Buffalo Air Handling - Executive Summary
SITE DESCRITION. Buffalo Air Handling is located on a relatively flat property about = mile north of the intersection of State Routes 29 and 60 , in Amherst, Virginia. State Route 29 bounds the site on the west, and the tracks of the Southern Railroad and Rutledge Creek bound the property on the east. The site is part of an Industrial Park, most of which is located to the north and northeast. |
Buffalo Air Handling is owned by Ampco-Pittsburgh Corporation, and manufactures large standard and custom air handling systems at its plant in Amherst, Virginia. The plant was built in 1977.
The plant is heated by propane fuel. The propane is stored in 2 - 30,000 gallon tanks located in a field about 200 feet to the south of the building.
PROPANE TANK STANDARDS. Southern Air, Inc installed the propane tank system in 1977. The system was based on the engineering design requirements as developed by Wiley & Wilson, Inc, Engineers and Architects, Lynchburg, Virginia. The 2 tanks installed
were manufactured in 1976 by Trinity Industries, Inc of Dallas Texas. They were designed per the ASME Pressure Vessel Code Section VIII, Div. 1 in effect at that time. Operation of the propane tank system is in general accordance with NFPA Publication 58, Standard for Storage and Handling of Liquefied Petroleum Gases. An Operation and Maintenance Manual for the Propane Tank System is kept in the office of the Manger of Human Resources.
WORST CASE SCENARIO. Our worst case release scenario per the RMP is the failure of one 30,000 gallon storage tank when filled to 78%, resulting in a vapor cloud explosion. The 1 psi end point is an 0.4 mile radius circles around the tanks. The area is relatively unoccupied to the north, east and south. West of the plant and US Route 29 is the town of Amherst. Within the 0.4 mile circle are about 100 residences and the Amherst Elementary School.
ALTERNATE RELEASE SCENARIO. The alternate release scenario involves a truck backing over and ruptur
ing the liquid fill pipe, leading to a release of twice the volume of the liquid fill line or about 260 #'s of propane and an explosion. The 1 psi endpoint is an 0.05 mile (88 yds) radius circle around the tanks. This endpoint area does extend onto US-60 and to the plant building, but otherwise the area is unpopulated.
PREVENTION PROGRAM. Design of the Propane Tank System included placing manual shut-off valves and automatic excess flow valves in both liquid and vapor line at the fill station, at the tanks; and in the gas distribution line from the tank. The vapor extraction line is also outfitted with an emergency shut-off valve. A 6 ft. chain link fence with locking gates surround the tanks and the fill station is guarded in front by two secure bumper posts. In addition operation, maintenance, and inspection procedures have been established as required by the RMP in general accordance with NFPA-58.
EMERGENCY RESPONSE. In the event of a fire emergency, the Amherst Fire Dep
artment would be requested to respond to the emergency.
FIVE YEAR ACCIDENT HISTORY. There has not been an accident involving propane that caused deaths, injuries, property or environmental damage or evacuation.
PLANNED CHANGES TO IMPROVE SAFETY. Improved equipment labeling, warning signs and painting the tanks are planned.