NFPA issues new standard for gas pipe purging

Following an explosion last year at the under-construction Kleen Energy Power Plant in Middletown, Conn. that killed six workers and injured nearly 50 others, the National Fire Protection Association has issued a new standard for to prevent fires and explosions during gas pipe purging.

The new NFPA 56 (PS), Standard for Fire and Explosion Prevention During Cleaning and Purging of Flammable Gas Piping Systems, 2012 Edition, prohibits the use of flammable gas as a cleaning agent for cleaning the interior of pipes.
In addition, the standard also expands on U.S. Chemical and Safety Board recommendations by including cleaning and purging of all flammable gas piping systems at any inlet pressure for electric-generating plants, industrial, commercial and institutional applications.

Some of the standard’s other requirements include:

- Covers activities including cleaning or repairing piping systems, placing piping systems into service, and removing piping systems from service.
- Requires development of written procedures and a safety validation of procedures by competent persons.
- Provides example of purge procedure based on requirements in the standard.

"This is an example of the critical role NFPA plays in providing codes and standards for use by government and other entities throughout the world," said NFPA President James M. Shannon. "Our ability to bring together the right people at the right time and to facilitate a consensus process in very short order resulted in a standard that will save lives and prevent a tragedy like the one in Connecticut from happening in the future."

Click here for more information about the new standard.