Belridge Gas Plant - Executive Summary
The Belridge Gas Plant is a Natural Gas and Natural Gas Liquids (LPG) processing and storage facility. The process is regulated by Cal OSHA Process Safety Management of Acutely Hazardous Materials, Title 8 California Code of Regulations 5189 and Title 19 California Code of Regulations 2735 California Accidental Release Prevention Program. This is a RMP/CalARP Program Level 3 facility. |
The Seneca Resources Corporation has a commitment to employee and public safety. This commitment is demonstrated by the resources invested in accident prevention, such as personnel training and considering safety in design, installation, operation, and maintenance of our processes. Reasonable controls have been and continue to be implemented as necessary in an effort to prevent foreseeable releases. However, if a release does occur, trained personnel will respond to control and contain the release.
The prevention program exceeds the requirements of these regulations and includes the following: Empl
oyee Participation, Process Safety Information, Process Hazard Analysis, Operating Procedures, Training, Contractor Evaluation, Contractors and Visitor Orientation, Pre-Start Up Safety Review, Mechanical Integrity, Safe Work Practices (Hot Work Permit, Confined Space Entry, Control of Hazardous Energy), Management of Change, Incident Investigation, Emergency Planning and Response, and Compliance Audits.
Training includes employee responsibilities in the process safety management program, hot work permit procedure, safe work practices, and operating procedures. All visitors onto the property must undergo a site safety orientation and check in prior to each visit. Planned changes to improve safety are established based on annual health, environmental and safety audits, process safety management audits every three years and revalidation of the process hazard analysis every five years. The last process hazard analysis was August 1996.
The facility processes natural gas and extracts, st
ores and transfers propane, butane and natural gasoline to LPG transport vehicles. There are 8 tanks with a total capacity of 442,173 gallons, the largest of which is the natural gasoline tank with a capacity of 92,340 gallons. The storage level in each propane tank is administratively controlled not to exceed 88% of the tank's maximum capacity, while the other tanks are administratively controlled not to exceed 90% of each tank's maximum capacity.
Seneca Resources Corporation maintains an emergency response plan in compliance with local emergency response agencies. The Belridge Gas Plant has a Hazardous Materials Business Plan on file with the Kern County Environmental Health Department - Certified Unified Program Agency. The facility maintains an air pollution control district permit to operate with the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District, Permit S-1242.
In the event of an accidental release, the facility operators are trained to sound the alarm, shut off
the source from a safe location or activate one of the emergency shutdown devices, contact 9-1-1 and secure the area. The 9-1-1 system is used to notify the Kern County Fire Department.
Based on the criteria set forth 40 CFR 68.10 and 19 CCR 2735.4, this facility has not had an accidental release. This information was verified by the reviewing of records from the Kern County Environmental Health Department - Certified Unified Program Agency.
The worst case release scenario is based on the Environmental Protection Agency Offsite Consequence Analysis Guidance equations and model. The worst case scenario and alternate release scenario are based on propane as the modeled substance. The Belridge Gas Plant processes, stores and transfers natural gas liquids, which include primarily propane, iso-butane, normal-butane and natural gasoline. The worst case release scenario is a release of 385,828 lbs. of liquefied propane, which would yield a 1 psi overpressure distance of 0.60 miles. Th
is distance impacts public receptors of adjacent oilfield exploration and production facilities and offices. There is no resident population within the affected area. Although there are numerous controls in place, no credit was taken into account for evaluating the worst case scenario. The alternative release scenario for this process is a break in the product transfer hose connection during truck loading. For example, this scenario could result in a release of 29 lbs. of liquid propane over a 10 minute period. The maximum distance to a one psi overpressure for this scenario is 0.03 miles. The process does have mitigation measures consisting of relief valves, check valves, manual shutoff valves, automatic shutoffs, startup and operating procedures, grounding equipment, and excess flow devices. In addition, the facility operator and truck driver are in attendance during LPG transfer operations.
A preliminary seismic walkthrough was conducted to fulfill the requirements of the Ca
lifornia Accidental Release Prevention Program, 19 CCR 2745.7(q)(2). The seismic walkthrough consisted of a visual inspection of the process area piping and vessels above grade. Structural integrity below grade was not inspected. Walkthrough considerations included the mechanical integrity of pipe, pipe supports, vessels and vessel supports, welds, flanges, valves, pressure safety valves, signs of surface corrosion, pipe stress points, foundations, drainage direction fire control and interaction with other elements.
The references used for this walkthrough were the following:
API Standard 570 Pressure Vessel Inspection Code: Maintenance Inspection, Rating, Repair, and Alteration,
Region 1 Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) Guidance for California Accidental Release Prevention (CalARP) Program Seismic Assessments, 1/12/99.
Uniform Building Code, 1997 Edition, International Conference of Building Officials.
Based on the document Maps of Known Active Fault Near-Source Zon
es in California and Adjacent Portions of Nevada: Uniform Building Code 1997, this facility resides outside the boundaries of a Near Source Fault Zone.
The engineering and administrative controls in place have been established to reduce the risk of an accidental release of flammable liquids. Seneca Resources Corporation is committed to operations, which are safe for employees and the surrounding community.