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Loss Control

Final Decision on NFPA 56

October 2010 - The Chemical Safety Board (CSB) investigated two explosions in the past year in an industrial plant and at a nearly completed power plant. Although the explosions occurred in different industries, the practice of venting natural gas through piping and then releasing the gas into the atmosphere without proper control of the discharged flammable vapors has linked these two fatal incidents. At the conclusion of each of the investigations, the CSB issued urgent safety recommendations to various parties, including the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). NFPA standards have already addressed one of these incidents, through the issuance of a Tentative Interim Amendment to NFPA 54, National Fuel Gas Code. At the NFPA Standards Council's August, 2010 meeting, the Council concluded that the best and most comprehensive approach to developing standards relating to "gas blowing" and more generally to gas process safety would be to establish a new technical committee, NFPA 56, Standard on Gas Process Safety. The Council believes that this more general approach will help ensure that the subject of gas process safety receives more focused, consistent and comprehensive attention within the NFPA standards development process.