Dollarhide Gas Plant - Executive Summary

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   Dollarhide Gas Plant Risk Management Plan: 
                Executive Summary 
The  Dollarhide  Gas  Plant has  a  long-standing 
commitment  to  worker  and  public  safety.  This 
commitment   is  demonstrated  by  the   resources 
invested  in accident prevention, such as training 
personnel  and considering safety in  the  design, 
installation,  operation, and maintenance  of  our 
process.  Our  policy  is to implement  reasonable 
controls   to  prevent  foreseeable  releases   of 
regulated  substances. However, if a release  does 
occur, gas plant trained personnel will respond to 
control and contain the release. 
The   Dollarhide  Gas  Plant,  located  35  miles 
southwest  of Andrews (Andrews County), Texas,  on 
Highway   128,  operates  a  process  to   produce 
petroleum products (e.g., natural gas, natural gas 
liquids),  from  natural gas. The  Dollarhid 
e  Gas 
Plant  has several regulated flammables,  such  as 
propane and butane. The Dollarhide Gas Plant  does 
not   use  and/or  process  any  regulated   toxic 
substances above threshold quantities. 
The  WCS  associated with a release of  flammable 
substances in the Program Level 1 process  at  the 
gas   plant  is  a  vapor  cloud  explosion  (VCE) 
involving the full inventory of the product  surge 
tank  containing  natural gas  liquids  (flammable 
mixture). A written procedure is in place to limit 
the  tank  inventory to 100,000 lbs. (80%  of  the 
maximum  tank  capacity); therefore,  the  reduced 
inventory  is  assumed  to  release  and   ignite, 
resulting in a VCE. The maximum distance to the 1- 
psi  endpoint for this WCS is 0.40 mile, resulting 
in  no  offsite impact. Although we have  numerous 
controls  to prevent such releases and  to  manage 
their   consequences,  no   credit   for   passive 
mitigation  measures  was taken  into  account   
evaluating this WCS. 
Even  though the accident prevention  program  is 
not  required  for Program Level  1  processes,  a 
prevention   program   is   implemented   at   the 
Dollarhide Gas Plant.  The following is a  summary 
of the accident prevention program in place at the 
plant.  Because the process at the gas plant  that 
is   regulated  by  the  Environmental  Protection 
Agency's  (EPA's)  risk management  program  (RMP) 
regulation  is  also subject to  the  Occupational 
Safety   and   Health  Administration's   (OSHA's) 
process  safety  management (PSM)  standard,  this 
summary  addresses each of the OSHA  PSM  elements 
and  describes the management system in  place  to 
implement the accident prevention program. 
Employee Participation 
The Dollarhide Gas Plant encourages employees  to 
participate  in  all  facets  of  process   safety 
management  and accident prevention.  Examples  of 
employee  participation range  from  updatin 
g  and 
compiling   technical   documents   and   chemical 
information  to participating as  a  member  of  a 
process hazard analysis (PHA) team. Employees have 
access  to all information created as part of  the 
gas  plant  accident prevention program.  Specific 
ways  that  employees  can  be  involved  in   the 
accident prevention program are documented  in  an 
employee participation plan that is maintained  at 
the   gas   plant  and  addresses  each   accident 
prevention program element. In addition,  the  gas 
plant  has a number of initiatives under way  that 
address process safety and employee safety issues. 
These initiatives include forming teams to promote 
both   process  and  personal  safety.  The  teams 
typically have members from various areas  of  the 
plant,    including    operations,    maintenance, 
engineering, and plant management. 
Process Safety Information 
The  Dollarhide  Gas  Plant keeps  a  variety  of 
technical documents that are used to help maintain 
safe  opera 
tion  of the process.  These  documents 
address   chemical   properties   and   associated 
hazards,  limits  for key process  parameters  and 
specific   chemical  inventories,  and   equipment 
design  basis/configuration information.  Specific 
departments  within  the gas  plant  are  assigned 
responsibility for maintaining up-to-date  process 
safety   information.  A  table  summarizing   the 
reference documents and their location is  readily 
available   as   part  of  the  written   employee 
participation  plan to help employees  locate  any 
necessary process safety information. 
Chemical-specific     information,      including 
exposure  hazards and emergency response/ exposure 
treatment considerations, is provided in  material 
safety  data  sheets (MSDSs). This information  is 
supplemented   by   documents  that   specifically 
address  known  corrosion concerns and  any  known 
hazards associated with the inadvertent mixing  of 
chemicals.  For  specific process areas,  the  gas 
nt  has  documented safety-related  limits  for 
specific  process  parameters (e.g.,  temperature, 
level,  composition)  in a Key  Process  Parameter 
Document.  The gas plant ensures that the  process 
is  maintained  within these limits using  process 
controls   and   monitoring  instruments,   highly 
trained   personnel,  and  protective   instrument 
systems (e.g., automated shutdown systems). 
The  gas  plant also maintains numerous technical 
documents  that  provide  information  about   the 
design and construction of process equipment. This 
information  includes materials  of  construction, 
design  pressure  and  temperature  ratings,   and 
electrical  rating of equipment. This information, 
in combination with written procedures and trained 
personnel,   provides  a  basis  for  establishing 
inspection and maintenance activities, as well  as 
for   evaluating  proposed  process  and  facility 
changes  to  ensure that safety  features  in  the 
process are not compromised. 
Process Ha 
zard Analysis (PHA) 
The  Dollarhide  Gas  Plant has  a  comprehensive 
program  to  help  ensure that hazards  associated 
with  the  process are identified and  controlled. 
Within this program, the process is systematically 
examined  to  identify  hazards  and  ensure  that 
adequate  controls are in place  to  manage  these 
The  Dollarhide  Gas  Plant  primarily  uses  the 
hazard  and operability (HAZOP) analysis technique 
to  perform  these evaluations. HAZOP analysis  is 
recognized  as  one  of the  most  systematic  and 
thorough   hazard   evaluation   techniques.   The 
analyses are conducted using a team of people  who 
have  operating and maintenance experience as well 
as engineering expertise. This team identifies and 
evaluates  hazards  of  the  process  as  well  as 
accident  prevention and mitigation measures,  and 
the   team   makes   suggestions  for   additional 
prevention  and/or  mitigation measures  when  the 
team believes such measures are necessary. 
The  P 
HA  team  findings are forwarded  to  local 
management   for  resolution.  Implementation   of 
mitigation options in response to PHA findings  is 
based  on a relative risk ranking assigned by  the 
PHA team. This ranking helps ensure that potential 
accident  scenarios  assigned  the  highest   risk 
receive    immediate   attention.   All   approved 
mitigation  options  in  response  to   PHA   team 
findings are tracked until they are completed. The 
final resolution of each finding is documented and 
To  help ensure that the process controls  and/or 
process   hazards   do   not  eventually   deviate 
significantly  from  the  original  design  safety 
features,  the  plant  periodically  updates   and 
revalidates  the  hazard analysis  results.  These 
periodic  reviews are conducted at least  every  5 
years  and  will  be conducted at  this  frequency 
until  the  process  is no longer  operating.  The 
results  and  findings  from  these  updates   are 
documented  and  retained.  
Once  again,  the  team 
findings   are   forwarded   to   management   for 
consideration,  and the final  resolution  of  the 
findings is documented and retained. 
Operating Procedures 
The   Dollarhide  Gas  Plant  maintains   written 
procedures  that address various modes of  process 
operations, such as (1) unit startup,  (2)  normal 
operations,   (3)   temporary   operations,    (4) 
emergency shutdown, (5) normal shutdown,  and  (6) 
initial startup of a new process. These procedures 
can   be   used  as  a  reference  by  experienced 
operators  and  provide  a  basis  for  consistent 
training  of  new operators. These procedures  are 
periodically  reviewed and annually  certified  as 
current  and  accurate. The  procedures  are  kept 
current and accurate by revising them as necessary 
to  reflect changes made through the management of 
change process. 
In  addition, the Dollarhide Gas Plant  maintains 
a  Key  Process  Parameter Document that  provides 
guidance on how to respond to up 
per or lower limit 
exceedances  for  specific  process  or  equipment 
parameters.  This information, along with  written 
operating  procedures,  is  readily  available  to 
operators  in  the  process  unit  and  for  other 
personnel  to  use as necessary to safely  perform 
their job tasks. 
To  complement the written procedures for process 
operations,   the   Dollarhide   Gas   Plant   has 
implemented  a comprehensive training program  for 
all employees involved in operating a process. New 
employees  receive  basic training  in  gas  plant 
operations  if they are not already familiar  with 
such  operations.  After  successfully  completing 
this  training, a new operator is  paired  with  a 
senior  operator to learn process-specific  duties 
and  tasks.  After  operators  demonstrate  (e.g., 
through   tests,  skills  demonstration)  adequate 
knowledge  to perform the duties and  tasks  in  a 
safe   manner   on  their  own,  they   can   work 
independently.   In   addition,   a 
ll    operators 
periodically  receive refresher  training  on  the 
operating  procedures to ensure that their  skills 
and  knowledge  are maintained  at  an  acceptable 
level.  This  refresher training is  conducted  at 
least  every  3  years. All of  this  training  is 
documented for each operator, including the  means 
used  to  verify that the operator understood  the 
The  Dollarhide  Gas  Plant uses  contractors  to 
supplement  its  work  force  during  periods   of 
increased  maintenance or construction activities. 
Because  some contractors work on or near  process 
equipment, the gas plant has procedures  in  place 
to  ensure that contractors (1) perform their work 
in   a  safe  manner,  (2)  have  the  appropriate 
knowledge and skills, (3) are aware of the hazards 
in  their  workplace,  (4)  understand  what  they 
should  do  in  the  event of  an  emergency,  (5) 
understand and follow site safety rules,  and  (6) 
inform  gas  plant personnel of any  hazar 
ds  that 
they  find during their work. This is accomplished 
by   providing  contractors  with  (1)  a  process 
overview, (2) information about safety and  health 
hazards, (3) emergency response plan requirements, 
and   (4)  safe  work  practices  prior  to  their 
beginning  work. In addition, the  Dollarhide  Gas 
Plant  evaluates  contractor safety  programs  and 
performance  during the selection of a contractor. 
Gas    plant   personnel   periodically    monitor 
contractor  performance to ensure that contractors 
are    fulfilling   their   safety    obligations. 
Contractors  are  allowed to  obtain  training  by 
attending  the  Safety Meetings at the  Dollarhide 
Gas Plant. 
Pre-startup Safety Reviews (PSSRs) 
The  Dollarhide Gas Plant conducts a PSSR for any 
new   facility   or  facility  modification   that 
requires   a   change   in  the   process   safety 
information. The purpose of the PSSR is to  ensure 
that  safety features, procedures, personnel,  and 
equipment  are appropriat 
ely prepared for  startup 
prior to placing the equipment into service.  This 
review provides one additional check to make  sure 
construction  is  in accordance  with  the  design 
specifications and that all supporting systems are 
operationally  ready. The PSSR  review  team  uses 
checklists  to verify all aspects of readiness.  A 
PSSR   involves   field   verification   of    the 
construction   and  serves  a  quality   assurance 
function  by requiring verification that  accident 
prevention   program  requirements  are   properly 
Mechanical Integrity 
The  Dollarhide  Gas  Plant has  well-established 
practices  and  procedures  to  maintain  pressure 
vessels,  piping systems, relief and vent systems, 
controls,  pumps  and compressors,  and  emergency 
shutdown  systems  in a safe operating  condition. 
The  basic  aspects of this program  include:  (1) 
conducting   training,  (2)   developing   written 
procedures, (3) performing inspections and  tests, 
(4)  correcting iden 
tified deficiencies,  and  (5) 
applying    quality   assurance    measures.    In 
combination, these activities form a  system  that 
maintains the mechanical integrity of the process. 
Maintenance personnel receive training on (1)  an 
overview  of  the process, (2) safety  and  health 
hazards,  (3)  applicable maintenance  procedures, 
(4)  emergency response plans, and (5)  applicable 
safe  work practices to help ensure that they  can 
perform  their  jobs  in a  safe  manner.  Written 
procedures help ensure that work is performed in a 
consistent   manner  and  provide  a   basis   for 
training.  Inspections and tests are performed  to 
help  ensure that equipment functions as  intended 
and  to verify that equipment is within acceptable 
limits (e.g., adequate wall thickness for pressure 
vessels). If a deficiency is identified, employees 
will  correct  the deficiency before  placing  the 
equipment  back into service (if possible),  or  a 
management of change team will review the  use  of 
the  equipment  and  determine  what  actions  are 
necessary  to  ensure the safe  operation  of  the 
Another   integral   part   of   the   mechanical 
integrity   program  is  quality  assurance.   The 
Dollarhide   Gas   Plant   incorporates    quality 
assurance  measures into equipment  purchases  and 
repairs.  This helps ensure that new equipment  is 
suitable  for  its intended use  and  that  proper 
materials  and spare parts are used  when  repairs 
are made. 
Safe Work Practices 
The  Dollarhide Gas Plant has long-standing  safe 
work practices in place to help ensure worker  and 
process  safety.  Examples of  these  include  (1) 
control  of  the  entry/presence/exit  of  support 
personnel,  (2)  a  lockout/tagout  procedure   to 
ensure  isolation of energy sources for  equipment 
undergoing maintenance, (3) a procedure  for  safe 
removal  of  hazardous substances  before  process 
piping  or  equipment is opened, (4) a permit  and 
procedure  to  control spark-produci 
ng  activities 
(i.e.,  hot work), and (5) a permit and  procedure 
to  ensure that adequate precautions are in  place 
before   entry   into  a  confined  space.   These 
procedures  (and others), along with  training  of 
affected  personnel, form a system to help  ensure 
that  operations  and maintenance  activities  are 
performed safely. 
Management of Change 
The  Dollarhide  Gas  Plant has  a  comprehensive 
system  to manage changes to the covered  process. 
This system requires that changes to items such as 
process     equipment,    chemicals,    technology 
(including      process-operating     conditions), 
procedures, and other facility changes be properly 
reviewed  and authorized before being implemented. 
Changes  are reviewed to (1) ensure that  adequate 
controls  are in place to manage any  new  hazards 
and  (2)  verify that existing controls  have  not 
been  compromised by the change. Affected chemical 
hazard information, process operating limits,  and 
equipment information, as  
well as procedures,  are 
updated to incorporate these changes. In addition, 
operating  and maintenance personnel are  provided 
any necessary training on the change. 
Incident Investigation 
The  Dollarhide  Gas Plant promptly  investigates 
all  incidents  that resulted  in,  or  reasonably 
could  have  resulted in, a fire/explosion,  toxic 
gas  release, major property damage, environmental 
loss,  or  personal  injury.  The  goal  of   each 
investigation  is  to  determine  the  facts   and 
develop corrective actions to prevent a recurrence 
of   the  incident  or  a  similar  incident.  The 
investigation   team   documents   its   findings, 
develops  recommendations to prevent a recurrence, 
and forwards these results to gas plant management 
for   resolution.  Corrective  actions  taken   in 
response to the investigation team's findings  and 
recommendations  are  tracked   until   they   are 
complete. The final resolution of each finding  or 
recommendation    is    documented,    and    
investigation  results  are  reviewed   with   all 
employees  (including contractors)  who  could  be 
affected  by  the findings. Incident investigation 
reports are retained for at least 5 years so  that 
the reports can be reviewed during future PHAs and 
PHA revalidations. 
Compliance Audits 
To  help  ensure  that  the  accident  prevention 
program  is  functioning properly, the  Dollarhide 
Gas  Plant  periodically  conducts  an  audit   to 
determine  whether  the procedures  and  practices 
required  by  the accident prevention program  are 
being implemented. Compliance audits are conducted 
at  least  every  3  years. Personnel  from  other 
Unocal  facilities  who are knowledgeable  in  the 
audit  process participate as audit team  members. 
The   audit  team  develops  findings   that   are 
forwarded  to gas plant management for resolution. 
Corrective actions taken in response to the  audit 
team's   findings  are  tracked  until  they   are 
complete. The final resolution of eac 
h finding  is 
documented, and the two most recent audit  reports 
are retained. 
The  process  at  the Dollarhide  Gas  Plant  has 
hazards  that must be managed to ensure  continued 
safe operation. The following is a description  of 
existing  safety features applicable to prevention 
of  accidental releases of regulated substances in 
the facility. 
Universal Prevention Activities 
The   accident   prevention  program   summarized 
previously  is applied to the RMP-covered  process 
at  the Dollarhide Gas Plant. Collectively,  these 
prevention   program   activities   help   prevent 
potential accident scenarios that could be  caused 
by equipment failures and human errors. 
Specialized Safety Features 
The  Dollarhide Gas Plant has safety features  on 
many  units to help (1) contain/control a release, 
(2)  quickly detect a release, and (3) reduce  the 
consequences   of  (mitigate)   a   release.   The 
following types of safety features are used in the 

overed process: 
Release Detection 
z     Hydrocarbon  detectors with alarms  in  the 
 engine room. 
z    H2S Monitors 
z    Ultra Violet detection in engine room 
Release Containment/Control 
z     Process relief valves that discharge  to  a 
 flare to capture and incinerate episodic releases 
z     Valves  to permit isolation of the  process 
 (manual or automated) 
z     Automated  shutdown  systems  for  specific 
 process parameters (e.g., high temperature) 
z      Redundant  equipment  and  instrumentation 
 (e.g.,  uninterruptible power supply for process 
 control system, backup firewater pump) 
z    Atmospheric relief devices. 
Release Mitigation 
z    Fire suppression and extinguishing systems 
z    Deluge system for specific equipment 
z     Trained  personnel  in  emergency  response 
z    Personal protective equipment (e.g., chemical 
 protective  clothing,  self-contained  breathing 
The  Dollarhide Gas  
Plant has an excellent record 
(no  incidents that resulted in onsite or  offsite 
effects)  of accident prevention over the  past  5 
years.   If  an  incident  did  occur,  we   would 
investigate   the  incident  very   carefully   to 
determine  ways to prevent similar incidents  from 
The  Dollarhide  Gas  Plant maintains  a  written 
emergency response program, which is in  place  to 
protect  worker and public safety as well  as  the 
environment.  The program consists  of  procedures 
for   responding  to  a  release  of  a  regulated 
substance, including the possibility of a fire  or 
explosion if a flammable substance is accidentally 
released.  The procedures address all  aspects  of 
emergency response, including proper first aid and 
medical treatment for exposures, evacuation  plans 
and  accounting for personnel after an evacuation, 
notification of local emergency response  agencies 
and  the  public  if a release occurs,  and  post- 
incident cleanup and decontamination requirements. 
In addition, the plant has procedures that address 
maintenance, inspection, and testing of  emergency 
response  equipment, as well as instructions  that 
address  the use of emergency response  equipment. 
Employees receive training in these procedures  as 
necessary  to  perform  their  specific  emergency 
response duties. The emergency response program is 
updated when necessary based on modifications made 
to  the gas plant process or other Dollarhide  Gas 
Plant facilities. 
The  overall emergency response program  for  the 
Dollarhide  Gas  Plant  is  coordinated  with  the 
Andrews  County,  Texas, local emergency  planning 
committee   (LEPC).  This  coordination   includes 
periodic meetings of the committee, which includes 
local    emergency   response   officials,   local 
government      officials,      and       industry 
representatives.  The  Dollarhide  Gas  Plant  has 
around-the-clock  communications  capability  with 
LEPC officials and emergency  response 
organizations   (e.g.,  fire   department).   This 
provides  a  means of notifying the public  of  an 
incident,  if  necessary, as well as  facilitating 
quick  response  to an incident.  In  addition  to 
periodic  LEPC meetings, the Dollarhide Gas  Plant 
conducts  periodic emergency drills that the  LEPC 
and  emergency response organizations are  invited 
to  participate  in,  and the gas  plant  annually 
provides information to local emergency responders 
regarding  the hazards of regulated substances  in 
the gas plant. 
The  Dollarhide Gas Plant resolves  all  findings 
from  PHAs,  some of which result in modifications 
to the process. The following types of changes are 
planned  over  the next few years in  response  to 
PHA,  safety  audit,  and  incident  investigation 
z    Change out the fired heater for better burner 
 management and safety 
z     Replacing  the 1950 model compressors  with 
efficient units 
z    Disposal of asbestos
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