Industry moving toward compliance with CSA B149.3

07 30, 2015 Spartan Controls

Originally published in 1958 as a standard for burner management , but not yet a legal requirement by industry, B149 has evolved and as of January 1, 2015 has become a part of the gas safety regulations included in the Alberta Safety Codes Act, now making it enforceable by law.

All industries that use gas fired appliances in their operations must now comply with the code that is aimed at the safe operation of gas/propane fired equipment and is forcing significant changes to legacy installations.

Provincial regulations now require compliance to CSA Standards including:

  • CSA B149.1 – Natural Gas and Propane
  • CSA B149.2 – Propane Storage and Handling
  • CSA B149.3 – Field Approval of Gas Fired Appliances

In October 2014 the Government of Alberta acknowledged in a STANDATA Gas Safety Information Bulletin G-02-14, that given the large inventory of equipment for some Oil and Gas industry operating companies, bringing all equipment into compliance may not have been possible within the proposed timeframe. As an alternative, compliance to the Legacy Equipment Management System (LEMS) became an acceptable alternative to the January 1, 2015 compliance date.

Some important points regarding compliance to LEMS:

  • The operating company must provide an inventory of all gas-fired equipment for which no standard existed at the time of installation.
    • This applied to all process applications in refineries, petrochemical plants and upstream oil and gas sites.
    • Equipment must be approved by an agency accredited by the Standards Council of Canada.
  • Old variances have expired (VAR-GAS-04-04 or VAR-GAS-05-05)
    • All fired equipment must be brought up to code
    • No grandfathering
    • Fines of $100,000 or more exist for non-compliance
  • Operating companies are required to create an internal program in order to design, install and monitor all upgrades and ensure compliance.
  • The inventory shall be kept current and submitted to Alberta Municipal Affairs Chief Plumbing and Gas Administrator on an annual basis.
  • An annual report shall show compliance progress of non-compliant inventory. Producers that sign on to this program are being given 5 years (Jan 1, 2020) to get compliant and must show progress annually.
  • Each company shall conduct a risk assessment in order to categorize and prioritize inventory ensuring the equipment posing the greatest risk are addressed as early as possible.
  • As equipment is upgraded, it shall be inspected for compliance with B149.3
  • Equipment must be approved by an agency accredited by the Standards Council of Canada (ie. Enefen)
  • Prior to 2010, permits were not required to work on these systems. Alterations, or additions, or extensions to these systems now require a permit and a 3rd party inspection certifying compliance with the standard.

With the implementation of CSA B149.3, every appliance or component used must be certified, or field inspected and accepted. To pass field inspection every component on the Burner Management System must be CSA certified and installed in accordance with the code, this includes: valves, regulators, switches, transmitters, solenoids, igniters, burners, flame scanners, and logic solvers.

Spartan Controls has developed Engineered Burner Management solutions to ensure a smooth transition to compliance for its customers.