OPERATIONS & MAINTENANCE
LP-GAS BULK STORAGE FACILITIES
NOTICE AND DISCLAIMER CONCERNING LIABILITY
The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) is a non-profit 501(c)6 trade organization
authorized by the Propane Education and Research Act of 1996 (PERA), Public Law 104-284.
PERC was created “to enhance consumer and employee safety and training, to provide for
research and development of clean and efficient propane utilization equipment, and to inform and
educate the public about safety and other issues associated with the use of propane.”
PERC is governed by a twenty-one member Board of Directors appointed by the National
Propane Gas Association (NPGA) and the Gas Processors Association (GPA). PERC program
beneficiaries include propane retail marketers, producers, transporters’ and agricultural
cooperatives, as well as representatives of allied service and supply industries (industry
The recommendations, standards, or recommended practices, as reflected in this document,
were developed by independent consultants retained by PERC. While PERC administers the
process of obtaining the information, it does not independently test or verify the accuracy of the
information or methods used to collect the data that supports the conclusions or
recommendations reflected in this document.
PERC, NPGA, GPA and the industry members disclaim any liability for any personal injury,
property damage, business losses or other damages of any nature whatsoever, whether special,
indirect, consequential or compensatory, directly or indirectly resulting from the publication, use,
or reliance on this document, or any information, apparatus, method, process, or similar item
disclosed in this document. This disclaimer of liability shall apply even if such loss or damage
results, in whole or in part, from any acts or omissions of or by any negligence on the part of
PERC, NPGA, GPA or industry members or any persons who contributed to the development of
the information contained in this document. PERC, NPGA, GPA and industry members make no
warranty or guaranty as to the accuracy or completeness of any information published in this
The procedures and information in this document are intended to implement the standards set
forth in the documents referenced with capabilities of the personnel and equipment available. It
does not create new standards or criteria for compliance. The order of steps in any procedure
may or may not be of importance. This material is not sold nor is it a product of any consulting or
Users of this document should consult the law of their individual jurisdictions for codes, standards
and legal requirements applicable to them. This document is not intended nor should it be construed
to (1) set forth policies or procedures which are the general custom or practice in the propane
industry; (2) to establish the legal standards of care owed by propane distributors to their customers;
or (3) to prevent the user from using different methods to implement applicable codes, standards or
By disseminating or publishing this document, PERC is not undertaking to render any
professional or other service to or on behalf of any person or entity. PERC, NPGA, GPA and the
industry members are not undertaking to perform any duty owed by any person or entity to any
third party. Anyone reading or using this document should rely on his or her own judgment or, as
appropriate, should seek the advice of a competent professional in determining the exercise of
reasonable care in any and all circumstances.
This project to develop an Operations and Maintenance Handbook for LP-Gas Bulk Storage
Facilities was undertaken to help marketers comply with new requirements for bulk plant and
industrial plant LP-Gas systems that were added in the 2001 edition of NFPA 58 (The LP-Gas
Code) and remain in the 2004 edition. These new requirements include mandating written
procedures for safely conducting activities associated with operations and maintenance, as well
as a provision that equipment owners and operators ensure that the procedures are updated, if
necessary, whenever a major change occurs and prior to startup of a changed system.
The project was funded by the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), with the National
Propane Gas Association (NPGA) providing technical and regulatory oversight for the duration of
the project. Wolf Safety Group, LLC (Chesterbrook, PA) was the principal contractor. As with
any project, open communications, a team approach with clear definition of roles and
responsibilities, and individual accountability were critical to successfully achieving the objectives.
Much of the reference materials for this handbook are from the Certified Employee Training
Program (CETP), originally developed by NPGA. Materials, schematics and photographs from
CETP Books 1.0 – 4.2 have been incorporated into the handbook where appropriate.
Gary Wolf, founder and owner of Wolf Safety Group, was the principal author of the handbook.
Christian Branchi and Gordon Eldridge of Trans-Tech Energy (Rocky Mount, NC) provided
significant technical input and support, and played key roles in the development of the
handbook’s format and content. Stuart Flatow, Vice President of Safety and Training for PERC,
provided overall project management oversight. Sue Spear, Manager of Education and Training
at NPGA, served as technical and regulatory manager for the project. Bruce Swiecicki, NPGA’s
Senior Technical Advisor, was the primary reviewer for regulatory requirements.
NPGA and PERC both provided valuable input and content review through their safety-related
advisory committees, namely NPGA’s Education, Training and Safety Committee (ETS) and
PERC’s Safety and Training Advisory Committee (STAC). The input and contributions from many
of these committee members added significant value to the handbook. ETS formed an ”O&M
Subcommittee” to provide a forum for review and comment during the development of the
handbook. Members of this subcommittee included Ed Anderson (ETS Associates), Gary Bourne
(CHS), Ken Christensen (Crystal Flash Energy), David Hyslop (Hydratane of Athens), Ray
Kazakewich (RegO Products ECII), Ken Kraft (Missouri Valley Propane), Larry Miller (Sharp
Energy) and Elbert Stillwagon (HR Weaver). STAC members who significantly contributed to
handbook’s development included Cliff Slisz (Ferrellgas), Mike Walters (AmeriGas), Walter
Cressman (Cress Gas), Thomas Petru (RR Commission of Texas), and Russ Rupp (Suburban
Propane). All these gentlemen offered their time to thoroughly review each section of the
handbook and provide valuable input.
A special note of appreciation from the author goes to Mike Merrill of Suburban Propane. Mike
was the Chairman of the ETS O&M Subcommittee and a driving force on this project, leading
consensus building with industry personnel and keeping the project team focused on maximizing
the value of the handbook for the end users. He continually offered constructive comments
throughout the project and contributed a significant amount of his personal time in reviewing the
revisions of the handbook sections.
Last but certainly not least, we offer a special “thank you” to all the employers in the propane
industry who have supported this project by providing encouragement to and time for the
aforementioned volunteers to contribute to this handbook.
USER FEEDBACK RESPONSE FORM
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Mail to: Propane Education & Research Council
1140 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Attention: Courtney Gendron
Email to: [email protected]
We would like to know what you think about this Handbook. Please provide feedback using this
form. If you find an error in the text, make a copy of the page(s), circle the error, write in your
suggested revision and submit the copy with this form.
You can also complete the form on line at www.PropaneSafety.com. The web site will include
up-to-date information on user feedback and corrections to the text.
Please read the following statements and check the appropriate response. If you disagree with
the statement, please provide comments.
The material included in the Handbook will be useful in assisting my organization to meet the
requirements of Chapter 14 of NFPA 58 – 2004.
My organization plans to use the material in this Handbook to develop our Operations and
The information in this Handbook is understandable and easy to use.
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PROPANE EDUCATION & RESEARCH COUNCIL
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