Plant operating permit fee webinar session meeting notes

The following represents the comments received from industry representatives through webinar meetings scheduled April 2, 2019 and April 10, 2019

Date and time April 2, 2019 (8:30am-9:30am)
Location Webinar and teleconference
Meeting attendees 1 representing health facilities

 

Proposed fees and fee structure
  • Proposed fees are reasonable. Depending on size of the industry, the proposed fees for 5th class plants may be relatively too high for the fees they already pay for their unit operating permits. Possibly could have the higher class plants pay higher fees.
  • Plant class is the best and simplest way to structure fees. The larger heating surfaces require greater safety responsibility by the owners.
  • Other possibilities for fee structures: Base fees on number of pieces of equipment owned, or a percentage of unit permit costs.
  • Application of fees is reasonable, particularly for having multiple plants on a single site pay only one fee for the highest class plant.
Impacts of fees on industries
  • Health industry would not be negatively impacted by the proposed fees. Many hospitals are converting to hot water heating instead of steam.
  • Dry cleaners and food processing plants already operate on low profit margins and may be negatively impacted.
Future wants for plant operating permits
  • Centralized recording for pressure vessels in addition to boilers
  • Ability for individual operations to view and manage their online accounts
  • List of certified power engineers working at a plant
Technical Safety BC’s fee principles
  • Positive: Technology-related fees will fund programs that relate to that technology.
Other comments
  • Negative: Some exam locations closed, which makes it more difficult for remote power engineers to schedule and travel farther to write certification exams.
  • Preferred when boiler safety officers invigilate exams, as some clarification questions require specialized knowledge of the technology, and may be a power engineer’s only contact with boiler safety officers.
  • Assistance from Technical Safety BC when applying for plant operating permits was very helpful.
     

Date and time April 10, 2019 (4:30pm-5:30pm)
Location Webinar and teleconference
Meeting attendees

1 representing small heating plants
1 representing educational institutions

 

Proposed fees and fee structure
  • Consider that a new fee for renewing power engineer certificates is also being introduced at the same time.
  • The application of the fees to various situations (e.g. multiple plants on one site) makes sense.
Impacts of fees on industries
  • Institutions: Under-resourced to collect and compile the amount of information required to obtain a plant operating permit.
  • The fee and the process seems onerous for smaller operations that only run partway through the year.
Plant operating permit process
  • Facilities need help determining their plant class before applying for a plant operating permit.
  • Will comply with requirement to obtain plant operating permits and related fees because they are the new rules, but do not see the value for owners and operators.