proposing to fix an error in section 27 of the PRIS and PCIS. Clauses 27 (2) (a) and (3) (a) set out the timing for the first required rim seal gap inspection of a floating roof on an API separator (proposed to be changed to a primary oil-water separator). As currently written, the first inspection could be required by the text of the industry standard before a floating roof is actually required to be installed in the first place. The ministry proposes to fix this so that the first inspection is required within 60 days of the later of, (i) the date that sewage is first deposited in the primary oil-water separator, and (ii) the date that the facility is required to comply with paragraph 3 i of subsection 25 (1).

Purpose of policy

The Local Air Quality Regulation includes three compliance approaches. A facility can meet an air standard, request and meet a site-specific standard, or register and meet the requirements under an available technical standard. Technical standards are used to promote continuous improvement by reducing exposures and managing risks to the local communities.

Facilities that register for a technical standard must adhere to the technical and operational requirements for managing emissions of contaminants they are registered for. This will require them to use the best available controls and practices to reduce the risk to public health and continue to operate responsibly.

Public consultation

This proposal was posted for a 45 day public review and comment period starting September 22, 2017. Comments were to be received by November 06, 2017.

All comments received during the comment period are being considered as part of the decision-making process by the Ministry.

Please Note: All comments and submissions received have become part of the public record.

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Some supporting materials may not be available online. If this is the case, you can request to view the materials in person.

Get in touch with the office listed below to find out if materials are available.

Standards Development Branch
Address

40 St. Clair Avenue West
7th floor
Toronto, ON
M4V 1M2
Canada

Office phone number
West Central Regional Office
Address

119 King Street West
12th floor
Hamilton, ON
L8P 4Y7
Canada

Office phone number
Sarnia District Office
Address

1094 London Road
Sarnia, ON
N7S 1P1
Canada

Office phone number

Comment

Commenting is now closed.

This consultation was open from September 22, 2017
to November 6, 2017

Connect with us

Contact

Nicholas Ting

Phone number
Office
Standards Development Branch
Address

40 St. Clair Avenue West
7th floor
Toronto, ON
M4V 1M2
Canada

Office phone number