EniChem Elastomers Americas, Inc. - Executive Summary

| Accident History | Chemicals | Emergency Response | Registration | Source | Executive Summary |

EniChem Elastomers Americas Inc. owns and operates a facility at 4803 Decker Drive, Baytown, Texas which began operations in 1992 to manufacture synthetic rubber from a polymerization process utilizing styrene monomer and either 1,3-butadiene or isoprene in a cyclohexane solvent solution.  The RMP regulated chemicals which EniChem has at this facility are 1,3-butadiene and isoprene, both flammable materials.  The process is a continuous batch reaction in which either a styrene and isoprene or a styrene and butadiene co-block polymer is produced.   After the rubber is formed, the solvent is steam stripped and the polymerized material is carried to the finishing and packaging section in a water slurry.   After the rubber undergoes a drying and cooling process, it is packaged in boxes and/or bags.  On-site storage space only allows for approximately 4 days of production after which time the material is transported to an off-site warehouse. 
EniChem's worst case release scenario was develo 
ped using a consultant to calculate the effects of a vapor cloud explosion from the catastrophic rupture of a vessel containing 64,000 lbs of 1,3-butadiene.   The results of the explosion could affect an area within a .3 mile endpoint from the incident.   The alternative release scenario involves a vapor cloud fire from the release of isoprene.  The scenario was modeled on the release of 663 lbs of isoprene from the rupture of a loading hose.  Although this scenario is very unlikely, it was considered as the most reasonable situation that could occur.  The effects of this incident could impact an area up to .1 mile.   Both scenarios were modeled with a software program called PHAST (Process Hazards Analysis Software Tools).   Also, neither scenarios impacted residential sections of the Baytown community.   The worst case scenario's impact did go off-site and could affect other industrial properties bordering EniChem's facility. 
EniChem has not had an accidental release since the Plant 
began operations in 1992. 
Along with the RMP regulations, EniChem is also regulated by OSHA's Process Safety Management regulations.   This regulation set in place many of the requirements that the RMP rule has.   EniChem's risk management program involves the use of state of the art process control systems and equipment.  Additional program elements include operating and emergency response procedures and personnel training in the areas.   Personnel are given training and procedures to operate and maintain the systems and equipment in the safest working condition.   Personnel are also trained on emergency response procedures for handling situations that could present a hazard to equipment or personnel within the facility or outside the boundaries of company property.   Procedures are reviewed on an annual basis and personnel receive both on-site and off-site training to prepare for incidents that could present a hazard.   EniChem has informed the Baytown community of the potential ha 
zards that exists at this facility and risk management procedures involve the notification of Baytown emergency management officials in the event a situation could impact the community.   EniChem's Emergency Response Teams participate in  annual exercises to test procedures and equipment to ensure their readiness and capability to mitigate incidents.
Click to return to beginning