A Definition of LDAR
Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) regulations were put into place by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) because of the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and volatile hazardous air pollutants (VHAPs) being emitted by leaking equipment such as valves, pumps, and connectors in industries such as petroleum refining and chemical manufacturing. In an effort to curb the emissions, the EPA instituted regulations and compliance programs. LDAR managers and technicians are to follow fundamental LDAR procedures, such as Method 21 monitoring techniques and analyzer calibration procedures, to keep their LDAR programs in compliance.
An LDAR program is the system of procedures a facility utilizes to locate and repair leaking components, including valves, pumps, connectors, compressors, and agitators, in order to minimize the emission of fugitive volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). The EPA conducts audits and pursues enforcement actions in the petroleum refining and chemical manufacturing industries in order to verify minimization of VOC and HAP emissions. Facilities of all sizes have been reviewed as a result of this EPA program.
LDAR Program Best Practices
At a minimum, LDAR programs should include scheduling inspections to ensure compliance, producing and tracking work orders as soon as leaking components are discovered, and environmental reporting. Successful LDAR programs implement the following LDAR program best practices:
These best practices are streamlined with the use of automatic data capture technology featuring the right bar code labels for an LDAR program. Camcode’s Metalphoto® Bar Code Label with Teflon®, for example, represent the industry standard for fugitive emissions applications and provide “excellent resistance to chemicals, solvents and will withstand exterior exposure in the harshest environments, including extreme cold, heat and UV.” What’s more, when treated with Camcode’s image intensification process, these Teflon® Coated Bar Code Labels for Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) Applications offer an expected exterior lifespan of 20+ years.
Benefits of LDAR Programs
Obviously, cost savings, environmental protection, and worker and community safety are the goals of an effective LDAR program. The specific benefits of LDAR programs are staggering, as petroleum refineries could reduce emissions from equipment leaks by 63% and chemical facilities could reduce VOC emissions by 56% by implementing LDAR programs. Additionally, the EPA estimates that facilities potentially save $730,000 per year per facility, based on the average value of product loss due to equipment leaks being $1,370 per ton.
More on LDAR
For more information on LDAR, check out the following articles: