Phillips Research Center - Executive Summary
Executive Summary |
The Phillips Research Center (PRC) is an OSHA STAR facility that is committed to the overall safety and well being of Phillips' employees, contract employees and the community of Bartlesville, OK. This commitment is demonstrated through the development and utilization of the various risk management systems currently in place at the PRC. These systems primarily focus on the prevention of any incident which may have adverse consequences to the PRC work force, surrounding community, or the environment. Risk management systems that emphasize prevention of chemical spill or release incidents include:
1. Hazard Assessments
2. Process Hazard Analyses
3. Process Safety Procedures
5. Maintenance and Mechanical Integrity
6. Pre-Start Up Safety Reviews, and
7. Safety Audits
Additionally, the PRC has developed a comprehensive Phillips Emergency Plan (PEP). The PEP is a written plan that describes the emergency response system currently utili
zed at the PRC. The system identifies specific roles and responsibilities of all personnel involved in the emergency response process. These roles are identified for all organizational levels of the PRC, including management and emergency response teams. The PEP provides an outline of the organization and procedures to be utilized in response to any major emergency. Such procedures are directly identified with and applicable to chemical release scenarios. Periodic drills are conducted to evaluate and refine the PEP systems and processes. These drills are often coordinated with local emergency response entities such as the Washington County LEPC, Jane Phillips Medical Center, and Bartlesville Fire Department.
Four chemicals are currently stored and utilized in different processes at the PRC which exceed threshold quantities stipulated in EPA's Risk Management Program Rule. These chemicals and the maximum amount stored of each are listed below:
1. Propane - 63,360 lbs.
Propylene - 65,145 lbs.
3. Isobutane - 66,528 lbs.
4. Ethylene - 27,200 lbs.
Propane is utilized for research and production K-Resin polymers (plastics). Propylene is utilized for research and production of polypropylene polymers. Isobutane is utilized for research and production of polyethylene polymers. The chemicals are presently being stored in the north tank storage area of the PRC.
The applicable worst case scenario for the PRC would be if the entire contents of the isobutane storage tank (filled to maximum allowable storage quantity) were to be instantaneously released and explode. This scenario assumes complete compromise of containment by the tank and instantaneous release of the entire contents of isobutane. Basically, it assumes the walls of the tank disappear and the contents of the tank explode. This scenario does not consider any of the preventive controls that are in place. The 1 psi overpressure of the explosion would extend 1,660 feet in all directions. T
he RMP regulation uses 1 psi overpressure as the maximum allowable public exposure from a worst case scenario. The closest public receptors to the north storage tank area are the Applied Automation Administration Building, Rodeo Grounds, and Phillips Gymnastics Center located to the north, northwest, and east of the PRC, respectively. None of these receptors are within the effected area of the worst case scenario. The worst case scenarios for the ethylene, propylene and propane processes are identical to the isobutane scenario described above. However, the effected area for the isobutane process is larger than the worst case effected areas for the other three processes. The propylene and propane processes each yield a 1 psi overpressure range of 1652 feet and do not reach any public receptors. The 1 psi overpressure range for the ethylene process is 1,250 feet and does not reach any public receptors.
The worst case scenarios described above do not consider many of the mit
igating control measures presently in place for the applicable process storage areas. Below is a list of mitigating control measures utilized at the PRC for the applicable processes:
- All pressure relief valves are inspected bi-annually.
- Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) do not allow the isobutane tank to be filled above 80% of capacity (16,000 gallons) to minimize risk.
- SOPs do not allow either the propylene or propane tank to be filled above 50% of capacity (30,000 gallons) to minimize risk.
- The north tank storage area is surrounded by hydrocarbon detectors that automatically detect the release of hydrocarbons and activate a remote and local alarm system.
- The north tank storage area is equipped with a fixed water system that, in the event of a hydrocarbon release, operates automatically to disperse vapors.
- The mechanical integrity of the propylene, isobutane, and propane storage tanks are thoroughly inspected externally and internally every 5 and 10 ye
The PRC has not had any accidental releases from covered processes that resulted in deaths, injuries, or significant property damage on site, or known offsite deaths, injuries, evacuations, sheltering in place, property damage, or environmental damage in the last five years.
Phillips participates in Responsible Care, a Chemical Manufacturers Association initiative to preserve the environment, operate safely, and protect the health and welfare of our employees and neighbors.