How to Prevent Fugitive Emissions with WIKA’s FAST Program

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Fugitive emissions are often seen as an unavoidable by product of oil refinery, chemical, and petrochemical plant operations mainly because the leaks are not easy to locate. A typical plant has more than 300,000 valves, pumps, gauges, and other connection points which could be potential leaks. It is nearly impossible to monitor each one individually.

However, through legislation like the Clean Air Act, the EPA has set stringent limits on fugitive emissions and established best practices for detection and prevention. The EPA finalized the list of 26 industries required to comply with fugitive emissions requirements in 2008. Among these industries were oil refineries, large petrochemical storage, and transfer facilities.

Safety Risks and Costs of Fugitive Emissions
 
Fugitive emissions release hydrocarbons or other gaseous media in the air, presenting potential health risks to plant workers as well as the surrounding community. But the problems don't end there. Fugitive emissions can lead to a fire or an explosion because the gases and vapors released are flammable.
 
In addition to safety risks, the financial costs of fugitive emissions are substantial for plants. Not only does the EPA levy millions in fugitive emissions-related fines every year, but more than $3 million in fuel products are also lost as fugitive emissions by U.S. refineries annually.

Controlling Fugitive Emissions

According to statistics from the American Petroleum Institute, over 83% of controllable fugitive emissions come from only about 0.25% of the piping components – and a significant portion of these are pressure gauges. Preventing gauges from becoming a potential leak point can help reduce the risk of fugitive emissions and keep the plant safer and more productive.

 As a solution, WIKA developed solutions to protect against leaks. WIKA’s all-welded system was designed for use in refineries and other harsh environments to protect the gauge from harmful media, and help prevent gauge failure and loss of containment.
 
WIKA’s Full Audit Service Team, FAST, can recommend the right solutions for a plant’s applications to help prevent fugitive emissions as well as other safety incidents. FAST engineers step in and review processes, gauges, and inventory so a plant knows the exact instrumentation it needs. WIKA has performed more than 250 audits and reviewed over 100,000 gauges, helping companies fix problems to maximize plant safety and avoid big fines.
 
Learn more about the FAST Program and how it is working to keep plants safe, productive, and profitable.

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