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Bill Number: 1398 Ratification Number: 782 Act Number 661 Introducing Body: Senate Subject: Liquefied petroleum gases
(A661, R782, S1398)
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 43, TITLE 39, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GASES, SO AS TO CHANGE AND ADD DEFINITIONS AND TO REVISE PROCEDURES FOR REGULATING THE USE OF LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GASES, TO CHANGE INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS, AND TO DELETE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE IDENTIFICATION OF VEHICLES POWERED BY LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GAS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Liquefied petroleum gases - regulation of use of
SECTION 1. Chapter 43, Title 39 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
Liquefied Petroleum Gases
Section 39-43-10. (a) As used in this chapter, 'liquefied petroleum gas' means and includes material composed predominately of the following hydrocarbons or mixtures of them: Propane, propylene, butanes (normal butane or isobutane), and butylenes.
(b) 'Containers' means all vessels such as tanks, cylinders, or pressure vessel used for transportation or storage of liquefied petroleum gases.
(c) 'Systems' means an assembly of equipment consisting essentially of the container and any device which is connected to it for the utilization of liquefied petroleum gas.
Section 39-43-20. There is created the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Board composed of six members. One member must be appointed from the Senate by the President; one member must be appointed from the House of Representatives by the Speaker; and four must be appointed by the Governor, one of whom must be a fireman, one must be a liquefied petroleum gas dealer licensed under this chapter, and two must be members of the public who do not possess a pecuniary interest in an entity engaged in a business directly involving liquefied petroleum gas. The chairman must be elected for a one-year term. Terms of office for members are for two years and until their successors are appointed and qualify. Vacancies must be filled in the manner of original appointment for the unexpired term. The board shall meet at least annually and not more than once a month. All meetings must be scheduled at the call of the chairman. All members shall receive mileage, per diem, and subsistence as provided by law for members of boards, committees, and commissions for days on which they transact official business, to be paid from the general fund of the State. The office of State Fire Marshal shall provide administrative support as required by the board to perform its prescribed functions. The State Fire Marshal is an official consultant and is authorized to attend all meetings.
Section 39-43-30. The Board shall:
(a) assure that all laws of this State governing liquefied petroleum gas are faithfully executed and may promulgate regulations to enforce, administer, and implement the provisions of this chapter which are not provided for specifically in this chapter;
(b) institute proceedings for and prosecute criminal violations of laws relevant to liquefied petroleum gas;
(c) make, promulgate, and enforce regulations setting forth minimum general standards covering the design, construction, location, installation, and operation of equipment for storing, handling, transporting by tank truck or tank trailer, and utilizing liquefied petroleum gases and specifying the odorization of these gases and the degree thereof. The regulations must be reasonably necessary for the protection of the health, welfare, and safety of the public and persons using these materials and must be in substantial conformity with the generally accepted standards of safety concerning the subject matter, and the regulations shall contain standards that are not less than those published by the National Fire Protection Association Pamphlet No. 58, 1986 Edition and all pamphlets referenced in the edition and the National Fire Protection Association Pamphlet No. 59, 1984 Edition and all pamphlets referenced in that edition.
Section 39-43-40. A person engaging in the manufacture, distribution, sale, storage, or transportation by tank truck, tank trailer, or cylinder of liquefied petroleum gases, or engaged in the installation, servicing, repairing, adjusting, or connecting of appliances to liquefied petroleum gas systems and containers, shall obtain a license to do business in the State from the board through the office of the State Fire Marshal before engaging in the business activities listed in this section. Failure to obtain the license is punishable as provided in Sections 39-43-160 and 39-43-170.
Section 39-43-50. The license fee for the license required by Section 39-43-40 is two hundred fifty dollars annually for each transporter and utility gas plant and two hundred dollars annually for each dealer. The reseller shall pay a license fee of fifty dollars, and each installer of appliances and equipment shall pay a license fee of twenty-five dollars.
As used in this section:
(a) 'Transporter' means a person engaging in the transportation of liquefied petroleum gas for hire only in quantities greater than three thousand five hundred water gallons from pipeline terminals to bulk plants.
(b) 'Dealer' means a person engaging in the installation of liquefied petroleum gas systems, manufacture, distribution, sale, storing, or transporting by tank truck, tank trailer, or container of liquefied petroleum gases, or engaged in the installation, servicing, repairing, adjusting, disconnecting, or connecting of appliances to liquefied petroleum gas systems and containers.
(c) 'Utility gas plant' means a fuel gas distribution facility owned or operated by a public utility or municipal or local government authority that uses liquefied petroleum gases to supplement natural gas supplies when necessary.
(d) 'Reseller' means a person engaging in the resale of liquefied petroleum gas by the filling of cylinders of not more than one hundred pounds capacity of liquefied petroleum gas a cylinder and who owns and operates his business separate and independent of a dealer or branch dealer except that he may purchase liquefied petroleum gas from dealers as an independent contractor.
(e) 'Installer of appliances and equipment' means a person engaging in the business of installation, servicing, repairing, adjusting, disconnecting, or connecting of appliances and equipment to liquefied petroleum gas systems or containers.
Section 39-43-60. Every transporter of propane, utility gas plant, dealer, reseller, or installer of appliances engaged in any of the activities referenced in Section 39-43-40, as a prerequisite to obtaining a license to conduct business in South Carolina, shall obtain general liability insurance in the amount of five hundred thousand dollars from a company licensed to conduct business in this State. The general liability insurance must include manufacturer's or contractor's liability and product's liability insurance. The insurance carrier shall certify to the board through the Division of State Fire Marshal by a standard certificate of insurance executed by a licensed insurance agent that the required coverages are in effect and may not be cancelled by the insurance carrier without at least thirty days' notice to the board through the Division of State Fire Marshal by registered mail.
Section 39-43-70. Before a dealer may sell liquefied petroleum gas to a person for resale to the public, he shall ascertain that the person is licensed and certified by the board through the office of the State Fire Marshal to resell the liquefied petroleum gas. A dealer wilfully violating the provisions of this section is subject to penalties provided in this chapter.
Section 39-43-80. It is unlawful for a person, whether an employee of a licensed gas dealer or otherwise, to transport or deliver liquefied petroleum gas, or to install, service, repair, adjust, connect, or disconnect gas appliances to or from a liquefied petroleum gas system, unless he is certified as competent by a licensed gas dealer employing him. The certification by the dealer must be under oath on forms prescribed by the State Fire Marshal and must run concurrently with the dealer's license. The board may revoke the certification for cause. The provisions of this section do not apply to common laborers working under the direct and immediate supervision of a person certified under this section.
Section 39-43-90. All cargo vessels transporting liquefied petroleum gases must be inspected fully by the State Fire Marshal and the operator or owner shall obtain from the State Fire Marshal a certificate and decal showing that the cargo vessel is in proper condition to transport liquefied petroleum gas. The certificate must be maintained in the glove box of the vehicle to which the cargo vessel is attached or, in the case of transports, the document holder on the transport vessel. The decal must be displayed prominently above the data plate on the cargo vessel. This certificate and decal must be renewed annually or at more frequent intervals considered necessary by the State Fire Marshal. A new cargo vessel must be inspected and registered with the State Fire Marshal before use.
(1) A member of the board or the State Fire Marshal or any of his agents may enter during reasonable business hours the premises of a person engaged in the liquefied petroleum gas industry in any of its phases to inspect properties or installations that relate in any way to the safe and proper operation of the business and may make investigations or examinations they consider necessary. The board may compel the attendance of witnesses to testify in relation to a matter within its jurisdiction.
(2) When an emergency exists, as declared by the Division of State Fire Marshal, the inspector may enter the premises of a person and take necessary action for public safety, including, but not limited to, the evacuation of the area in which the emergency exists.
Section 39-43-110. Whenever a condition is found as a result of the inspection, examination, or investigation provided in Section 39-43-100 that is hazardous to the public safety, the board or the State Fire Marshal or any of his agents shall order the condition removed or corrected. The order must be in writing. If a person fails to comply with the terms of the order, he is subject to a fine, suspension of license, or refusal to renew or continue his license, as provided in Section 39-43-160, in the discretion of the board through the office of the State Fire Marshal. Before a license may be revoked or suspended, the holder shall have notice in writing of the charge against him and at a date specified in the notice, at least five days after the service, be given a public hearing, and have an opportunity to produce testimony in his favor and confront the witnesses against him.
Section 39-43-120. Electrical circuits or electrical appliances, such as radios, telephones, or other electrical apparatus, may not be grounded to a liquefied petroleum gas system or appliance. A dealer or his agent finding a violation of this section shall request the owner of the property to remove the ground. If owner fails to comply with this request, the dealer or his agent shall report that fact immediately to the board through the office of the State Fire Marshal.
Section 39-43-130. All heating appliances installed for use in a hotel, tourist home, school, church, theater, auditorium, institutional building, hospital, nursing home, convalescent home, or other place of public assembly or rest must be equipped with a pilot having a one hundred percent safety cut-off valve of an automatic operating type. The pilot safety valve must have positive control of the flow of gas to the appliance burners in public places for sleeping purposes.
Section 39-43-140. An owner, manager, or operator of a vehicle or equipment regulated by this chapter within twenty-four hours shall make a report to the board through the office of the State Fire Marshal of any fire or explosion in connection with the equipment or gas system which he has serviced, installed, or performed other work upon of accidental or incendiary origin of which he has knowledge, with as complete detail as possible, together with evidence as he has obtained after investigation of the discovery of the fire or explosion. Reports filed pursuant to this section are confidential and for the use of the board only pending investigation completion.
Section 39-43-150. The provisions of this chapter do not apply to liquefied petroleum gas used as a by-product in the manufacture of a product nor to a person who is engaged in the retailing of liquefied petroleum gas in containers of less than one hundred pounds liquefied petroleum capacity if the person does not engage in filling liquefied petroleum gas cylinders or the installation, servicing, repairing, adjusting, connecting, or disconnecting of appliances or piping to or from liquefied petroleum gas systems.
Section 39-43-160. Following a hearing when, on its own initiative or as an appeal from a decision of the State Fire Marshal, the board finds that a person licensed under the provisions of this chapter has violated any of its provisions or has engaged in the liquefied petroleum gas business without a license as required by Section 39-43-40, it may suspend, revoke, or refuse to license or renew the license of the person or in the alternative may impose an administrative penalty as provided in Section 39-43-180 not to exceed two thousand dollars for a single offense. A person may appeal an administrative decision by the board under the provisions of Article 3, Chapter 23 of Title 1 (the Administrative Procedures Act).
Section 39-43-170. A person required by this chapter to obtain a license to do business in this State who has not obtained a license, or who operates while his license is suspended or revoked, or who violates any of the provisions of this chapter or regulations promulgated by its authority, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than two thousand dollars or imprisoned for not less than sixty days nor more than one year.
Section 39-43-180. An agent of the State Fire Marshal may issue an order to a person who has violated a provision of this chapter. When the person receives an order he must go before the State Fire Marshal who shall serve as hearing examiner. The State Fire Marshal may impose an administrative penalty not to exceed two
thousand dollars for each violation or suspend, revoke, or refuse to license or renew the license of the person. Appeals from the decision of the State Fire Marshal must be made to the board within fifteen days from notification of the decision.
Section 39-43-190. All penalties collected under the provisions of this chapter must be deposited in the general fund of the State."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect January 1, 1989.