Alliant Foodservice-Denver - Executive Summary
ALLIANT FOODSERVICE, INC. |
RISK MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
1. General accidental release and prevention policy of Alliant Foodservice.
In this frozen food distribution center we utilize anhydrous ammonia as a refrigerant. Anhydrous
ammonia is considered hazardous by the Environmental Protection Agency. The same properties
that make ammonia a valuable refrigerant also makes it necessary to observe certain safety
precautions during it's use to prevent exposure to our workers, the surrounding community and
It is our policy at Alliant Foodservice to implement the requirements of the Risk Management
Program by managing and operating this facility in full compliance with all applicable federal and
state regulations that we are governed by. The objective is to minimize the risk of an accidental
release of hazardous materials. Safety depends directly on our proper handling of ammonia. Our
plant personnel have been trained on the equipment operating procedures a
nd the various safety
devices that are incorporated in our facility to prevent the possibility of accidental releases.
2. Stationary source and regulated substance handled.
Alliant Foodservice, 11955 E. Peakview Avenue, Englewood, Colorado operates a refrigeration
system utilizing anhydrous ammonia as the primary refrigerant. Mechanical refrigeration is a
thermodynamic process where the refrigerant, ammonia, is used as a heat exchanging fluid to
maintain a desired temperature in an enclosed environment. The refrigeration cycle consists of
evaporation, compression, condensation and expansion. Evaporation and condensation are
designed to alter the quantity of energy associated with the refrigerant. Compression and
expansion are designed to change the availability of the associated energy. The refrigeration cycle
is a closed loop process. The ammonia cycle utilizes fluid temperature, pressure and latent heat of
vaporization for cooling. The refrigeration system uses this phenomenon to
remove heat from a
desired space, and then to discard that heat through condensation, to an area where it is of no
The Alliant Foodservice facility uses ammonia refrigeration to maintain storage room
temperatures for various types of fresh and frozen food distributed to their customers. The
refrigeration system contains the following equipment: Five screw compressors, two evaporative
condensers, one high pressure receiver, one low pressure receiver, one intercooler, one
thermosyphon tank, forty seven cooler/freezer evaporators, a floor warming heat exchanger and a
system purger. The refrigeration system contains 11,500 pounds of aggregate ammonia.
There are approximately 250 employees at this facility which includes hourly and salary personnel.
This distribution facility receives and prepares shipment of frozen and refrigerated food products
via tractor trailers approximately 24 hours a day, six days a week.
The potential hazards that could lead to an accidental rel
ease of the ammonia include, but are not
limited to, equipment failure, damage to piping, damage to equipment, human error, etc.
Although ammonia is a colorless, tasteless liquid, it's dominant characteristic is it's pungent,
distinct odor. Persons exposed to ammonia will not voluntarily stay in areas of even small
concentrations, although these levels would not normally result in any health risks. Risks from
accidental exposure to ammonia in a vapor state are irritations to the eyes, nose and throat. The
extent of irritation depends on the exposure amount and length of time exposed.
Ammonia is classified non-flammable by the Department of Transportation. Ammonia will burn,
but only in a very narrow concentration level when accompanied with a constant ignition source.
3. Worst case and alternate case release scenarios including administrative and
engineering controls to limit/ prevent accidental release.
Worst case scenario depicts continuous source leak from the High Pressure
located inside the plant machine room. This vessels normal operating level is 3,700 pounds of
liquid ammonia, approximately 50% of it's total capacity. Although the high pressure receiver is
capable of holding 7,500 pounds, this exceeds engineering controls which limit the liquid level to
a maximum of 80% at any time. Considering the "catastrophic" possibility does exist for this
vessel to release it's entire contents, engineering controls incorporated into the system would
normally prevent such a release.
Worst case release scenario criteria for the Alliant Foodservice facility:
Ammonia Quantity: 3,700 pounds
Rate of Release: 370 lbs / min. (10 min. release)
LOC (Level of Concern): 200 ppm (EPA ERPG-2)
Physical State: Gas
Type of Area: Urban
Wind Speed: 1.5 m/sec
Distance to Endpoint 2.1 mi
Alternate release scenario is represented by the release of ammonia vapor from a safety relief
valve (SRV) due to an over-pressurization condition on the low pressure receiver vessel located
within the Alliant Foodservice facility machine room. The indicated relief valve would be
performing exactly as it is designed to do during an over-pressurization condition. Valve would
open to relieve the over-pressure and vent into the atmosphere via the roof vent pipe.
Alternate case release scenario criteria for Alliant Foodservice facility:
Ammonia Quantity: 75 pounds
Rate of Release: 35 pounds/min. (5 min. release)
Wind Speed: 3.0 m/sec.
Distance to Endpoint: .1 miles
The following administrative and engineering controls are in place at Alliant
Foodservice. These controls are designed to eliminate, or reduce the possibilities of an
accidental release from the refrigera
* Electronic ammonia detection installed in compressor room, distribution cooler and
freezer areas and outside on the evaporative condenser towers. Alarm system activates a local
audible alarm to alert plant personnel of the potential ammonia leak in the monitored areas.
* High level switches are configured to high and low pressure receivers and the
intercooler. High level switches will shut down compressor operation during a high level
* All compressors are configured with critical safety controls (high pressure, low pressure,
high oil temp cut-outs, etc.) to shut down the respective compressor in the event of an abnormal
* Safety Relief Valves are configured to all pressure vessels, condensers and compressor
oil separators to eliminate over pressurization conditions in those associated pieces of equipment.
* Emergency "kill" buttons are installed by the machine room exit doors to enable syste
shutdown from outside the room in the event of an emergency involving the ammonia system.
* Entire facility is configured with a keyed switch for access by the Fire Department only.
When activated by the Fire Department in an emergency situation the switch shuts down the
entire refrigeration system.
* Periodic Maintenance Program is contracted through a reputable refrigeration company
to ensure the refrigeration system and it's components are kept in optimum mechanical and
operating status. Weekly inspections are conducted by the refrigeration contractor. Daily rounds
are made by plant personnel to verify proper equipment operation.
4. Five-year accident history.
The Alliant Foodservice, Inc. facility at Denver has had zero accidental releases to report.
5. Emergency Response Program
The purpose of the Alliant Foodservice Emergency Action Plan is to:
1. Minimize exposure to our employees and the surrounding community in the event of a
ardous material release or spill.
2. Assure the safe emergency evacuation of the plant in the instance that it is required.
3. Provide for prompt medical attention to any employees who become seriously injured
or ill at work.
4. Facility management has developed an Emergency Response Plan to ensure a fast and
efficient response in the event of an accidental release of hazardous materials.
Our Emergency Action Plan currently meets requirements as set forth in OSHA 29 CFR 1910.38,
Employee Emergency and Fire Prevention Plans.