The gas variance VAR-GAS-01-13[Rev1] was brought into force in 2013 for site-specific gas-fired process equipment in the Oil and Gas industry where gas is used for fuel purposes. Prior to this variance and earlier province wide variances for the oil and gas industry, the only options the industry had, were to use certified equipment; or to get uncertified equipment field approved by an accredited organization. To maintain the same level of safety as certified and recognized third party field approved appliances, these systems require signed, sealed and stamped designs by a professional engineer. This puts the onus on the engineer to ensure that appliances under this variance have an equal or greater level of safety than that found in the Gas Code Regulation.
VAR-GAS-01-13[Rev1] is currently on its second revision and this document is expiring on June 30, 2016. This will mean that all equipment that falls within the scope of the CSA B149.3 Code for the field approval of fuel-related components on appliances and equipment as referenced in CSA B149.1, Natural gas and propane installation code, will need to follow the Gas Code Regulation. The relevant approval requirements can be found in section 3 of the Gas Code Regulation under the Safety Codes Act.
- 3(1) No person shall manufacturer, install, sell or offer for sale any equipment related to gas systems for use in Alberta unless the equipment has been:
(a) tested and certified by a certification organization accredited by the Standards Council of Canada, or
(b) inspected and accepted by a Certification Body accredited by the Standards Council of Canada, and the equipment bears evidence of having been accepted in the manner authorized by the certification organization, or
(c) inspected and accepted by an Inspection Body accredited by the Standards Council of Canada, and the equipment bears evidence of having been accepted in a manner authorized by the inspection body.
The Safety Codes Act will require all uncertified gas-fired equipment installations, to have a site specific field approval by an Inspection Body; or a Certification Body. A permit is required in accordance with the regulations for all installations, extensions or alterations of the gas system. These gas installations are to be installed by a gasfitter, who is the holder of the permit and inspected by a local safety codes officer in the gas discipline. The local AHJ (authority having jurisdiction) will be provided with a copy of the documentation package upon request.
- The draft development of new standards for hazardous locations within the oil and gas industry will begin to reduce the field approval inventory.
- Legacy equipment programs have been utilized to identify numbers of uncertified legacy equipment and management of approvals are available over a five year period.
- Process and gas piping jurisdiction is clarified and identified in STANDATA G-03-11-ABSA that supports consistency and compliance of gas installations currently used in the oil and gas industry.
The certification/inspection body programs recognized in Alberta as third party approval authorities are now able to meet the need for evaluation of uncertified products in the oil and gas industry in a timely manner. Third party approvals are the foundation of inspection and acceptance for gas fired equipment to be considered acceptable in Alberta.
The variance is exclusive to the oil and gas industries and expiration of the variance supports existing provincial regulations that have been required for all other industries.
October 19, 2015
For more information, please call 1-866-421-6929 or visit www.municipalaffairs.alberta.ca