East Carlsbad Gas Plant - Executive Summary
Risk Management Plan |
Duke Energy Field Services
East Carlsbad Gas Plant
Accidental Release Prevention and Response Policies
The East Carlsbad Gas Plant has a long-standing commitment to worker and public safety. This commitment is demonstrated by the resources invested in accident prevention, such as training personnel and considering safety in the design, installation, operation, and maintenance of our processes. Our policy is to implement reasonable controls to prevent foreseeable releases of regulated substances. However, if a release does occur, our trained personnel will respond to control and contain the release. We also work closely with our public emergency responders providing them with training and equipment so that they can respond safely and efficiently to emergencies that might occur at our facility.
Description of the Stationary Source and Regulated Substances
The East Carlsbad Gas Plant is a natural gas processing plant desig
ned to process 25 mmcF per day through two process skids. Approximately 18 mmscF/D is processed through the cryogenic skid and the remainder goes through the QBJ Refrigeration unit. Operations are continuous 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There is a minimum of one operator and one field operator present at all times.
The plant takes in, uses, and produces various streams. The streams can be broken into broad categories of inputs, catalysts, chemicals, outputs, and waste streams. Each of these categories may contain one or more materials. The process also uses several utilities.
The East Carlsbad Gas Plant does not use, process or store a reportable quantity of toxic regulated substances.
Hazard Assessment Results
The Worst Case Scenario (WCS) associated with a release of flammable materials in processes at the gas plant is a vapor cloud (VCE) involving the full inventory of the largest process vessel, the product surge tank (60' x 23'8") containing Y-grade composite. The
maximum distance to the 1-psi endpoint for this WCS is .29 miles. No passive mitigation measures were taken into account in evaluating this WCS.
Five-Year Accident History
Within the past five years the processes have had no accidental release that caused offsite impacts provided in the risk management program rule (40 CFR 68.10(b)(1)).
General Accidental Release Prevention Program/Chemical-Specific Prevention Steps
The following is a summary of the accident prevention program in place at the East Carlsbad Gas Plant. Because processes at the East Carlsbad Gas Plant that are regulated by the EPA Risk Management Program (RMP) regulation are also subject to the OSHA Process Safety Management (PSM) standard, this summary addresses each of the OSHA PSM elements and describes the management system in place to implement the accident prevention program.
The East Carlsbad Gas Plant provides for and encourages employees to participate in all facets of process safe
ty management and accident prevention. Examples of employee participation range from updating and compiling technical documents and chemical information to participating as a member of a process hazard analysis (PHA) team. Employees have access to all information created as part of the East Carlsbad Gas Plant accident prevention program. Specific ways that employees can be involved in the accident prevention program are documented in an employee participation plan that is maintained at the East Carlsbad Gas Plant and addresses each accident prevention program element. In addition, The East Carlsbad Gas Plant has a number of initiatives under way that address process safety and employee safety issues. These initiatives include a safety committee to promote both process and personal safety. The committee has members from the plant, and the field departments, with an advisory group consisting of the management.
Process Safety Information
The East Carlsbad Gas Plant keeps a variet
y of technical documents that are used to help maintain safe operation of the processes. These documents address chemical properties and associated hazards, limits for key process parameters and specific chemical inventories, and equipment design basis/configuration information. Specific employees within the East Carlsbad Gas Plant are assigned responsibility for maintaining up-to-date process safety information. This information is readily available as part of the written employee participation plan to help employees locate any necessary process safety information.
Chemical-specific information, including exposure hazards and emergency response/exposure treatment considerations, is provided in material safety data sheets. This information specifically addresses known corrosion concerns and any known hazards associated with the inadvertent mixing of chemicals. For specific process areas, the East Carlsbad Gas Plant has documented safety-related limits for specific process paramet
ers (e.g., temperature, level, composition). The East Carlsbad Gas Plant ensures that the process is maintained within these limits using process controls and monitoring instruments, highly trained personnel, and protective instrument systems (e.g., automated shutdown systems).
The East Carlsbad Gas Plant also maintains numerous technical documents that provide information about the design and construction of process equipment. This information includes materials of construction, design pressure and temperature ratings, electrical rating of equipment, etc. This information, in combination with written procedures and trained personnel, provides a basis for establishing inspection and maintenance activities, as well as for evaluating proposed process and facility changes to ensure that safety features in the process are not compromised.
Process Hazard Analysis (PHA)
The East Carlsbad Gas Plant has a comprehensive program to help ensure that hazards associated with the various pro
cesses are identified and controlled. Within this program, each process is systematically examined to identify hazards and ensure that adequate controls are in place to manage these hazards.
The East Carlsbad Gas Plant primarily uses the What If Checklist (DP-10) analysis technique to perform these evaluations. This analysis is recognized as one of the most systematic and thorough hazard evaluation techniques. The analyses are conducted using a team of personnel who have operating and maintenance experience as well as engineering expertise. This team identifies and evaluates hazards of the process as well as accident prevention and mitigation measures, and makes suggestions for additional prevention and/or mitigation measures when the team believes such measures are necessary.
The PHA team findings are forwarded to local and corporate management for resolution. Implementation of mitigation options in response to PHA findings is based on a relative risk ranking assigned by the PH
A team. This ranking helps ensure that potential accident scenarios assigned the highest risk receive immediate attention. All approved mitigation options in response to PHA team findings are tracked until they are completed. The final resolution of each finding is documented.
To help ensure that the process controls and/or process hazards do not eventually deviate significantly from the original design safety features, the East Carlsbad Gas Plant periodically updates and revalidates the hazard analysis results. These periodic reviews are conducted at least every five years and will be conducted at this frequency until the process is no longer operating. The results and findings from these updates are documented. The team findings are forwarded to management for consideration and the final resolution of the finding is documented.
The East Carlsbad Gas Plant maintains written procedures which address modes of process operations, i.e. (1) unit startup, (2) no
rmal operations, (3) temporary operations, (4) emergency shutdown, (5) normal shutdown, and (6) initial startup of a new process. These procedures can be used as a reference by experienced operators, and provide a basis for consistent training of new operators. These procedures are periodically reviewed and annually certified as current and accurate. The procedures are maintained current and accurate by revising them as necessary to reflect changes made through the management of change process.
To complement the written procedures for process operations, the East Carlsbad Gas Plant has implemented a comprehensive training program for all employees involved in operating a process. New employees receive initial training in East Carlsbad Gas Plant operations. After successfully completing this training, a new operator is paired with a senior operator to learn process-specific duties and tasks. After operators have successfully completed the training required, succe
ssfully performed and demonstrated skills required, and are certified as having adequate knowledge to perform the duties and tasks in a safe manner on their own, they can work independently. In addition, all operators periodically receive refresher training on the operating procedures to ensure that their skills and knowledge are maintained at an acceptable level. Refresher training is conducted at annually, as agreed upon by the affected employees and the Plant Foreman. All of this training is documented for each operator, including the method of comprehension used to verify that the operator understood the training.
The East Carlsbad Gas Plant uses contractors to supplement its workforce during periods of increased maintenance or construction activities. Some contractors work on or near process equipment, therefore, the East Carlsbad Gas Plant has procedures in place to ensure that contractors (1) perform their work in a safe manner, (2) have the appropriate knowled
ge and skills, (3) are aware of the hazards in their workplace, (4) understand what they should do in the event of an emergency, (5) understand and follow site safety rules, and (6) inform gas plant personnel of any hazards that they find during their work. This is accomplished by providing contractors with (1) a process overview, (2) information about safety and health hazards, (3) emergency response plan requirements, and (4) safe work practices prior to their beginning work. In addition, the contractor safety program and performance is evaluated during the selection process. East Carlsbad Gas Plant personnel periodically monitor contractor performance to ensure that contractors are fulfilling their safety obligations.
The East Carlsbad Gas Plant conducts a pre-startup safety review (PSSR) for any new facility or facility modification that requires a change in the process safety information. The purpose of the PSR is to ensure that safety features, procedure
s, personnel, and the equipment are appropriately prepared for startup prior to placing the equipment into service. This review provides one additional check to make sure construction is in accordance with the design specifications and that all supporting systems are operationally read. A PSSR involves field verification of the construction and serves a quality assurance function by requiring verification that accident prevention program requirements were properly implemented.
The East Carlsbad Gas Plant has practices and procedures to maintain pressure vessels, piping systems, relief and vent systems, controls, pumps and compressors, and emergency shutdown systems are in safe operating condition. The basic aspects of this program include: (1) training, (2) developing written procedures, (3) performing inspections and tests, (4) correcting identified deficiencies, and (5) applying quality assurance measures. In combination, these activities form a system th
at maintains the mechanical integrity of the process.
Maintenance personnel receive training on (1) an overview of the process, (2) safety and health hazards, (3) applicable maintenance procedures, (4) emergency response plans, and (5) applicable safe work practices to help ensure that they can perform their job in a safe manner. Written procedures help ensure that work is performed in a consistent manner and provide a basis for training. Inspections and tests are performed to help ensure that equipment functions as intended, and to verify that equipment is within acceptable limits (e.g., adequate wall thickness). If a deficiency is identified, employees will correct the deficiency before placing the equipment back into service (if possible), or a group of experts will review the use of the equipment and determine what actions are necessary to ensure the safe operation of the equipment.
Another integral part of the mechanical integrity program is quality assurance. The East Carls
bad Gas Plant incorporates quality assurance measures into equipment purchases and repairs. This helps ensure that new equipment is suitable for its intended use and that proper materials and spare parts are used when repairs are made. Pre-startup safety reviews are also used to support the quality assurance program.
Safe Work Practices
The East Carlsbad Gas Plant has long-standing safe work practices in place to help ensure worker and process safety. Examples of these include:
(1) Control of the entry/presence/exit of support personnel
(2) Lockout/tagout procedures to ensure isolation of energy sources for equipment being worked on
(3) Procedure for safe removal of hazardous materials before process piping or equipment is opened
(4) Permit and procedure to control spark-producing activities (i.e., hot work), and
(5) A permit and procedure to ensure that adequate precautions are in place before entry into a confined space.
These procedures (and others), along with training of
affected personnel, form a system to help ensure operations and maintenance activities are performed safely.
Management of Change
The East Carlsbad Gas Plant has a comprehensive system to manage changes that affect any covered processes. This system requires that changes to items such as process equipment, chemicals, technology (including process operating conditions), procedures and other facility changes be properly reviewed and authorized before being implemented. Changes are reviewed to (1) ensure that adequate controls are in place to manage any new hazards and (2) verify that existing controls have not been compromised by the change. Affected chemical hazard information, process operating limits, and equipment information, as well as procedures, are updated to incorporate these changes. In addition, operating and maintenance personnel are provided any necessary training on the change.
The East Carlsbad Gas Plant promptly investigates all incidents
that resulted in, or reasonably could have resulted in, a fire/explosion, major property damage, environmental loss, or personal injury. The goal of each investigation is to determine the facts and develop corrective actions to prevent a recurrence of the incident or a similar incident. The investigation team documents its findings, develops recommendations to prevent a recurrence, and forwards these results to East Carlsbad Gas Plant management for resolution. Corrective actions taken in response to the investigation team's findings and recommendations are tracked until they are completed. The final resolution of each finding or recommendation is documented, and the investigation results are reviewed with all employees (including contractors) who could be affected by the findings. Incident investigation reports are retained for at least five years so that the reports can be reviewed during future PHAs and PHA revalidations.
To help ensure that the accident pre
vention program is functioning properly, the East Carlsbad Gas Plant periodically conducts an audit to determine whether the procedures and practices required by the accident prevention program are being implemented. Compliance audits are conducted at least every three years. Personnel from other gas plants compose the Audit Team. Both hourly and staff personnel participate as audit team members. The audit team develops findings that are forwarded to East Carlsbad Gas Plant management for resolution. Corrective actions taken in response to the audit team's findings are traced until they are completed. The final resolution of each finding is documented, and the two most recent audit reports are retained. The last Safety Audit was conducted January 20 & 21, 1999 and the last PSM Audit was conducted January 21 & 22, 1999.
Summary of Process Hazards, Safety Features, and Hazard Analysis Findings
The processes at the East Carlsbad Gas Plant have hazards that must be managed to ensu
re continued safe operations.
-- Universal Prevention Activities
The accident prevention program summarized previously is applied to all EPA RMP covered processes at the East Carlsbad Gas Plant. Collectively, these prevention program activities help prevent potential accident scenarios that could be caused by equipment failures and/or human errors.
-- Specialized Safety Features
The East Carlsbad Gas Plant has safety features on many units to help contain/control a release, quickly detect a release, and reduce the consequences of a release. The following types of safety features are used in the covered processes:
1. Process relief valves that discharge to a vent system to handle episodic releases
2. Valves to permit isolation of the process (manual or automated)
3. Automated shutdown systems for specific process parameter (e.g., high level, high temperature)
4. Curbing or diking to contain liquid releases
5. Atmospheric relief devices
1. Fire extinguishers
2. Trained personnel
3. Personal protective equipment
4. Spacing of equipment in accordance with spacing guideline
5. Emergency shutdowns strategically placed around the plant, that automatically shuts in the inlet and outlet and blows the plant down through the vent system.
Emergency Response Program
The gas plant maintains a written emergency response program, which is in place to protect worker and public safety as well as the environment. The program consists of procedures for responding to a release of a regulated substance, including the possibility of a fire or explosion if a flammable substance is accidentally released. The procedures address all aspects of emergency response, including proper first-aid and medical treatment for exposures, evacuation plans and accounting for personnel after an evacuation, notification of local emergency response agencies and the public if a release occurs, and post incident cleanup
and decontamination procedures. In addition the East Carlsbad Gas Plant has procedures that address maintenance, inspection and testing of emergency response equipment, as well as instructions that address the use of emergency response equipment. Employees receive training in these procedures as necessary to perform their specific emergency response duties. The emergency response program is updated as necessary. Any significant changes to the emergency response program are administered through the management of change (MOC) process, which includes informing and/or training affected personnel in the changes.
The overall emergency response program for the East Carlsbad Gas Plant is coordinated with the Carlsbad and Loving Fire Departments and the local emergency planning committee (LEPC). This coordination includes periodic meetings with the LEPC, which includes local emergency response officials, local government officials, and industry representatives. The gas plant has around-
the-clock communications capability with appropriate LEPC officials and emergency response organizations (e.g., fire department). This provides a means of notifying the public of an incident, if necessary, as well as facilitating quick response to an incident. In addition to periodic LEPC meetings, the gas plant conducts periodic emergency drills that involve the LEPC and emergency response organizations. The East Carlsbad Gas Plant provides information to local emergency responders so that they are familiar with any unique hazards that they may encounter when responding to emergencies at our facilities.
Planned Changes to Improve Safety
Although East Carlsbad Gas Plant management does not believe additional safety measures are necessary to prevent offsite impacts from accident releases, it does resolve all findings from the Process Hazards Analysis and the Compliance Audits. Some of these findings result in modifications to the process. The following types of changes were imp
lemented in response to PHA findings and the Compliance Audits:
1. Revision to personnel training programs.
2. Revision to operating procedures.
3. Revision to inspection procedures.
4. Modifications to the relief/vent system.
5. Modifications to the process instrumentation and control loops.
6. Updates to the Process Safety Information. (P&ID's)