Exxon Company USA - Las Flores Canyon Plant - Executive Summary
Risk Management Plan |
Accidental Release Prevention and Response Policies
Exxon modified its safety programs in 1992 by implementing structured safety management systems entitled Operations Integrity Management System (OIMS). In 1997, Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance reviewed OIMS and evaluated it against the international standard for Environmental Management Systems (ISO 14001) to determine if OIMS meets the requirements of ISO 14001. After an extensive review which included a number of facility audits, they concluded that the "environmental components of OIMS are consistent with the intent and meet the requirements of the ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems Standard." They went on to say, "We further believe Exxon to be among the industry leaders in the extent to which environmental management considerations have been integrated into its ongoing business processes."
The Santa Ynez Unit - Las Flores Canyon Treating Plant has a long-standing commitment
to worker and public safety. This commitment is demonstrated by the resources invested in accident prevention (e.g., training of personnel, considering safety in the design, installation, operation, and maintenance of the facility, etc.). Our approach is to implement reasonable controls to prevent foreseeable releases of regulated substances as well as other substances. If a release does occur, our trained personnel will take steps to control and contain it, until local emergency organization arrives. Additional details are included in the other sections of this RMPlan.
Description of the Stationary Source and Regulated Substances
This facility is located 17 miles west of Santa Barbara, California, consists of one Program Level 3 process, which utilizes several operations (e.g., separation, dehydration, compression) to produce petroleum products (e.g., natural gas liquid mixture, methane) from a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture. This facility could contain up to 2,
200,000 pounds of a regulated flammable mixture containing methane, ethane, propane, butane, iso-butane, pentane, and iso-pentane, and 50,000 pounds of a regulated toxic (e.g. anhydrous ammonia). Transportation of regulated flammables into and out of the facility is handled via pipelines with the exception of propane which is transported by truck out of the facility. Transport of ammonia into the facility is by truck. This facility is located in a vegetated canyon with undeveloped, rural land extending beyond the canyon to the north, east and west. A highway borders the canyon approximately 1.5 miles to the south.
Offsite Consequence Analysis Results
Worst Case Scenario (WCS)
The flammable WCS, as defined in the regulation, is a release of flammable material (i.e., mixture of natural gas liquids) resulting in a vapor cloud explosion (VCE) involving the maximum inventory of the largest vessel. Even though the normal operating inventory for this equipment is significantly less than
the maximum capacity and this equipment is protected by high level alarms/shutdowns, pressure relief valves, periodic inspections, and routine monitoring by operating personnel, this maximum inventory must be assumed to be released in 10 minutes and ignited at the point of release. No mitigation measures were taken into account in evaluating this WCS. The WCS could have some off-site impacts, but the impact area does not include any public or environmental receptors.
The toxic WCS, as defined in the regulation, is a release of toxic material (i.e., anhydrous ammonia) resulting in a gaseous release involving the maximum inventory of the largest vessel. Even though the normal operating inventory for this equipment is significantly less than the maximum capacity and this equipment is protected by pressure relief valves, periodic inspections, and routine monitoring by operating personnel, this maximum inventory must be assumed to be released in 10 minutes. No mitigation measures were
taken into account in evaluating this WCS. The WCS does have off-site impacts, but the impact area includes minimal public and environmental receptors.
Alternate Release Scenario (ARS)
The flammable ARS is a release of flammable materials (i.e., mixture of natural gas liquids) from a piping leak resulting in a vapor cloud explosion (VCE). Even though this event is unlikely (i.e., process is protected by alarms/shutdowns, periodic inspections, and routine monitoring by operating personnel), the flammable material was assumed to be released through a hole and ignited at the point of release. No passive mitigation measures were taken into account in evaluating this ARS. The ARS could have some off-site impacts, but the impact area does not include any public or environmental receptors.
The toxic ARS, as defined in the regulation, is a release of toxic material (i.e., anhydrous ammonia) from the storage tank resulting in a gaseous release. Even though this event is unlikely (i.e.
, process is protected by periodic inspections, and routine monitoring by operating personnel), the toxic material was assumed to be released through a hole. No passive mitigation measures were taken into account in evaluating this ARS. The ARS could have some off-site impacts, but the impact area does not include any public or environmental receptors.
General Accidental Release Prevention Program
The following is a summary of the accident prevention program in place at this facility. Processes at this facility regulated by EPA's Risk Management Program (RMP) are also subject to (and in compliance with) 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.
This facility provides for and encourages employees to participate in all aspects of process safety management and accident prevention. Examples of employee participat
ion range from updating/compiling technical information and drawings to participating on process hazard analysis (PHA) or incident investigation teams. Employees have access to all information related to the accident prevention program. Specific ways that employees can be involved in the accident prevention program are detailed in an Employee Participation Plan that is maintained at this facility and addresses each program element. In addition, this facility has other initiatives that address process and employee safety issues (e.g., hazard reporting/resolution process and numerous safety meetings [daily, monthly, pre-job], etc.).
Process Safety Information (PSI)
This facility keeps a variety of technical documents that are used to help maintain safe operation of the facility. These documents address chemical properties and associated hazards, safe operating limits for key process parameters, specific chemical inventories, and equipment design basis/configuration information. The
OIMS Coordinator at this facility is responsible for coordinating the PSI updates.
Chemical-specific information (including exposure hazards, emergency response, and exposure treatment considerations) is provided in material safety data sheets. For specific process areas, this facility has documented safety-related operating limits for process parameters (e.g., temperature, pressure, level) in the operating procedures. This facility ensures processes are maintained within these limits using process controls/monitoring equipment, highly trained personnel, and protective instrument systems (e.g., automated shutdown systems, pressure relief valves).
This facility also maintains numerous technical documents that provide information about the design and construction of the process equipment. This information includes the materials of construction, design pressure, temperature ratings, and electrical rating of equipment. This information, in combination with written procedures and trai
ned personnel, provide a basis for inspection/maintenance activities and the evaluation of proposed process or facility changes.
Process Hazard Analysis (PHA)
This facility has a comprehensive program to help ensure hazards associated with the various processes are identified and controlled. Within this program, each process is systematically examined to identify hazards and ensure adequate controls are in place to manage these hazards.
This facility primarily uses the Hazard and Operability (HAZOP) study analysis technique to perform these evaluations. This technique is recognized by OSHA as an acceptable hazard evaluation technique for PSM-covered processes. The analyses are conducted using a team of facility operating/maintenance personnel and facility engineers, and technical consultants (as necessary). This team identifies and evaluates hazards of the processes as well as the accident prevention and mitigation measures.
The PHA team findings are forwarded to management to
coordinate further evaluation and resolution. This process involves field level business teams, which include engineering, operations personnel, and management. Operating personnel are also involved in the evaluation of resolution options. Implementation of the resolutions is based on relative risk. Potential accident scenarios assigned the highest risk are addressed first. All resolution plans are tracked until completed. The final resolution of each finding is documented and retained.
To help ensure the process controls and/or hazards do not eventually deviate significantly from the original design, this facility updates and revalidates the process hazard analysis at least every 5 years. The results of these updates are also documented and retained. Similarly, the team's findings are forwarded to management to coordinate further evaluation and resolution, and the final resolution of findings are documented and retained.
This facility maintains written pr
ocedures that address the various modes of process operations (e.g., startup, normal, temporary, emergency shutdown, normal shutdown, cold startup) and provide guidance on how to respond to upper/lower limit exceedances for specific equipment or process parameters. Procedures are readily available to operators and other personnel to use as necessary to safely perform their job tasks. These procedures provide a consistent basis for training new operators and are annually reviewed and certified as current/accurate. Procedures are maintained current/accurate by revising them as necessary to reflect changes made through the management of change process.
To complement the written operating procedures, this facility has implemented a comprehensive training program for all employees involved in operating process equipment. New employees receive basic training in facility operations (e.g., process overview, applicable procedure reviews, etc.). New operators are then paired with
experienced operators (i.e., subject matter experts) to learn process-specific duties and tasks. After the new operators demonstrate (e.g., written tests, hands-on skills demonstration) that they have adequate knowledge to perform the duties and tasks in a safe manner on their own, they are certified and allowed to work independently. In addition, all personnel who operate process equipment receive refresher training at least every 3 years on the applicable procedures to help ensure their skills and knowledge are maintained at an acceptable level. This training and the means used to verify that the employee understood the training is documented for each employee.
This facility uses contractors to supplement its workforce during periods of increased maintenance or construction activity. Because some contractors work on or near process equipment, this facility has procedures in place to help ensure contractors: (1) perform their work in a safe manner, (2) have the approp
riate knowledge and skills, (3) are aware of the hazards in the workplace, (4) understand what they should do in the event of an emergency, (5) understand and follow safety rules, and (6) inform facility personnel of any hazards they find during their work. This is accomplished by providing contractors an orientation prior to their working in this facility which includes: (1) process overview, (2) information about safety and health hazards, (3) applicable emergency action plan provisions, and (4) information on safe work practices. Also, a job safety analysis is reviewed/updated or developed by the contractors (with facility personnel assistance as needed) prior to each maintenance/construction task.
Facility personnel routinely monitor contractor job performance to help ensure they are fulfilling their safety obligations. Contractor safety programs/performance are evaluated during the initial selection process, and this facility supervisor conducts periodic evaluations of safety p
Pre-Startup Safety Reviews (PSSR)
This facility conducts a PSSR for any facility modification that requires a change in the process safety information. The purpose of the PSSR is to ensure safety features, procedures, personnel, and equipment are appropriately prepared for startup prior to placing the equipment into service. This review provides one additional check to make sure that construction is in accordance with the design specifications and all supporting systems are operationally ready. A PSSR involves field verification of the construction and serves a quality function by verifying that the requirements of this accident prevention program are properly implemented.
Mechanical Integrity (MI)
This facility has well-established practices and procedures to maintain pressure vessels, piping systems, relief/vent systems, controls, pumps, compressors, and emergency shutdown systems in a safe operating condition. The basic aspects of this MI program include: (1) train
ing, (2) written procedures, (3) inspections/tests, (4) correction of identified deficiencies, and (5) quality assurance measures. In combination, these activities form a system that maintains the mechanical integrity of the process. Maintenance personnel receive training on: (1) the process, (2) safety and health hazards, (3) applicable maintenance procedures, (4) emergency procedures, and (5) applicable safe work practices to help ensure they perform their jobs in a safe manner. Written procedures and equipment manuals help ensure work is performed in a consistent manner and provide a basis for training.
Inspections/tests and preventive maintenance are performed on a scheduled basis to help ensure equipment and safety devices function as intended and to verify that equipment is within acceptable limits (e.g., adequate wall thickness, etc.). If a deficiency is identified, employees correct the deficiency before placing the equipment back into service or a group of experts (e.g.
, engineers, etc.) review the use of the equipment and determine what actions are necessary to ensure safe operation of the equipment until the deficiency can be corrected.
Another integral part of the MI program is quality assurance. This facility incorporates quality assurance measures into equipment purchases and repairs to help ensure new equipment is suitable for its intended use and proper materials/spare parts are used for repairs.
Hot Work and Other Safe Work Practices
This facility has long-standing safe work practices in place to help ensure worker and process safety. These include orientations for visitors/contractors, control of the entry/presence/exit of support personnel, energy isolation for equipment being worked on, procedures for the safe removal of hazardous materials before opening of process piping/equipment, hot work permit/procedure to safely manage spark-producing activities, vehicle entry into process area, confined space entry permit/procedure to help ensu
re precautions are taken before entering confined spaces, job safety analyses to identify and mitigate hazards associated with maintenance tasks). These practices, along with related procedures and training of affected personnel, form a system to help ensure operations and maintenance activities are performed safely.
Management of Change (MOC)
This facility has a comprehensive system to manage changes. This system requires that changes to 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 ensure adequate controls are in place to manage any new hazards and to verify that existing controls have not been compromised by the change. Affected chemical hazard information, process operating limits, equipment information, drawings, and procedures are updated for these changes. In addition, operating and maintenance personnel are provi
ded any necessary training related to the change.
This facility promptly investigates all incidents that resulted in (or could have reasonably resulted in) a fire, explosion, release, major equipment/property damage, environmental loss, or personal injury. The goal of each investigation is to determine the facts and develop corrective actions to prevent recurrence of the incident or a similar incident. The investigation team documents its findings, develops recommendations, and forwards these results to management for resolution. Corrective actions taken in response to the investigation team's findings are tracked until completed. The final resolution of each finding is documented, and investigation results are reviewed with all employees (including contractors) who could be affected. Incident investigation reports are retained for at least 5 years so that reports can be reviewed during the next PHA revalidation.
To help ensure the accide
nt prevention program is functioning properly, an audit is conducted at this facility at least once every 3 years to determine whether the program's procedures and practices are being implemented. An audit team consisting of both facility and technical personnel evaluate the implementation/effectiveness of the processes in this accident prevention program and develop findings that are documented and forwarded to management to coordinate resolution. Corrective actions are taken in response to the audit team's findings, and resolution status is tracked until actions are completed. The final resolution of each finding is documented and the two most recent audit reports are retained.
Chemical-Specific Prevention Steps
The processes at this facility have hazards that are managed to help ensure continued safe operation. The following is a description of existing safety features applicable to the prevention of accidental releases of the specific regulated substances (i.e., flammables) in
Universal Prevention Activities
The accident prevention program summarized previously is applied to the RMP-covered process at this facility. These prevention program activities help prevent potential accident scenarios that could be caused by equipment failures and human errors.
This facility has safety features on many units to: (1) quickly detect a release, (2) contain/control a release, and (3) reduce/mitigate the consequences of a release. The following types of safety features are used at this facility:
Release Detection ....
* hydrocarbon gas detectors/alarms near gas turbines
* hydrocarbon gas detectors/alarms near product shipping pumps
7 perimeter monitors
Release Containment/Control ....
* pressure/thermal relief valves and rupture disks that discharge into a flare system for incineration
* manual/automatic isolation valves
* automated shutdown systems for specific process parameter (e.g., pressure, high level, etc.)
equipment and instrumentation (e.g., dual relief valves, backup firewater pump, etc.)
Release Mitigation ....
* fire extinguishing systems (e.g., fire monitors/hoses, portable fire extinguishers, lite water)
* personal protective equipment (e.g., self-contained breathing apparatus)
7 bermed areas surrounding vessels
Five Year Accident History
This facility has had an excellent record for accident prevention over the past 5 years. In fact, there have not been any incidents, as defined in the regulation.
Emergency Response Program Information
This facility maintains a written emergency action program to protect the workers, public, and environment. The program consists of procedures for handling releases of regulated flammable and toxic substances including the possibility of fires or explosions. The procedures address: (1) facility/equipment isolation and shutdown, (2) initial first aid and medical treatment for exposures (i.e. Material Safety Data Sheet Information), (3) evac
uation plans for this facility, (4) accounting for facility personnel after an evacuation, (5) notification of local emergency response agencies, and (6) post-incident cleanup/ decontamination requirements. In addition, this facility has procedures that address the maintenance, inspection, and testing of emergency equipment and alarms. Facility personnel receive training on these procedures, as necessary, to perform their specific duties.
The emergency action program is reviewed annually and updated when necessary. Plan changes required because of modifications to this facility or emergency equipment are administered through the management of change process which includes informing and/or training affected personnel.
The overall emergency program for this facility is coordinated with the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. This facility has around-the-clock communications capability with the emergency response organizations (e.g., Santa Barbara County Fire Department, Santa Bar
bara County Sheriff's Department, California Highway Patrol and local ambulance services, etc.). These organizations are responsible (if necessary) for notifying the public, coordinating the community response (e.g., blocking off roads, evacuation, etc.), and providing the onsite response (e.g., fire fighting, medical treatment, etc.). This facility conducts periodic emergency action drills and provides periodic refreshers to the local emergency response organizations on the hazards associated with the facility operations.
Recent Changes to Improve Safety
Our Operations Integrity Management Systems form the cornerstone for continuous improvement in our safety-related systems. These systems are evergreen and are in a continuous state of improvement, usually through many small improvement steps. These improvement steps are tightly integrated with our training programs.
This facility resolves all findings from PHAs, incident investigations, and safety audits. An example of change
that is currently being implemented to improve the safety of this operation is the upgrade of our equipment failure analysis process.
Facility Name: Exxon Company, U.S.A - Santa Ynez Unit, Las Flores Canyon Treating Plant
The undersigned certifies that, to the best of his/her knowledge, information, and belief, formed after reasonable inquiry, the information submitted is true, accurate, and complete.
R. D. Schilhab
(Signature) (Print Name)