# 40 CFR § 63.1027 - Connectors in gas and vapor service and in light liquid service standards.

§ 63.1027 Connectors in gas and vapor service and in light liquid service standards.

(a) Compliance schedule. The owner or operator shall monitor all connectors in each process unit initially for leaks by the later of either 12 months after the compliance date as specified in a referencing subpart or 12 months after initial startup. If all connectors in each process unit have been monitored for leaks prior to the compliance date specified in the referencing subpart, no initial monitoring is required provided either no process changes have been made since the monitoring or the owner or operator can determine that the results of the monitoring, with or without adjustments, reliably demonstrate compliance despite process changes. If required to monitor because of a process change, the owner or operator is required to monitor only those connectors involved in the process change.

(b) Leak detection. Except as allowed in § 63.1021(b), § 63.1036, § 63.1037, or as specified in paragraph (e) of this section, the owner or operator shall monitor all connectors in gas and vapor and light liquid service as specified in paragraphs (a) and (b)(3) of this section.

(1) Monitoring method. The connectors shall be monitored to detect leaks by the method specified in § 63.1023(b) and, as applicable, § 63.1023(c).

(2) Instrument reading that defines a leak. If an instrument reading greater than or equal to 500 parts per million is measured, a leak is detected.

(3) Monitoring periods. The owner or operator shall perform monitoring, subsequent to the initial monitoring required in paragraph (a) of this section, as specified in paragraphs (b)(3)(i) through (b)(3)(iii) of this section, and shall comply with the requirements of paragraphs (b)(3)(iv) and (b)(3)(v) of this section. The required period in which monitoring must be conducted shall be determined from paragraphs (b)(3)(i) through (b)(3)(iii) of this section using the monitoring results from the preceding monitoring period. The percent leaking connectors shall be calculated as specified in paragraph (c) of this section.

(i) If the percent leaking connectors in the process unit was greater than or equal to 0.5 percent, then monitor within 12 months (1 year).

(ii) If the percent leaking connectors in the process unit was greater than or equal to 0.25 percent but less than 0.5 percent, then monitor within 4 years. An owner or operator may comply with the requirements of this paragraph by monitoring at least 40 percent of the connectors within 2 years of the start of the monitoring period, provided all connectors have been monitored by the end of the 4 year monitoring period.

(iii) If the percent leaking connectors in the process unit was less than 0.25 percent, then monitor as provided in paragraph (b)(3)(iii)(A) of this section and either paragraph (b)(3)(iii)(B) or (b)(3)(iii)(C) of this section, as appropriate.

(A) An owner or operator shall monitor at least 50 percent of the connectors within 4 years of the start of the monitoring period.

(B) If the percent leaking connectors calculated from the monitoring results in paragraph (b)(3)(iii)(A) of this section is greater than or equal to 0.35 percent of the monitored connectors, the owner or operator shall monitor as soon as practical, but within the next 6 months, all connectors that have not yet been monitored during the monitoring period. At the conclusion of monitoring, a new monitoring period shall be started pursuant to paragraph (b)(3) of this section, based on the percent leaking connectors of the total monitored connectors.

(C) If the percent leaking connectors calculated from the monitoring results in paragraph (b)(3)(iii)(A) of this section is less than 0.35 percent of the monitored connectors, the owner or operator shall monitor all connectors that have not yet been monitored within 8 years of the start of the monitoring period.

(iv) If, during the monitoring conducted pursuant to paragraph (b)(3)(i) through (b)(3)(iii) of this section, a connector is found to be leaking, it shall be re-monitored once within 90 days after repair to confirm that it is not leaking.

(v) The owner or operator shall keep a record of the start date and end date of each monitoring period under this section for each process unit.

(c) Percent leaking connectors calculation. For use in determining the monitoring frequency, as specified in paragraphs (a) and (b)(3) of this section, the percent leaking connectors as used in paragraphs (a) and (b)(3) of this section shall be calculated by using equation number 4.

$%{C}_{L}={C}_{L}/{C}_{T}×100\phantom{\rule{0ex}{0ex}}\text{[Eq. 4]}$

Where:
%CL = Percent leaking connectors as determined through periodic monitoring required in paragraphs (a) and (b)(3)(i) through (b)(3)(iii) of this section.
CL = Number of connectors measured at 500 parts per million or greater, by the method specified in § 63.1023(b).
Ct = Total number of monitored connectors in the process unit or affected facility.

(d) Leak repair. If a leak is detected pursuant to paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, then the leak shall be repaired using the procedures in § 63.1024, as applicable.

(e) Special provisions for connectors -

(1) Unsafe-to-monitor connectors. Any connector that is designated, as described in § 63.1022(c)(1), as an unsafe-to-monitor connector is exempt from the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section and the owner or operator shall monitor according to the written plan specified in § 63.1022(c)(4).

(2) Inaccessible, ceramic, or ceramic-lined connectors.

(i) Any connector that is inaccessible or that is ceramic or ceramic-lined (e.g., porcelain, glass, or glass-lined), is exempt from the monitoring requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, from the leak repair requirements of paragraph (d) of this section, and from the recordkeeping and reporting requirements of §§ 63.1038 and 63.1039. An inaccessible connector is one that meets any of the provisions specified in paragraphs (e)(2)(i)(A) through (e)(2)(i)(F) of this section, as applicable.

(A) Buried;

(B) Insulated in a manner that prevents access to the connector by a monitor probe;

(C) Obstructed by equipment or piping that prevents access to the connector by a monitor probe;

(D) Unable to be reached from a wheeled scissor-lift or hydraulic-type scaffold that would allow access to connectors up to 7.6 meters (25 feet) above the ground.

(E) Inaccessible because it would require elevating the monitoring personnel more than 2 meters (7 feet) above a permanent support surface or would require the erection of scaffold;

(F) Not able to be accessed at any time in a safe manner to perform monitoring. Unsafe access includes, but is not limited to, the use of a wheeled scissor-lift on unstable or uneven terrain, the use of a motorized man-lift basket in areas where an ignition potential exists, or access would require near proximity to hazards such as electrical lines, or would risk damage to equipment.

(ii) If any inaccessible, ceramic or ceramic-lined connector is observed by visual, audible, olfactory, or other means to be leaking, the visual, audible, olfactory, or other indications of a leak to the atmosphere shall be eliminated as soon as practical.