Big Bear Stores Perishables Distribution Center - Executive Summary

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Big Bear Foods (Big Bear) operates an ammonia refrigeration process at its Perishable Distribution Center in Columbus, OH.  This process is subject to USEPA's Accidental Release Prevention rules, due to the presence of ammonia in excess of the rule threshold quantity of 10,000 pounds. 
These rules require Big Bear to initially conduct a hazard assessment of the refrigeration system, including compilation of a five-year history of relevant accidental releases, offsite consequence analysis to determine the area impacted by hypothetical releases, and evaluation of population size and sensitive receptors in the projected impact areas. On this basis, the rules further require Big Bear to develop programs to prevent accidental releases and to respond to release emergencies, to implement a management system over these programs, and to submit a Risk Management Plan (RMP) to USEPA by June 21, 1999, summarizing all programs in electronic format for public access via the Internet. 
The status of our Risk Management Program is summarized below. 
7 Review of accident history reveals that no incidents involving ammonia releases causing adverse impacts offsite have occurred within the last five years. 
7 Offsite consequence analysis (OCA) predicts that a hypothetical worst-case release of 15,000 pounds of ammonia would adversely affect an estimated population of 46,000, residing in an extending 1.46 miles from the plant. Public receptors affected include residences, schools, commercial/industrial facilities, a hospital, and a public recreation area. No environmental receptors would be affected. For a continuous  
leak at a rate of 285 pounds per minute in an ammonia line off the high pressure receiver, OCA predicts that the closest three residence approximately 720 feet away would be just within the impact area, affecting 10 individuals. This alternative release would affect no public receptors other than the residence and neighboring commercial/industrial facilities, and no environmental receptors. 
7 Because the worst-case OCA predicts offsite consequences and the refrigeration process is subject to the OSHA Process Safety Management (PSM) Standard, the process is subject to full RMP requirements under Program 3 of the rule. To meet these requirements, Big Bear has implemented refrigeration system design, installation, maintenance, and operator training guidance provided by the International Institute for Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR), coordinated emergency response with the Local Emergency Planning Committee and fire department, and has developed a management system to ensure ongoing RMP comp 
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