On October 8, 2015, the State of California approved and filed Assembly Bill 864 (AB-864) Oil Spill Response: Environmentally and Ecologically Sensitive Coastal Areas. AB-864 enacted the new Government Code Section 51013.1, which will require that after January 1, 2018, new or replacement pipelines in environmentally and ecologically sensitive areas in the coastal zone will use “best available technology” to reduce the amount of oil released in an oil spill.
Existing pipelines must be retrofitted by January 1, 2020, with retrofit plans for these submitted by July 1, 2018.
“Best available technology” is defined as technology that provides the greatest degree of protection by limiting the quantity of release in the event of a spill, taking into consideration whether the processes are currently in use and could be purchased anywhere in the world. The best available technology should be selected and implemented based on a risk analysis by the operator and will include, but is not limited to, leak detection technology, automatic shutoff systems, remote controlled sectionalized block valves, or any combination of these.
Ultimately, the State Fire Marshal shall determine whether or not the standard for the best available technology has been met.
Emerson can help California pipeline operators and other operators around the globe with best available leak detection technology, including PipelineManager software and implementation expertise (as part of the acquisition of Energy Solutions, International), Micro Motion Coriolis flow and density measurement devices, and Rosemount pressure and temperature devices.
Through the combination of Emerson technologies and expertise in pipeline management and optimization, pipeline operators can reduce their risk of undetected pipeline leaks.
Pipeline reliability and efficiency can also be improved through better pressure control and early detection of corrosion and erosion. Through early detection, problems can be identified and scheduled for repair before leaks occur.
A pipeline management specialist in your area can discuss ways to meet the regulatory requirements and maintain safe, reliable and efficient pipeline operations.