Miami Products - Executive Summary
June 19, 1999
Miami Products & Chemical Co. is a chemical manufacturer, chemical repackager and a distributor of swimming pool equipment and supplies. The primary product that is produced is liquid sodium hypochlorite (bleach). Two ingredients, sodium hydroxide and liquid chlorine are reacted in 20,000 gallon tanks using the BATCH method. This is the same process that has been used for the past thirty years. Two chemical technicians with a combined total of twenty years experience are in charge of making the sodium hypochlorite. The site contains 300,000 gallons of storage for sodium hydroxide. Sodium hydroxide is stored using four parts of water to one part of sodium hydroxide. This is a very diluted state. Liquid chlorine is transported and stored in ninety ton rail cars. The location has a railroad spur that will hold two cars. It must be noted that only one rail car is used at a time, thus only one is connected to the manufacturing process at any given time.
The worst ca
se scenario for a potential chemical release evolves around the storage and use of liquid chlorine in ninety ton rail cars. Any malfunction of valves, piping, accidental car movement or human error could cause the release of liquid/gas chlorine into the environment up to 180,000 lbs. if the car was fully loaded and the release could not be quickly contained. The location of the rail cars is somewhat remote. There are only eight residential homes in the immediate area . The closest business is a Dayton Daily Newspaper distribution center that operates primarily at night; which is the opposite hours used to make bleach. There are other small businesses in the immediate area. Two sides of the rail car are bound by railroad tracks and the river to the North and a large, primarily vacant lot and more railroad tracks to the East.
Miami Products & Chemical Co. has a comprehensive process safety program in place. Chris Kohr oversees this entire program and has a staff of six employees
who have been trained in the event of a chlorine release. Miami Products maintains two "C" chlorine kits from the Chlorine Institute. Four full-face respirators, NIOSH approved are in place throughout the chemical plant. Two Wallace & Tiernan Acutee 35 chlorine monitoring alarms are stationed throughout the plant. These two monitors work independently of one another. Panic buttons are mounted by the rail car hook up site and can be manually activated by employees who are making inspections, connecting the cars or doing routine preventive maintenance. Six employees from, throughout the plant have been fully-trained in all the above listed applications. A wind-sock is mounted atop a four story building directly next to the rail car site. Evacuation routes are posted throughout the plant and are accessible to all employees. The full-time work force has many years of experience working around the chlorine rail cars.
The company has operated the chlorine manufacturing plant acciden
t free for the past five years plus. The Chlorine Institute Guidelines and recommendations are used to help establish a safe work environment. Pipework is monitored daily and annually checked by a certified plumber.
For the past ten years Miami Products & Chemical Co. has filed annual reports with SERC (Ohio State Emergency Response Commision and Community Right-to-Know) copies of these annual reports also are sent to the Dayton Fire Department and the Local Emergency Planning Commission. These reports include maps of the facility and inventory of average stock on hand. This ERP program appears to overlap the Emergency Response Plan that has been in place for a period of time.
In May of 1999, Miami Products & Chemical Co. made an initial inquiry with the Powell Fabrication and Manufacturing Co. to purchase and install a Continuous Sodium Hypochlorite Process System. This would replace the current "Batch" system with a state-of-the-art totally enclosed bleach-making system. Start
-up time is projected to be twelve to perhaps eighteen months. This Powell system would include a rail car valve closure system, a rail car padding system and all of the latest monitoring devices on the actual bleach-making system. A new manufacturing plant is also on the drawing boards for start-up by mid 2000. The present location would then only be used for packaging and storage of chemicals.