Hanson Cold Storage Co. - Decatur Division - Executive Summary

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The Hanson Cold Storage Co. - Decatur Division facility located in Decatur, Michigan is a cold storage warehouse that has a refrigeration system containing ammonia which is considered toxic by EPA. The primary purpose of this warehouse is to store products for various companies at subzero temperatures to preserve and / or extend the life of the product. 
Ammonia is used at the warehouse to refrigerate rooms to maintain a correct temperature as required by the customer.  Ammonia is a valuable chemical used in the warehouse refrigeration system, providing the means to maintain specified temperature and / or remove heat from the products being handled.  Ammonia is contained in equipment in the warehouse and is compressed, condensed and evaporated to remove heat from rooms within the warehouse. 
Since ammonia is classified by EPA as a toxic chemical, it is necessary to observe certain safety precautions in handling the chemical to prevent unnecessary human exposure, to reduce the health th 
reat to our own workers, and reduce the threat to nearby members of the community.  It is our policy to adhere to all Federal and State rules and regulations.  Safety depends upon the manner in which we handle ammonia combined with the safety devices inherent in the design of this warehouse.   
The warehouse was constructed using codes and standards existing at the time and is in compliance with state codes. This cold storage warehouse complies with EPAs Accidental Release Prevention Rule and with all applicable state codes and regulations.  
The warehouse ammonia refrigeration operators are trained using various methods such as on the job training and attending operation and maintenance training sessions provided by the equipment manufacturers.  The same operator has been maintaining the ammonia refrigeration equipment at the facility since 1980.  This program consists of having an effective preventative maintenance program and employee training to insure adequate response to equipme 
nt integrity.     
The emergency response program is based upon federal guidelines as they apply to this warehouse.  The emergency response plan includes in-house response capabilities in the event of a release, procedures for notification of the local fire authority, local emergency response agencies, and notification of any potentially affected neighbors. The warehouse emergency response plan is based on all known applicable regulations and requirements and responders are trained as required.  The emergency response plan has been discussed with agencies involved with a response.  
There have been no reportable accidents in the past 5 years related to the ammonia system.  Furthermore, there have been no reportable releases at this facility in the past 5 years. 
The worst case release scenario for ammonia as defined by EPA, is from the outside high pressure receiver and could extend beyond the Hanson Cold Storage Co. Decatur Division property.  An alternative, more likely, release scen 
ario could extend just beyond the property boundary all directions.   
In all cases of a potential release, the extent of downwind areas affected is dependent on the amount of chemical released, weather conditions, wind speed and direction, etc..
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