Mobil Chemical Company Houston Olefins - Executive Summary
Mobil Chemical Company |
Houston Olefins Plant
1. Accidental Release Prevention and Response Policies
The Mobil Chemical Company, Houston Olefins Plant (HOP) manufactures ethylene, propylene, and two byproducts, a pyrolysis gas and an unrefined butadiene stream. These chemicals are used as feedstock for plastics, synthetic fabrics and fuels. The HOP plant utilizes certain safety precautions to prevent unnecessary on-site human exposure and to minimize the potential for any offsite exposure. These safety precautions include:
7 Effectively managing our process operations;
7 Investing in the latest process safety technologies;
7 Training and retraining our personnel;
7 Reviewing our processes for hazards on a continuous basis;
7 Ensuring safety is considered in process design, installation, operations and maintenance; and
7 Training and maintaining a highly efficient Emergency Response Organization.
It is the policy of this plant to be a good business partner, a
safe and conscientious neighbor; and to operate in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
The Mobil Chemical Company, Houston Olefins Plant has a standing commitment to worker and public safety. This is evidenced by:
7 Our history of support and commitment to the community;
7 Our high environmental standards; and
7 Our participation in the OSHA Voluntary Protection STAR Program since 1993.
7 Our outstanding safety record
This focus on safety was recently recognized by the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA). Each year the (NPRA) presents its most prestigious safety award to a select group of member facilities that have attained a superior level of safety performance in the petroleum refining and petrochemical manufacturing industries. The Houston Olefins Plant is one of three chemical plants and refineries that received the award for 1998. We are proud of our Safety and Environmental Programs and continually strive to be the best in our industry.
Description of the Stationary Source and Regulated Substances
The manufacturing process at the HOP plant contains RMP regulated flammable chemicals: methane, ethane, ethylene, propane, propylene. There are also flammable chemicals below the 10,000 pound threshold such as hydrogen, isobutane, butane, butene, and 1,3-butadiene.
3. Hazard Assessment
The RMP rule requires companies to develop chemical release scenarios that estimate the potential community impact from an accidental release. These scenarios are useful for emergency planning in case of an accident. There are two types of scenarios required by the EPA. The worst-case scenario (WCS) is the release of the largest quantity of a regulated substance. It assumes the worst-case meteorology that would allow the release to travel the greatest distance. The alternative release scenario (ARS) allows industries to develop a more realistic planning scenario.
The WCS and ARS for flammable chemicals at the HOP plant involve
the release of propylene and have an offsite impact. The alternative release scenario that has been developed is based on a more likely accidental release. These are shared with the Local Emergency Planning Committee to assist them in improving community emergency response plans.
There are no WCS and ARS for toxics at the HOP plant. Gaseous chlorine, which was used for cooling tower treatment, has recently been replaced with bleach eliminating the plant's only regulated toxic.
4. Prevention Program
Our Site Manager has the overall responsibility for ensuring that our facility operates in a safe and reliable manner. This responsibility includes overseeing the implementation of our risk management program(RMP). To ensure that our risk management program is appropriately developed and implemented, our Site Manager has assigned the role of RMP Coordinator to a staff member with the necessary background, training and experience. The RMP Coordinator, acting with the authority delegated
directly from the Site Manager, has the responsibility for the development and implementation of our risk management programs.
The Houston Olefins Plant has developed programs to comply with the industry's most stringent environmental, health and safety standards. Our plant adheres to the Chemical Manufacturers Association's Responsible Care Program. Mobil Chemical Company was the first in the nation to have all of its facilities, including the Houston Olefins Plant certified in the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration STAR Program. Facilities in the STAR program are required to demonstrate exemplary safety performance and agree to work cooperatively with OSHA to serve as and example for our industries to follow. They are audited by OSHA for compliance every few years.
We take a systematic proactive approach to preventing accidental releases of hazardous chemicals. Our process management systems address each of the essential features of successful accident prevention pr
Process safety information Prestartup Review
Process Hazard analysis Compliance Audits
Operating Procedures Incident Investigation
Training Employee Participation
Mechanical Integrity Hot Work Permit
Management of Change Contractor Safety
These individual elements of our risk management program work together to prevent accidental chemical releases.
In addition to our industry leading management programs, we have designated state-of-the -art systems and equipment to control, prevent detect and mitigate potential accidental releases. We employ extensive mechanical integrity and preventative maintenance programs to ensure the integrity
of our equipment and safety systems. Our mechanical integrity program uses equipment surveillance and preventive maintenance activities to identify equipment that may be deteriorating and in need of repair or replacement before failure occurs. This program also specifies the repairs or parts replacement needed to return equipment to acceptable specifications.
We train our employees to safely perform their assigned tasks. Our training program includes initial training as well as periodic refresher training and training updates when major process or equipment changes are made. As part of our training, we include provisions for ensuring that employees understand the training, including written tests and field demonstrations.
5. Five-Year Accident History
Five year Accident history provides the public with information on actual accidents involving RMP - listed chemicals that created safety or environmental impacts or required official sheltering -in-place or evacuations. The Housto
n Olefins plant has had no accidents that meet these criteria.
6. Emergency Response Program Information
The HOP plant's Emergency Response Plan serves as a line of defense against unwanted releases and other emergencies and the procedure for reacting to unwanted releases and other emergencies if they occur. The HOP plant maintains a written emergency response plan at the facility. The HOP plant coordinates its emergency response drills with the Channel Industries Mutual Aid (CIMA), the four plants immediately adjacent to the facility, the Houston LEPC, the Community Action Panel, various government agencies (TNRCC, Coast Guard), local hospitals, and the news media.
7. Planned Changes to Improve Safety
The HOP plant is a STAR facility in OSHA's VPP. As a STAR facility we complete annual self-evaluations and are audited by OSHA every three to four years. In addition, as members of the Chemical Manufacturers Association's Responsible Care. Program our programs are audited annu
ally using Responsible Care guidelines. We continually improve our safety programs through these programs as well as through corporate initiatives.