OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov.

February 6, 1995

U. S. Dept. Of Labor OSHA
200 Constitution Avenue N.W.
Room N3107 Washington D. C. 20210
Attention: Mr. Ron Davies

Dear Ron:

I appreciate having the opportunity to contact you concerning the interpretation of 29 CFR 1910.119 which pertains to the Process Safety Management Program required by OSHA. I have informed several of my customers as to the contents of our conversation and they have requested that I explain in writing to you their operation so they can be assured they would not be doing anything in violation of an OSHA regulation if they continue normal butane blending in their terminal.

As we have discussed, the terminal operator stores gasoline in atmospheric tanks, which they sell over the rack to companies which sell the gasoline at service stations to the general public. During the year, gasoline is shipped into the terminal either by pipeline, barge, truck, or railcar at a lower reid vapor pressure than the maximum allowed by the state or the EPA, for the geographical location of the terminal. The terminal personnel test the reid vapor pressure of the gasoline by using an instrument approved by the EPA. If the vapor pressure of the gasoline is lower than the max allowed at that time, the terminal operator will order a truck(s) load of normal butane to raise the vapor pressure of the gasoline stored in the atmospheric tanks. The normal butane is delivered to the terminal in a DOT approved transport for hauling pressurized product. The gasoline is pumped from the astompheric storage tank through a pipeline where the butane is mixed with the gasoline and then returned back to an atmospheric storage tank. Once the normal butane truck is unloaded and disconnected, the transport leaves the terminal operator's property. The gasoline is then retested to assure that the reid vapor pressure is not higher than the regulations allow. All terminal operators who wish to continue normal butane blending in their terminal were required by the EPA under the Clean Air Act effective January 1, 1995 to register as a refinery.

During our conversations, you have indicated this operation would not be required to have in place a Process Safety Management Program as spelled out in 29 CFR 1910.119, because the gasoline is stored in atmospheric tanks and the normal butane is delivered in DOT approved transports and do not reside permentely on the terminal operator's property.

I would greatly appreciate it if you would respond in writing if the above statements are accurate. By your response to this request, it would greatly relieve the apprehension of terminal operator's who wish to continue normal butane blending in their terminals but would like to be assured by OSHA they are not in violation of 29 CFR 1910.119.


Larry D. Mattingly President