(a) Scope. This section sets forth standards, requirements and procedures for the design, installation, operation and maintenance of methane recovery facilities that recover methane gas from sanitary landfills, process such gas to remove impurities, and/or compress, flare and odorize such gas.
(b) General Provisions.
(1) Applicable provisions of law. Pursuant to FC3509.1, methane gas recovery facilities at sanitary landfills must be designed, installed, operated and maintained in compliance with the requirements of the Fire Code, this section, the Construction Codes and the Electrical Code.
(2) Design and installation documents. Design and installation documents for the facility, detailing the methane recovery process and fire protection systems, including a process flow diagram showing all vessels and instrumentation, shall be filed with the Department of Buildings and the Bureau of Fire Prevention, together with supporting information and documentation.
(3) Supervision. The facility shall be under the continuous personal supervision (on a 24 hour, seven-day-a-week basis), by at least one (1) person holding a certificate of fitness for supervision of sanitary landfill methane recovery facilities, which qualifies the holder to perform or supervise gas compressing, fire alarm maintenance, and operation of a refrigerating system, at a sanitary landfill methane recovery facility.
(c) Design and Installation Requirements.
(1) Pressure Vessels. Pressure vessels shall be designed to comply with the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code. Manufacturer ASME data sheets for pressure vessels shall be maintained on the premises and made available for inspection by any Department representative.
(2) Electrical equipment. Electrical equipment shall comply with the following requirements:
(A) Electrical equipment within 25 feet of any process equipment shall be explosion-proof, including the control center, electric service, overhead lights, air handling equipment, and the odorant room, if located within such area.
(B) Electrical instrumentation shall be designed to provide for fail-safe operation.
(3) Piping systems. Process systems shall comply with the following requirements:
(A) Design. Except as otherwise provided in this section, the design and installation of piping systems shall comply with ANSI Standard B31.3.
(B) Types of materials.
(1) All materials, including gaskets and thread compounds, shall be suitable for the temperatures to which they may be exposed. A materials list shall be prepared and submitted to the Department for review and acceptance.
(2) Seamless steel pipe shall be used for process and transfer piping containing flammable liquid or flammable gas. Welded pipe may be used if seamless pipe is not available in the size required and if the weld and heat affected zone comply with ANSI Standard B31.3 (impact test) and are non-destructively examined in a manner acceptable to the Department. Notwithstanding the foregoing, plastic piping may be used for low pressure (15 psig or less) service for the wells and gathering lines used for collecting the raw gas from the landfill up to the feed gas inlet to the treatment and process plant.
(3) Threaded steel pipe shall be at least Schedule 80 but no threaded pipe over 2-inch nominal pipe size shall be used for flammable liquid or flammable gas, and all threaded joints used shall be sealed with tetrafluorethylene (Teflon) tape or equivalent. Larger size threaded plastic piping is allowed when used in low pressure service as specified in R3509-01(c)(3)(B)(2).
(4) All valves on piping containing flammable gas or liquids or combustible liquids shall be of steel construction
(5) Gaskets on piping containing flammable gases or flammable liquids shall be of the compressed noncombustible type.
(6) Piping insulation shall be of a noncombustible material.
(C) Pipe connections.
(1) Butt-welded joints shall be used where practicable. Socket welds are permitted on flammable gas or flammable liquid lines for branch pipe connections of less than two (2) inches diameter.
(2) Expansion or contraction of piping shall be compensated for by use of appropriately designed piping loops or offsets. In addition, appropriately designed expansion joints may be used in piping carrying flammables or combustibles at pressures of 15 psig or less, and in piping carrying other materials at pressures of 100 psig or less.
(3) All flanges for flammable gas or flammable liquid lines shall be raised face. Flanges and other pipe fittings two (2) inches to eight (8) inches shall be butt welded to the piping, ten (10) inches to 24 inches shall be slip on and welded.
(4) Shut-off valves and other control valves shall be installed so that their operation will not be affected by icing or other weather conditions.
(D) Weld certifications.
(1) Welds of steel process piping shall be made by certified welders, and evidence of their certifications shall be filed with the Department. Piping welders shall be certified to the Department by their employers after qualifying under the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, or API Standard 1104-1999.
(2) Upon completion of the installation, the owner or operator of the facility shall submit to the Bulk Fuel Unit of the Bureau of Fire Prevention an affidavit executed by the manufacturer or installer of the piping system, attesting to the integrity of all welds, including welds pre-fabricated in a piping shop.
(4) Refrigerating systems. Refrigerating systems, if used, shall utilize a nonflammable refrigerant.
(5) Emergency shut down of process equipment.
(A) The process equipment shall be provided with an emergency shut-down system capable of automatic and manual operation. The emergency shut-down system shall initiate upon the following activation:
(1) Manual activation of the system at the process control center.
(2) Activation of the fire detection system detectors located in the feed gas engine compressors area, or in other areas as determined by the Department.
(B) Activation of the emergency shut-down system shall initiate audible and visible alarms at the control center, an audible alarm outside the control center, and a visible alarm at the field alarm panel, followed by automatic shut down of process equipment within two (2) minutes, and depressurization of process piping to 100 psig or less with seven (7) minutes, and to 20 psig or less within twelve (12) minutes. Instrument air compressors are not required to shut down upon activation of the emergency shut-down system.
(C) One (1) or more emergency shut-down system abort switches may be provided in the control center and/or in the field alarm panel that, when activated within the first two (2) minutes of initiation of the emergency shut-down system, causes an override of the emergency shut-down system. Activation of such abort switch shall not interrupt any required transmission of alarms to central station. Manual activation of the emergency shut-down system shall override any abort switches.
(6) Alarm systems. Alarm systems shall be designed and installed in compliance with the following requirements:
(A) Methane gas detection system. A methane gas detection system that initiates audible and visible alarms in the control center at 25% LELshall be provided throughout the facility. Such system shall have an audible alarm outside the control center and a visible alarm on the field alarm panel. The methane gas detection system may be interconnected with the emergency shut-down system when arranged to initiate such shut down if gas detection of 50% LEL is reached. Methane gas detectors shall be provided in the following locations:
(1) Feed gas compressor areas
(2) Feed gas intercool areas
(3) Vacuum compressor areas
(4) Vacuum module
(5) H.P. flash module
(6) Pretreatment module
(7) Solvent recovery system area
(8) Such other area as determined by the Department.
(B) Ultra-violet fire detection system. An ultra-violet fire detection system shall be provided to protect the gas compressor area. The system shall initiate an audible and visible alarm at the control center, and an audible alarm on the field alarm panel. Activation of the fire detection system shall initiate the facility emergency shut-down system and shall transmit a fire alarm to a central station.
(C) Manual fire alarm systems. At least one (1) manual fire alarm box shall be provided in the control center. At least one (1) additional manual fire alarm box shall be provided within the facility and near the facility entrance, which, if manually activated, shall transmit an alarm to a central station.
(D) Process alarms. Process alarms for abnormal operating conditions shall be provided.
(7) Yard hydrant system. The facility shall be provided with a yard hydrant system designed and installed in accordance with the requirements of FC508 and the Building Code. The yard hydrant system shall be designed and installed in compliance with the following requirements:
(A) Hydrants shall be a type complying with the requirements of the Department of Environmental Protection and have Fire Department approved threads;
(B) The hydrant system piping shall be a minimum eight (8) inches in diameter;
(C) Fire Department connections to the hydrant system piping shall be provided at one (1) or more approved locations;
(D) The system shall be supplied water from a source capable of providing a minimum of 2,500 gpm;
(E) A hydrant loop grid system shall be provided with block valves at one (1) or more approved locations for emergency and maintenance purposes;
(F) Hose reels and nozzles shall be provided at one (1) or more approved locations and shall be readily available for use; and
(G) Where required by the Department, fire water monitors shall be provided at one (1) or more approved locations.
(8) Fire extinguishing systems. If a fire extinguishing system other than a sprinkler system is installed in an interior motor control room, it shall be of an approved type, and shall comply with FC904 and the Building Code.
(9) Odorant room.
(A) A sprinkler system or other approved non-water fire extinguishing system designed and installed in accordance with FC Chapter 9 and the Building Code shall be provided for protection of a gas odorant room.
(B) A fire detection system shall be provided in the odorant room. Activation of the fire detection system shall cause the gas valves to close gas valves and initiate audible and visible alarms locally and in the control center.
(C) A flammable gas detection system shall be provided in the odorant room. Activation of the flammable gas detection system shall initiate audible and visible alarms locally and in the control center.
(D) The odorant room shall be equipped with absorbing or neutralizing equipment to prevent escape of any odorant to the atmosphere.
(10) Lightning Protection and Grounding.
(A) The highest structural steel, process vessels and columns shall be provided with lightning protection in accordance with the Electrical Code.
(B) All process equipment and piping shall be electrically grounded.
(11) Flammable and combustible liquids. Flammable and combustible liquids, in the gas recovery and treatment system, and in stationary tanks, shall be stored, handled and used in compliance with the requirements of FC Chapter 34 and the rules. Solvents with low flash points and solvents used at a temperature above their flash points may be used only when approved.
(12) Compressor enclosures. Natural gas compressors shall be located outdoors, except that such compressors may be partially enclosed in light-weight noncombustible construction for protection against the weather, provided such enclosure is open at the top and bottom in an approved manner that provides for adequate ventilation and explosion venting.
(13) Flaring systems. The design and installation of any flaring system shall be approved.
(14) Markings. Process, fire protection and other critical piping shall be identified in accordance with FC Chapters 9 and 27.
(15) Security. A fence constructed of noncombustible material shall be provided around the perimeter of the facility, at least 25 feet away from any process equipment.
(16) Fire apparatus. At least two (2) means of fire apparatus access shall be provided to the methane gas recovery facility.
(17) Space heating systems. Only hot water space heating systems may be installed within the facility. The location of any space heating plant shall be approved.
(d) Operational and Maintenance Requirements.
(1) Reporting of alarms. Initiation of the emergency shut-down system, whether manually or automatically activated, shall be followed by a telephone call from the control center to the Department.
(2) Operator response to alarms.
(A) Upon activation of the emergency shut-down system, the lube oil pumps for the feed-gas engine compressors and refrigerating system compressors shall also be manually shut down as necessary to ensure the safe operation of the facility.
(B) The emergency shut-down system abort switch authorized by R3509-01(c)(5)(C) may be activated only after the operator has investigated the cause of the alarm condition and determined that shut down of the system is unwarranted due to an unwarranted alarm or other good cause, and consistent with safe operation of the facility.
(3) Piping systems.
(A) Installation testing. All process piping, except plastic piping used for wells and gathering lines, shall be hydrostatically pressure tested at the owner's risk by his or her representative before a representative of the Department for one (1) hour at twice the maximum operating pressure or 100 psig, whichever is greater, with no loss of pressure. Plastic piping used for wells and gathering lines shall be tested at 50 psig. In lieu of the testing of plastic piping for wells and gathering lines, an oxygen analyzer installed at the inlet side of the compressor to detect air leakage into the system may be accepted, providing such analyzer or detector will shut the plant down before any air mixture that can cause an explosion reaches the compressor. The oxygen analyzer may be installed at the discharge side of the first compressor stage, if evidence is submitted, satisfactory to the Commissioner that no "dieseling or compression" explosion can take place in the compressor due to air mixture, and that the oxygen analyzer can shut the plant down before detected "air" can reach any other portion of the plant where explosion in a flammable gas-air mixture is possible.
(B) Installation system start-up testing. Prior to any initial startup of the process equipment, systems and sub-systems having piping previously tested pursuant to R3509-01(d)(3)(A) whose integrity has been breached by interconnected piping or equipment shall be hydrostatically retested at the owner's risk by his or her representative before a representative of the Department. The test pressure for each such system shall be the maximum anticipated operating pressure (above normal operating pressure), but in no case shall such pressure exceed the relief valve set pressures, machinery seals maximum design pressure, and the maximum design pressure for process equipment. Systems shall be tested prior to any plant start-up operation.
(C) Piping system test modifications. When it is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Department that a hydrostatic test is not feasible for piping and process equipment, the following alternative tests may be performed: (1) A pneumatic pressure test of piping utilizing a soap test on all joints. (2) An approved strength test of process equipment when the equipment will not sustain a pressure test.
(D) Pressure recording charts. All piping pressure tests required by this section shall be conducted using a pressure recording chart showing exact locations and the extent of such test performed. The owner or operator of the facility shall submit the results from such pressure recording chart to the Department.
(E) Weld testing. All welded joints on flammable gas or flammable liquid piping shall be 100% radiograph tested by an independent person or firm. Certifications on acceptance or rejection of each weld shall be filed with the Department by the facility owner or operator.
(4) Periodic testing of fire protection systems. Periodic testing of the fire detection, fire extinguishing, gas detection, alarm and emergency shut-down system shall be performed by the certificate of fitness holder. Such testing shall be performed at least annually at the owner's risk by his or her representative before a representative of the Department. Records of testing shall be maintained on the premises.
(5) Yard hydrant systems. The yard hydrant system shall be hydrostatically tested at the owner's risk by his or her representative before a representative of the Department at 300 psig for one (1) hour.
(6) Required signage. Instructions on the operation of the facility fire protection systems and a concise process flow diagram shall be conspicuously posted at an approved location.
(7) Hot work operations. Hot work operations within the facility shall comply with the requirements of FC Chapter 26. Such operations shall additionally be conducted under the personal supervision of the certificate of fitness holder for the facility.
(8) Vegetation. A clearance distance of 25 feet shall be maintained from any process equipment to vegetation, and within 25 feet on either side of the fence required by R3509-01(c)(15).
(9) Smoking. It shall be unlawful to smoke within the facility. No smoking signs shall be conspicuously posted throughout the facility in accordance with FC310.
(10) Periodic filing of reports. The owner or operator of the facility shall submit monthly reports of problems, unusual occurrences and incidents relating to the operation of the facility. Such reporting shall continue for one (1) year after issuance of the original permit authorizing operation of the facility.
(f) Portable Fire Extinguisher Requirements. The facility shall be provided with portable fire extinguishers having at least a 40-B:C rating. The maximum travel distance to such extinguishers shall not exceed 30 feet.