Farmland Industries, Inc. Pollock Nitrogen Plant - Executive Summary

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3133 LDEQ Facility ID Number 
                     Risk Management Plan 
                       Executive Summary 
                   Farmland Industries, Inc. 
                    Pollock Nitrogen Plant 
                       737 Abe Hall Road 
                      Pollock, Louisiana 
Farmland's  Pollock,  La.,  nitrogen  manufacturing  facility  is 
located  on  300 acres in central Louisiana's Grant  Parish.  The 
plant primarily manufactures anhydrous ammonia that helps provide 
Farmland's    600,000    producer-members   with    high-quality, 
cost-effective nutrients for the crops they grow to feed families 
around   the   world.  As  a  nitrogen  fertilizer  manufacturing 
operation,   this  facility  is  subject  to  the   Environmental 
Protection Agencies Risk Management Program rules under the Clean 
Air Act Amendments of 1990. 
The Risk Management Program rules require for facilities handling 
threshold  amounts of certain chemical substances to submit  Risk 
Management  Plans 
 for the prevention of accidental  releases  of 
these substances. The plan requirements include submission of the 
risk  management  plan  to  include hazard  assessments  defining 
possible  offsite impacts of certain regulated substance  release 
scenarios,  a  five-year  accident history,  description  of  the 
facilities   accidental  release  prevention  program,   and   an 
emergency response program. 
The  following  is the Executive Summary of the  Risk  Management 
Plan  for  Farmland Industries, Inc., Pollock Nitrogen  Plant  at 
Pollock, Louisiana. 
Facility snapshot 
Nearly  eight million tons of ammonia have been produced  at  the 
Pollock facility since it began production in the spring of 1977. 
It  was the last ammonia facility built by Farmland in the United 
States  and the first Farmland ammonia facility to have  its  own 
captive natural gas supply - ensuring a dependable supply  during 
uncertain times in the gas industry. 
Impact on the community 
7     Farmland  employs  49 
 central  Louisiana  residents  at  a 
 combined annual salary of approximately $3 million dollars. 
7     Farmland  supports Grant Parish and the state of  Louisiana 
 with nearly $1 million dollars in state and local taxes annually. 
7     Approximately  $3  million  dollars  is  spent  locally  on 
 electricity  and  miscellaneous  purchases  for  the   facility 
7     Natural  Gas in an integral part of ammonia production  and 
 the  facility spends about $40 million dollars annually on  the 
 natural gas it uses for processing and fuel. 
7     Farmland  is  a  member company of the  Louisiana  Chemical 
 Association and Louisiana Ammonia Producers. 
Employee snapshot 
Farmland  employees  are very involved in  community  activities. 
Many  facility  employees are active and hold  key  positions  in 
public and community groups. These positions include school board 
members,  constable,  Justice of the Peace,  Pollock  Chamber  of 
Commerce,   Pollock  City  Council,  Gran 
t  Economic  Development 
District,  District  5  Volunteer Fire Department,  Grant  Parish 
Local Emergency Planning Committee and Rotary Club. 
Farmland  employees  recognize  that  community  involvement  and 
volunteerism is the most effective way to improve the communities 
in which they live. 
Pollution Prevention Policy 
Farmland   Industries  Inc.,  is  committed  to  protecting   our 
environment  and  preserving  our natural  resources  for  future 
generations.  We pledge to eliminate or reduce our use  of  toxic 
substances  and to minimize our use of energy and the  generation 
of  all  wastes,  to  the  extent  technically  and  economically 
feasible. We strive to prevent the generation of pollution at the 
source,  but, where that cannot be achieved, we are committed  to 
environmentally  sound  methods  of  recycling,   treatment   and 
disposal.  By  preventing pollution at the source, we  strive  to 
achieve  cost savings, increase operational efficiencies, improve 
the  quality o 
f our products and services, maintain  a  safe  and 
healthful workplace and improve the environment. 
Stationary Source and Regulated Substances 
The Pollock Nitrogen Plant is a nitrogen fertilizer manufacturing 
facility  consisting of a large scale, natural gas  feed  ammonia 
production unit. The anhydrous ammonia produced is used primarily 
as  an  agricultural  fertilizer.  A  carbon  dioxide  production 
facility is also a part of the facility operation. 
Initial operation of the facility began in 1977. 
The  facility  produces, handles, and stores large quantities  of 
anhydrous  ammonia in its operations. It uses natural  gas,  air, 
and water for the production of ammonia. 
The  ammonia  plant,  along  with  product  ammonia  storage  and 
handling,  constitute  the processes  covered  by  the  EPA  Risk 
Management Program rule. The primary regulated substance  is  the 
anhydrous ammonia product. In addition, flammable substances as a 
class,  and  methane (natural gas) and hydrogen  p 
roduced  as  an 
intermediate  in ammonia production specifically,  are  regulated 
under  Risk  Management. Finally, chlorine  is  also  present  in 
regulated threshold quantities on the site. It is used as a water 
treatment  chemical in the cooling water systems associated  with 
the production units. 
Accidental Release Prevention and Emergency Response Policy 
The  management and employees of this facility are  committed  to 
the prevention of any accidental releases from this facility.  It 
is  this  facilities  policy to eliminate significant  accidental 
releases  of  any  substance  and, in particular,  hazardous  and 
regulated substances; and to minimize and eliminate to the extent 
possible  even minor and inconsequential releases  of  any  type. 
Prevention  of  accidental  releases  is  critical  to  the  safe 
operation of this plant, to the safety of its employees,  and  to 
the safety of the general public. 
To   achieve  its  goals  of  accident  and  accidental   release 
ion, the facility is committed to the following: 
7     A  knowledgeable and highly trained and motivated  employee 
7    A well designed facility that is maintained and operated in 
a superior manner 
7    Improvements that enhance safety and accident prevention 
where appropriate 
7    Excellence in safety programs and practices and a superior 
safety and accident record 
7    Preparation and training for emergency response and 
The  Pollock Nitrogen Plant has had a written Emergency  Response 
Plan in effect for many years and is committed to respond to  and 
mitigate  any  accidental  release  to  minimize  the  impact  to 
employees, the community, and environment. The response  plan  is 
coordinated  with  the  Local Emergency  Response  Committee  and 
emergency  response  agencies and the plant has  interacted  with 
possible  responding agencies for many years regarding  the  plan 
and  activities  at  the  plant. Employees  are  trained  in  the 
implementation  of  the p 
lan and in possible response  activities 
that could be required in the event of an emergency. 
Prevention Program 
The  Pollock Nitrogen Plant is subject to the OSHA Process Safety 
Management  rule,  29CFRI910.119, and is  a  nitrogen  fertilizer 
manufacturing facility. Therefore, under the EPA Risk  Management 
Rule  the  plant  is  a  Program 3  facility  with  a  Program  3 
Prevention Program. 
The   OSHA  Process  Safety  Management/EPA  Prevention   Program 
consists  of a set of facility management policies and procedures 
which  promotes and recognizes process safety and the  prevention 
of  accidents  in  plants that handle, use,  store,  and  process 
hazardous chemical materials. The procedures address all  aspects 
of  plant  activities including training, maintenance,  operating 
procedures, process reviews, critical information maintenance and 
updating, safe work practices, incident investigation, audit, and 
other  activities  in  a manner to provide  controls  to  prevent 
, failures, and inadvertent changes in a process that could 
result in accidents. 
The Pollock Nitrogen Plant adheres to the requirements of Process 
Safety   Management  and  has  written  policies  and  procedures 
addressing  all  aspects  of Process Safety  Management  and  EPA 
Prevention  Programs.  In  all of its  years  of  operation,  the 
facility  has  addressed  the  elements  of  accident  prevention 
included in these programs. 
The  Prevention Program consists of several elements and policies 
which are briefly outlined below. 
7    Employee Participation-Employees are involved in all aspects 
 of the program and are provided any information developed in the 
 program. Employees participate in process reviews, assist  with 
 development of procedures, and all other aspects of the program. 
7       Process   Safety   Information--All   necessary   process 
 information and records are maintained including information on 
 the  hazards  of  the chemicals, process technology  with 
 operating limits, and equipment records and design requirements 
7     Process Hazard Analysis--Process hazard analysis and review 
 has been conducted by employee teams to identify and correct any 
 perceived  hazards. These reviews are updated on a schedule  or 
 more  often  if  changes indicate the necessity  of  additional 
7     Operating Procedures--Operating procedures are in place for 
 all  aspects  of  operation including emergency  operation  and 
 shutdown,  operating  limits and methods to  correct  or  avoid 
 deviations  from  limits, safety and health  considerations  of 
 operations  and  the  chemicals  involved,  and  safety  system 
 operation and function. 
7     Operating Training--All operators are trained initially  in 
 the  process and its operating procedures and receive refresher 
 training  not less than every three years. In reality, operator 
 training  is a continual and ongoing process. Operator training 
 includes  on  the job train 
ing with experienced  operators  and 
 classroom type instruction. 
7     Contractors-Contractor selection includes review of  safety 
 performance  and  programs. Contractors are oriented  to  known 
 hazards in the facility, the emergency plan, and are required to 
 adhere  to  facility safe work practice procedures.  Contractor 
 performance is periodically evaluated as necessary to assure work 
 is completed in a safe and correct manner. 
7     Pre-startup  Safety Review-A safety review is conducted  on 
 any  new facility and for any significant modification  of  the 
 facility to assure that construction and equipment is installed 
 in  accordance with design, all necessary procedures  including 
 safety procedures are in place, training is completed, and that 
 hazard  analysis or requirements of management  of  change  are 
7     Mechanical Integrity-Procedures for inspection and  testing 
 and correction of equipment deficiencies are in place. A quality 
e  procedure assures equipment, parts,  materials,  and 
 installations  are  suitable  for  the  applications  intended. 
 Maintenance employees are trained in the process hazards and in 
 safety procedures applicable to their work. 
7    Safe Work Practices-Procedures and policies for work permits 
 and maintenance and operating actions are in place for accident 
7     Management of Change-No changes are allowed in the  process 
 or procedures without review and authorization. Safety impacts, 
 technical basis, required procedure modification, and  training 
 are all considered in the review. The procedure is to assure the 
 safety of the change and to prevent unintended consequences as a 
 result of change. 
7     Incident  Investigation-Any incident  which  results  in  a 
 significant release or could have reasonably resulted in such a 
 release is promptly investigated by a facility team. Findings of 
 the investigation and recommendations for corrective action are 
 documented  as  are  the resolution of the recommendations  and 
 corrective actions. 
7      Emergency   Planning  and  Response-The   Process   Safety 
 Management/Prevention Program includes the  facility  Emergency 
 Response Plan. 
7     Compliance Audit-Compliance with the program is audited  at 
 least  every  three  years  to  verify  compliance  with  these 
 procedures. Findings, if any, of the audit are documented and any 
 deficiencies are corrected and documented. The audit is conducted 
 by  persons  knowledgeable of the facility processes,  but  not 
 directly connected with the facility. 
The  facility  is  diligent in adhering to  and  maintaining  its 
Process Safety/Prevention Program. 
Emergency Response Plan 
The  Pollock  Nitrogen  Plant  has a written  Emergency  Response 
Program  as required by the Risk Management Plan rule  and  other 
Environmental  Protection Agency and OSHA  rules.  This  Plan  is 
coordinated  with  the  local  community  response  plan  and 
available  to  those responding agencies. Emergency planning  and 
Community Right-To-Know information as required under SARA  Title 
III has been provided to the State Emergency Response Commission, 
Local   Emergency  Planning  Committee,  and  other   appropriate 
agencies such as the local fire department. 
The  facility  is  an active participant in the  Local  Emergency 
Planning  Committee and interacts with various local agencies  in 
its  emergency  planning  such  as local  fire  departments;  law 
enforcement agencies such as the State Police, sheriff  s  office 
and ambulance services. 
Employees receive annual training in the response plan  and  also 
receive  various  safety training, both in general,  and  in  the 
competencies  relative  to  their required  roles  in  the  plan. 
Periodically,  the  plan is practiced in a table  top,  classroom 
type  setting,  and  it  also  is  drilled  in  mock  emergencies 
including participation by outside responding agencies. 
5-Year Acc 
ident History 
The  Risk  Management rule requires inclusion  of  the  five-year 
accident history of the facility for all accidental releases 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. 
The Pollock Nitrogen Plant has had no qualifying accidents in the 
past five years. 
Synopsis of Worst and Alternate Case Release Scenarios 
The  Risk  Management  Plan rule requires a hazard  analysis  for 
worst  case  and alternate case accidental release scenarios  for 
regulated substances present in threshold quantities at the site. 
For  this  facility, the regulated substances  include  anhydrous 
ammonia  and  chlorine as regulated toxics, and flammables  as  a 
class  which  include methane and hydrogen. The rule requires  an 
analysis  of the worst case toxic as that scenario affecting  the 
greatest distance and a worst case flammable accident as a  vapor 
cloud  explosion. Alternate scenarios, which are more  reasonably 
likely events, for each regulated toxic and flammables in general 
must also be presented. 
Worst Case Toxic Release-Anhydrous Ammonia 
Because  of the seasonal nature of fertilizer use and application 
in  agriculture, large quantities of the ammonia produced at this 
facility  must  be stored until needed by the ultimate  consumer. 
The  RMP rule requires that the largest amount in a single vessel 
be  considered  the  release quantity for the  worst  case  event 
unless  smaller quantities handled at different conditions result 
in a greater distance to the regulated endpoint of consideration. 
This is a requirement of the rule regardless of whether the event 
is likely, or, could even reasonably occur. 
For  this  facility,  the largest single  quantity  of  anhydrous 
ammonia  is  held in the atmospheric storage tank. This  quantity 
totals  30,000 tons. The worst case release assumes, as  required 
by the rule, that this entir 
e amount is released as a result of a 
catastrophic failure of a tank. This unlikely event  was  modeled 
by a publicly available model (DEGADIS) which is known to provide 
reasonable  estimates of concentrations and distances  associated 
with  release  events.  By  using the worst  case  conditions  of 
ambient  temperature, humidity and wind speed for this  area  (as 
required  by  the  regulation), the model  results  determine  an 
ammonia concentration of 200 parts per million (ppm) could result 
as far away as 2.61 miles from the plant. 
To  assure that the event indicated above was, in fact, the worst 
case  as  the rule defines it; failure of ammonia storage present 
at  the site where ammonia is stored at higher pressure, but much 
lower  quantities  was also modeled. In addition,  a  worst  case 
failure of chlorine containers was similarly modeled. Neither  of 
these  resulted in a distance greater than the circumstance noted 
It  should be emphasized that the possibility of such  
an event as 
described by the worst case is so low as to be non-existent. Many 
identical  and similar tanks are in existence all over the  world 
and  have been in service for many years. We are aware of no such 
failure  of  these tanks nor, even, lesser failures of  a  nature 
that  would provide for an accidental release of quantities  even 
orders  of magnitude less than indicated above. Analysis of  this 
scenario  is  required by the rule, and, as such, was  completed. 
Facility   maintenance  and  inspection  programs   address   the 
integrity  of process and storage vessels, including  these,  and 
largely preclude such massive and unlikely failures. 
Worst Case Flammable 
As the rule requires, the largest quantity flammable release and 
a subsequent vapor cloud explosion must be analyzed as the worst 
case for these substances. In this facility, a failure releasing 
the entire contents of the ammonia conversion loop constitutes 
the largest flammable release. This quantity is assumed to r 
in a vapor cloud explosion with impact distance of      0.16 
miles (855 feet) as determined by the EPA Offsite Consequence 
Analysis Look up Tables. Although large volumes of flammable 
gases are handled daily by the plant, actual in-process inventory 
is relatively small. Impact distance is relatively limited as a 
Alternate Case Toxics 
A  more  reasonable release event tends to concentrate  in  areas 
where  the  ammonia product is handled such as loading and  other 
transport   activities.  Significantly   lower   quantities   are 
involved,  various shutdown safeguards are present  as  they  are 
through  out  the plant, and operator intervention  all  tend  to 
mitigate and limit the consequences of failures. Such events  can 
include failure of smaller valves, lines, and hoses. 
The  alternate  release scenario, modeled with the DEGADIS  model 
for  this  facility  is  the breaking off  of  a  one  inch  pipe 
connected  to the ammonia pipeline injection pump re 
leasing  6.65 
tons  of  ammonia. The DEGADIS model results for this alternative 
case  determined an ammonia concentration of 200 ppm could result 
as  far  away a 0.97 mile distance from the plant. Modeled impact 
distance  is  substantially lower for more  reasonable,  but  not 
necessarily likely, release events. 
Chlorine is used at several locations in this plant as a biocidal 
agent  for  cooling water systems, much as it  is  also  used  in 
swimming  pools.  It  is  used as a gas  from  one  ton  chlorine 
cylinders through an injection system to the circulating  cooling 
The   alternate  release  scenario  assumed  is  failure  of  the 
connecting  tubing  from  the cylinder  and  release  of  gaseous 
chlorine.  This release was modeled using the DEGADIS  dispersion 
program.  Results for this alternate case determined  a  chlorine 
concentration of 3 ppm could result as far away as 0.43 mile from 
the plant. 
Large  volumes  of  flammable gases  
are  handled  throughout  the 
plant,  even though actual physical inventory is relatively  low. 
More  likely flammable release events include failures of smaller 
pipes  and  lines in comparison to the large release contemplated 
in the worst case analysis. 
The  impact  distance  of  this event utilized  the  EPA  Offsite 
Consequence  Analysis Look Up Tables. Most  more  reasonable  and 
likely events result in minimal impact distances. 
Planned Changes for Safely Improvements 
Safety  improvements are a continual and ongoing process  at  the 
facility  which  is facilitated by the Prevention Program/Process 
Safety  Management  Program. Formal process  hazard  analysis  is 
conducted  at  least  every five years, but  review  is  constant 
through  management  of  change  procedures,  operator  training, 
incident investigation, and mechanical integrity programs.  As  a 
result,  changes relevant to safety occur continuously  as  needs 
are identified through these procedures and policies.
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