On December 21, 2021, China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment issued the National Ecology and Environment Standard “Technical Guidelines for Industrial VOC Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR)” (“the guidelines”). The guidelines will come into effect on April 1, 2022 and will standardize VOC leak detection and repair operations conducted by industrial companies. They will also stipulate operational requirements such as operational procedures, quality assurance, and reporting requirements. The guidelines cite relevant Chinese standards and were also developed with reference to CFR 60, 61, and 63 of U.S. EPA 40. The main details are as follows:
Scope of Application
The guidelines apply to leak detection and repair work for volatile organic compounds in equipment and piping components and exhaust gas collection system transport piping components installed by industrial companies.
Initial LDAR work consists of three phases: Project launch, on-site detection, and leak repair. From the second time onwards, there are two phases: On-site detection and leak repair. Annex A provides a flow chart of the procedure for the above work.
On-site detection includes provisions such as routine detections, non-routine detections/inspections, leak qualification and indication, and detection frequency. The following principles must be followed for leak qualification:
- If a pollutant emission standard has been issued for the industry, judge in accordance with its provisions.
- If no pollutant emission standard has been issued for the industry, judge based on the relevant provisions of GB37822 “Standard for fugitive emission of volatile organic compounds.”
The first repair on a leak site must be conducted within 5 days from the date of discovery of the leak. Detection must be performed again within 5 days after the completion of the repair.
Quality Assurance Measures
The guidelines prescribe the LDAR quality management system and quality assurance and record-keeping during project launch and on-site detection.
Companies must create a report after completion of the first LDAR. Thereafter, they must prepare a report annually. Annex D provides the report format.
The original text of the guidelines can be viewed at the following URL (in Simplified Chinese).