Purnell Sausage Company - Executive Summary

| Accident History | Chemicals | Emergency Response | Registration | Source | Executive Summary |

Purnell Sausage Company slaughters hogs and manufactures sausage and related food products. Ammonia, a potentially hazardous chemical is stored and used on-site as a refrigerant. It is an environmentally safe chemical for maintaining safe storage temperatures forfood products, but could pose a hazard if large quantities were released.  However ammonia is a non-ozone depleting, environmentally safe refrigerant if used safely and responsibly. 
We are committed to maintaining a safe work environment by training all employees in safe work practices. Our maintenance staff is also trained in safe handling and control procedures. Our on-site maintenance staff is assisted by our external contractor, Service Engineering Company. Service Engineering was selected for it's licensed professional staff, which includes professional engineers, certified welders, and licensed refrigeration and HVAC technicians. 
Purnell Sausage is committed to operating in an environmentally responsible and safe manner.  
We are dedicated to following OSHA and EPA guidelines to maintain employee and community safety. We have not had a ammonia related accident in more than five years. Our accident prevention program includes active employee participation and precautions, maintenance, monitoring, and employee training that focuses on accident preventon. This facility maintains open communication with the local emergency response team to ensure preparedness of emergency responders. Our LEPC is aware of the materials at our site and includes our plant risk analysis in local planning efflorts. 
The worse case scenario evaluated for the facility would be a total loss of the largest receiver,  5,000 pounds, as a gas liquified under pressure. This magnitude of loss would not occur unless there was a catastrophic simultaneous loss of all piping and automatic controls related to the receiver.  In this scenario our on-site hazardous response team would respond to the release and the LEPC would be notified immediat 
ely to initiate evacuation or shelter-in-place activities, as appropriate. RMP* COMP, a modelling program was utilized to estimate that this scenario could affect the community in a 0.7 mile radius around the facility. The area contains residences, schools,  and a day-care center for which the LEPC will activate community notification plans. 
The most likely, or alternate release scenario, would be a pipe flange failure. The resultant loss of ammonia would be detected immediately by gas detectors in the area. The immediate area would be evacuated, and on-site personnel would initiate appropriate corrective action. We estimate a total loss of three thousand pounds of ammonia over a thirty minute period, depending on the detection time. Isolation valves would be activated outside of the affected area to terminate the leak.  Off-site consequences are not expected to occur in this scenario.
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