Although being a cost-saving measure, leak detection and repair (LDAR) systems often have their own set of correlated expenses. Most companies use LDAR not just to comply with environmental regulations but also for the hope that they might save some money in recaptured fugitive emissions. With that in mind, prudent companies should be aware of a few potential expense areas when implementing a new LDAR methodology.
One of the most significant contributors that drive the costs of any LDAR program is staffing related expenses. Many experienced managers recognize that the largest inefficiency in LDAR programs is the time it takes to monitor all of the components, this can vary significantly depending on your technology (Optical Gas Imaging vs. Method 21).
As noted above the reasons for staffing expenses being higher for certain types of LDAR methods, stem from hours on site. The more days spent scanning components, the more money spent to pay staff wages. Paying the staff for more hours is not the only issue here though, there is also the time it takes staff to navigate equipment required in processes like M21, as well as any travel and subsistence, the later becoming the larger expense with more days on site.
These expenses can be lowered significantly with newer technology and methods like OGI.
Setting up an LDAR system is a requirement for doing business, but as noted above, the technology used for detecting emissions, and expenses associated with that can vary quite significantly. Similarly, there are other costs associated with specific methods that cannot be reduced like equipment. However, the good news for facility managers is that alternative technologies like OGI can help lower expenses by cutting out the excess apparatus’ that are required such as Scaffolding or Manlifts.
Expenditures concerning reporting is often another costly aspect of any LDAR program. Documenting and reporting compliance is a significant focus area that the EPA has been requiring companies to watch for. To stress the importance of proper reporting standards, there are fines in place for LDAR violations, which include failure to report documentation correctly.
With recordkeeping violations ranging up to $37,500 per day, failure to properly document LDAR proceedings can be extremely detrimental for companies unfamiliar with the entire process. As such, some administrative expenses are a necessity in ensuring that a high standard of documentation exists going forward.
There are some companies like, Target Emission, that simplify and standardize reporting by offering it with their LDAR service, making it easier for the customer and removing the possibility of incurring a violation fine.
As mentioned, implementing an LDAR system is an expense of doing business, but there are cost saving options out there to help with the return.
To find out more about OGI contact Target here.