Clarifies Dust Explosion Venting Requirements for California
Jupiter, FL (OPENPRESS) June 9, 2009 -- Recent projects in California uncovered a concern that may be unique to that state. Since similar concerns had been raised in previous California projects international dust explosion protection leader, CV Technology was motivated to clarify dust explosion requirements specific to the state of California.During a recent risk analysis for dust explosion hazards at one of the largest food processing plants in California, several vessels that handle combustible dusts were found to be unprotected.
The client required verification of compliance with applicable NFPA Standards, and if shortfalls were found, the client required recommendations for rectification. In this particular facility all of the vessels requiring protection were indoors and it would be quite straight forward to protect them using explosion vents ducted to the outside.
Vessels needing protection in facilities such as this include storage silos, bins, hoppers, weigh scales, bucket elevators, and air material separators.The concern raised by the client had to do with California’s strict air quality standards. With almost certainty the client predicted that getting permits to allow explosion vents to be ducted to the outside of the buildings would be extremely difficult and time consuming to obtain, if they could be obtained at all. "It’s seemingly a counter intuitive circumstance that there would be any obstacle to installing NFPA compliant explosion vents", states Bill Stevenson, Vice President of Engineering for CV Technology. "Especially, in light of the recent dust explosion losses nationally, the attention this problem has received in the US Congress, and in the media as well as the OSHA Dust National Emphasis program."
A commitment was made to research this issue and report findings. CV Technology contacted the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (www.airquality.org) and Cal OSHA (www.ca-osha.com) in the Sacramento office. Representatives of both agencies relayed the following information:• No permitting is required for air quality purposes because properly designed and installed explosion vents do not emit anything to atmosphere during normal plant operations. • No permitting is required by Cal OSHA to install explosion vents in compliance with NFPA Standards. Quite the reverse, the lack of required venting is viewed as a non-compliance violation.
The Cal OSHA representative did caution that there may be local permitting requirements and that the local fire marshal should be contacted for any special local permits. The bottom line is that both agencies view explosion venting as necessary and are anxious for manufacturers to use them where necessary to ensure safety.
This information should surprise no one if it is remembered that explosion venting is the most reliable, cost effective, and practical means to provide pressure relief for vessels that might otherwise be vulnerable to explosion. Explosion vents are installed as a back stop for those rare cases where the elements necessary for explosion come together. This is almost always an unusual set of conditions. So, whereas the lack of proper explosion vents can result in catastrophic losses, their presence in normal conditions would go unnoticed. Properly designed and installed explosion vents neither pollute, nor require energy, and because they are passive, they are intrinsically safe. CV Technology provides strategic consulting to examine and assess the risk of dust explosion. In addition, CV Technology manufactures products that are designed to prevent or mitigate dust explosions. More information and detail is available on the corporate website: www.cvtechnology.com
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