The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has established a new technical committee, NFPA 56, to develop a comprehensive standard for gas processing safety, including the cleaning of fuel gas piping systems.
The NFPA acted in response to an urgent recommendation
issued by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) following a catastrophic natural
gas explosion at Kleen Energy, a power plant under construction in Middletown, Conn.,
on February 7, 2010. In that incident, workers were conducting a "gas
blow," a procedure that forced natural gas at high volume and pressure
through newly installed piping to remove debris. The gas was vented to the
atmosphere, where it accumulated and exploded, killing six contract workers and
injuring many others.
“On October 29, the NFPA Standards Council announced it
would establish a new technical committee to develop a gas processing safety
standard. This goes beyond the CSB’s original recommendation, which urged an
amendment to NFPA’s National Fuel Gas Code,” says Dr. Rafael Moure-Eraso, chairperson
of the CSB.
The NFPA Standards Council will review the proposed startup roster
and any proposed committee and standard scopes at its March 2011 meeting.
NFPA Establishes Technical Committee for Gas Processing Safety Standard
January 24, 2011