# 40 CFR § 63.175 - Quality improvement program for valves.

§ 63.175 Quality improvement program for valves.

(a) In Phase III, an owner or operator may elect to comply with one of the alternative quality improvement programs specified in paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section. The decision to use one of these alternative provisions to comply with the requirements of § 63.168(d)(1)(ii) of this subpart must be made during the first year of Phase III for existing process units and for new process units.

(b) An owner or operator of a process unit subject to the requirements of paragraph (d) or (e) of this section shall comply with those requirements until the process unit has fewer than 2 percent leaking valves, calculated as a rolling average of 2 consecutive quarters, as specified in § 63.168(e) of this subpart.

(c) After the process unit has fewer than 2 percent leaking valves, the owner or operator may elect to comply with the requirements in § 63.168 of this subpart, to continue to comply with the requirements in paragraph (e) (or (d), if appropriate) of this section, or comply with both the requirements in § 63.168 and § 63.175.

(1) If the owner or operator elects to continue the quality improvement program, the owner or operator is exempt from the requirements for performance trials as specified in paragraph (e)(6) of this section, or further progress as specified in paragraph (d)(4) of this section, as long as the process unit has fewer than 2 percent leaking valves calculated according to § 63.168(e).

(2) If the owner or operator elects to comply with both paragraph (e) of this section and § 63.168 of this subpart, he may also take advantage of the lower monitoring frequencies associated with lower leak rates in § 63.168 (d)(2), (d)(3), and (d)(4) of this subpart.

(3) If the owner or operator elects not to continue the quality improvement program, the program is no longer an option if the process unit again exceeds 2 percent leaking valves, and in such case, monthly monitoring will be required.

(d) The following requirements shall be met if an owner or operator elects to use a quality improvement program to demonstrate further progress:

(1) The owner or operator shall continue to comply with the requirements in § 63.168 of this subpart except each valve shall be monitored quarterly.

(2) The owner or operator shall collect the following data, and maintain records as required in § 63.181(h)(1) of this subpart, for each valve in each process unit subject to the quality improvement program:

(i) The maximum instrument reading observed in each monitoring observation before repair, the response factor for the stream if appropriate, the instrument model number, and date of the observation.

(ii) Whether the valve is in gas or light liquid service.

(iii) If a leak is detected, the repair methods used and the instrument readings after repair.

(3) The owner or operator shall continue to collect data on the valves as long as the process unit remains in the quality improvement program.

(4) The owner or operator must demonstrate progress in reducing the percent leaking valves each quarter the process unit is subject to the requirements of paragraph (d) of this section, except as provided in paragraphs (d)(4)(ii) and (d)(4)(iii) of this section.

(i) Demonstration of progress shall mean that for each quarter there is at least a 10-percent reduction in the percent leaking valves from the percent leaking valves determined for the preceding monitoring period. The percent leaking valves shall be calculated as a rolling average of two consecutive quarters of monitoring data. The percent reduction shall be calculated using the rolling average percent leaking valves, according to the following:

%LVR = (%LVAVG1 − %LVAVG2 / %LVAVG1 × 100
where:
%LVR = Percent leaking valve reduction.
%LVAVG1 = (%VLi + %VLi = 1)/2.
%LVAVG2 = (%VLi = 1 + %VLi = 2)/2.
where:
%VLi, %VLi = 1, %VLi = 2 are percent leaking valves calculated for subsequent monitoring periods, i, i + 1, i + 2.

(ii) An owner or operator who fails for two consecutive rolling averages to demonstrate at least a 10-percent reduction per quarter in percent leaking valves, and whose overall average percent reduction based on two or more rolling averages is less than 10 percent per quarter, shall either comply with the requirements in § 63.168(d)(1)(i) of this subpart using monthly monitoring or shall comply using a quality improvement program for technology review as specified in paragraph (e) of this section. If the owner or operator elects to comply with the requirements of paragraph (e) of this section, the schedule for performance trials and valve replacements remains as specified in paragraph (e) of this section.

(iii) As an alternative to the provisions in paragraph (d)(4)(i), an owner or operator may use the procedure specified in paragraphs (d)(4)(iii)(A) and (d)(4)(iii)(B) of this section to demonstrate progress in reducing the percent leaking valves.

(A) The percent reduction that must be achieved each quarter shall be calculated as follows:

$%\mathrm{RR}=\frac{%{V}_{L}-2%}{0.10}$
%RR = percent reduction required each quarter, as calculated according to § 63.168(e)
%VL = percent leaking valves, calculated according to § 63.168(e), at the time elected to use provisions of § 63.168(d)(1)(ii)

(B) The owner or operator shall achieve less than 2 percent leaking valves no later than 2 years after electing to use the demonstration of progress provisions in § 63.175(d) of this subpart.

(e) The following requirements shall be met if an owner or operator elects to use a quality improvement program of technology review and improvement:

(1) The owner or operator shall comply with the requirements in § 63.168 of this subpart except the requirement for monthly monitoring in § 63.168(d)(1)(i) of this subpart does not apply.

(2) The owner or operator shall collect the data specified below, and maintain records as required in § 63.181(h)(2), for each valve in each process unit subject to the quality improvement program. The data may be collected and the records may be maintained on a process unit or group of process units basis. The data shall include the following:

(i) Valve type (e.g., ball, gate, check); valve manufacturer; valve design (e.g., external stem or actuating mechanism, flanged body); materials of construction; packing material; and year installed.

(ii) Service characteristics of the stream such as operating pressure, temperature, line diameter, and corrosivity.

(iii) Whether the valve is in gas or light liquid service.

(iv) The maximum instrument readings observed in each monitoring observation before repair, response factor for the stream if adjusted, instrument model number, and date of the observation.

(v) If a leak is detected, the repair methods used and the instrument readings after repair.

(vi) If the data will be analyzed as part of a larger analysis program involving data from other plants or other types of process units, a description of any maintenance or quality assurance programs used in the process unit that are intended to improve emission performance.

(3) The owner or operator shall continue to collect data on the valves as long as the process unit remains in the quality improvement program.

(4) The owner or operator shall inspect all valves removed from the process unit due to leaks. The inspection shall determine which parts of the valve have failed and shall include recommendations, as appropriate, for design changes or changes in specifications to reduce leak potential.

(5)

(i) The owner or operator shall analyze the data collected to comply with the requirements of paragraph (e)(2) of this section to determine the services, operating or maintenance practices, and valve designs or technologies that have poorer than average emission performance and those that have better than average emission performance. The analysis shall determine if specific trouble areas can be identified on the basis of service, operating conditions or maintenance practices, equipment design, or other process specific factors.

(ii) The analysis shall also be used to identify any superior performing valve technologies that are applicable to the service(s), operating conditions, or valve designs associated with poorer than average emission performance. A superior performing valve technology is one for which a group of such valves has a leak frequency of less than 2 percent for specific applications in such a process unit. A candidate superior performing valve technology is one demonstrated or reported in the available literature or through a group study as having low emission performance and as being capable of achieving less than 2 percent leaking valves in the process unit.

(iii) The analysis shall include consideration of:

(A) The data obtained from the inspections of valves removed from the process unit due to leaks,

(B) Information from the available literature and from the experience of other plant sites that will identify valve designs or technologies and operating conditions associated with low emission performance for specific services, and

(C) Information on limitations on the service conditions for the valve design and operating conditions as well as information on maintenance procedures to ensure continued low emission performance.

(iv) The data analysis may be conducted through an inter- or intra-company program (or through some combination of the two approaches) and may be for a single process unit, a company, or a group of process units.

(v) The first analysis of the data shall be completed no later than 18 months after the start of Phase III. The first analysis shall be performed using a minimum of two quarters of data. An analysis of the data shall be done each year the process unit is in the quality improvement program.

(6) A trial evaluation program shall be conducted at each plant site for which the data analysis does not identify superior performing valve designs or technologies that can be applied to the operating conditions and services identified as having poorer than average performance, except as provided in paragraph (e)(6)(v) of this section. The trial program shall be used to evaluate the feasibility of using in the process unit the valve designs or technologies that have been identified by others as having low emission performance.

(i) The trial program shall include on-line trials of valves or operating and maintenance practices that have been identified in the available literature or in analysis by others as having the ability to perform with leak rates below 2 percent in similar services, as having low probability of failure, or as having no external actuating mechanism in contact with the process fluid. If any of the candidate superior performing valve technologies is not included in the performance trials, the reasons for rejecting specific technologies from consideration shall be documented as required in § 63.181(h)(5)(ii) of this subpart.

(ii) The number of valves in the trial evaluation program shall be the lesser of 1 percent or 20 valves for programs involving single process units and the lesser of 1 percent or 50 valves for programs involving groups of process units.

(iii) The trial evaluation program shall specify and include documentation of:

(A) The candidate superior performing valve designs or technologies to be evaluated, the stages for evaluating the identified candidate valve designs or technologies, including the estimated time period necessary to test the applicability;

(B) The frequency of monitoring or inspection of the equipment;

(C) The range of operating conditions over which the component will be evaluated; and

(D) Conclusions regarding the emission performance and the appropriate operating conditions and services for the trial valves.

(iv) The performance trials shall initially be conducted for, at least, a 6-month period beginning not later than 18 months after the start of Phase III. Not later than 24 months after the start of Phase III, the owner or operator shall have identified valve designs or technologies that, combined with appropriate process, operating, and maintenance practices, operate with low emission performance for specific applications in the process unit. The owner or operator shall continue to conduct performance trials as long as no superior performing design or technology has been identified, except as provided in paragraph (e)(6)(vi) of this section. The compilation of candidate and demonstrated superior emission performance valve designs or technologies shall be amended in the future, as appropriate, as additional information and experience is obtained.

(v) Any plant site with fewer than 400 valves and owned by a corporation with fewer than 100 total employees shall be exempt from trial evaluations of valves. Plant sites exempt from the trial evaluations of valves shall begin the program at the start of the fourth year of Phase III.

(vi) An owner or operator who has conducted performance trials on all candidate superior emission performance technologies suitable for the required applications in the process unit may stop conducting performance trials provided that a superior performing design or technology has been demonstrated or there are no technically feasible candidate superior technologies remaining. The owner or operator shall prepare an engineering evaluation documenting the physical, chemical, or engineering basis for the judgment that the superior emission performance technology is technically infeasible or demonstrating that it would not reduce emissions.

(7) Each owner or operator who elects to use a quality improvement program for technology review and improvement shall prepare and implement a valve quality assurance program that details purchasing specifications and maintenance procedures for all valves in the process unit. The quality assurance program may establish any number of categories, or classes, of valves as needed to distinguish among operating conditions and services associated with poorer than average emission performance as well as those associated with better than average emission performance. The quality assurance program shall be developed considering the findings of the data analysis required under paragraph (e)(5) of this section, if applicable, the findings of the trial evaluation required in paragraph (e)(6) of this section, and the operating conditions in the process unit. The quality assurance program shall be reviewed and, as appropriate, updated each year as long as the process unit has 2 percent or more leaking valves.

(i) The quality assurance program shall:

(A) Establish minimum design standards for each category of valves. The design standards shall specify known critical parameters such as tolerance, manufacturer, materials of construction, previous usage, or other applicable identified critical parameters;

(B) Require that all equipment orders specify the design standard (or minimum tolerances) for the valve;

(C) Include a written procedure for bench testing of valves that specifies performance criteria for acceptance of valves and specifies criteria for the precision and accuracy of the test apparatus. All valves repaired off-line after preparation of the quality assurance plan shall be bench-tested for leaks. This testing may be conducted by the owner or operator of the process unit, by the vendor, or by a designated representative. The owner or operator shall install only those valves that have been documented through bench-testing to be nonleaking.

(D) Require that all valves repaired on-line be monitored using the method specified in § 63.180(b) of this subpart for leaks for 2 successive months, after repair.

(E) Provide for an audit procedure for quality control of purchased equipment to ensure conformance with purchase specifications. The audit program may be conducted by the owner or operator of the process unit or by a designated representative.

(F) Detail off-line valve maintenance and repair procedures. These procedures shall include provisions to ensure that rebuilt or refurbished valves will meet the design specifications for the valve type and will operate such that emissions are minimized.

(ii) The quality assurance program shall be established no later than the start of the third year of Phase III for plant sites with 400 or more valves or owned by a corporation with 100 or more employees; and no later than the start of the fourth year of Phase III for plant sites with less than 400 valves and owned by a corporation with less than 100 employees.

(8) Beginning at the start of the third year of Phase III for plant sites with 400 or more valves or owned by a corporation with 100 or more employees and at the start of the fourth year of Phase III for plant sites with less than 400 valves and owned by a corporation with less than 100 employees, each valve that is replaced for any reason shall be replaced with a new or modified valve that complies with the quality assurance standards for the valve category and that is identified as superior emission performance technology. Superior emission performance technology means valves or valve technologies identified with emission performance that, combined with appropriate process, operating, and maintenance practices, will result in less than 2 percent leaking valves for specific applications in a large population, except as provided in paragraph (e)(8)(ii) of this section.

(i) The valves shall be maintained as specified in the quality assurance program.

(ii) If a superior emission performance technology cannot be identified, then valve replacement shall be with one of (if several) the lowest emission performance technologies that has been identified for the specific application.

[59 FR 19568, Apr. 22, 1994, as amended at 60 FR 63631, Dec. 12, 1995]