Lions Potable Water Treatment Plant - Executive Summary
Accidental Release Prevention and Emergency Response Policies |
Our program includes all phases of accident prevention directed toward the prevention of injuries, occupational illnesses and accidents, including those resulting from motor vehicles, harmful chemicals, biological and other occupational exposures, and accidents resulting from equipment failures or human error.
Accidents are preventable through identification and elimination of causes. Two of the most obvious causes of accidents are an unsafe act and unsafe condition. Basic causes of unsage acts and unsafe conditions can be identified and eliminated through engineering, education and enforcement. Some basic causes are deficiencies in training, supervision, attitude and procedure of work-place design.
Our program includes routine safety meetings and training, area and facility inspections, accident investigations and record keeping.
St. John Parish's Administration has a sincere concern for the welfare and safety of its e
mployees and the public it serves. Administration acknowledges its obligation, as an employer, to provide the safest possible working conditions for employees and, as a government service organization, to provide a safe environment for the public that uses its services.
When accidents involving dangerous chemicals occurs, the Department of Public Safety or the Parish President will decide when parish employees are needed. A parish supervisor will be called to report to the Civil Defense command post at the scene of the accident. Communication is the key to a safe outcome.
Regulated Chemicals Handled
All of our wastewater and potable water treatment plants handle RMP- listed chemicals. Chlorine is the one RMP-listed chemical (over the TQ value) which is handled by St. John the Baptist Parish. Each plant carries between 2 to 6 tons of chlorine to treat our waste or potable water. St. John the Baptist utilizes this chemical in the pressurized liquid form for sterilizing and disinfecti
ng water supply systems and sanitary waste treatment discharges. It has been used for many years by the Parish without any serious impact on anyone.
Worst Case and Alternative Release Scneario
The worst case scenario is specifically defined by the EPA as a release of the regulated material in ten (10) minutes on a calm night and all safety systems fail. The largest tank used to stor chlorine in St. John the Baptist Parish is 2,000 pounds. Under the worst case scenario, the chlorine would affect approximately 1.3 miles (urban) or 3.0 miles (rural), according to the Chapter Four (4): Offsite Consequence Analysis of the RMP Guideline Manual.
An alternate case scenario was developed for chlorine through a review of potential operation hazards and past experiences. The alternate case scenario would be the failure of a chemical feed line which injects the material into the process. This scenario would result in a release o thirteen (13) pounds of chemical. Under typical weather condit
ions, the release would reachapproximately one hundred ten (110) yards.
General Accidental Release Prevention Program and Chemical-Specific Prevention Steps
St. John the Baptist Parish follows NFPA 58 based on state laws, OSHA and ASTM standards for complying with the safety requirements. Safety and training meetings are held on a routine monthly basis or more often if needed. Employees are encouraged to add recommendations and suggestions for safety topics or personal concerns dealing with the safe handling of chemical or equipment.
When dealing with chlorine, the Parish employees use the following steps.
1 - Two (2) men work on chlorine equipment at all times.
2 - One (1) operator goes to the chlorinator area with respirator properly fitted and on face.
3 - Second operator stands back with respirator properly fitted and on face, plus he carries two (2) ten (10)minutes air packs in case of a chlorine leak.
4 - Second man is stand by operator only for rescue purposes.
5 - Primary op
erator performs work or cylinder change-out.
6 - If leak or chemical emission occurs, Operator one must access situation. Operator one must be a normal wastewater plant operator. If minor and repairable by operator, work should be completed immediately with operator two on alert.
7 - If operator determines situation is uncontrollable, both operators should retreat and begin emergency procedures.
8 - Lead operator must notify Emergency Coordinators and initiate site evacuation plan.
9 - Upon notification of Emergency Coordinator, Lead Operator should insure proper evacuation/accounting of all plant personnel.
These steps are practiced routinely, so that if a situation occurs, the steps involving the safety of the employees and the community are second nature to the operators.
For more details on this matter, please see our St.John the Baptist Parish Chemical Release Contingency Plan.
Five-Year Accident History
We have had one reportable accident within the past five years , of all
the six plant reporting. In November of 1996, an accident occurred releasing thirteen (13) pounds of gaseous chlorine due to a untightened lead washer on the cylinder valve. No one offsite was injured, but an evacuation (precautionary) did occur to comply with St. John's policy of protecting the community.
Emmergency Response Program
When an accident occurs, the operator on duty should remain in a safe location to assist with on-site directions. The operator will notify the Emergency Coordinator at 911, immediately. The coordinator will initiate all coordination between local agencies (State Police, Hospitals, LADEQ, etc.). Any required assistance must be coordinated at the plant by the on-site operator. A list of emergency phone numbers of agencies, a hazardous material incident reporting form, a spill, leak, release decision tree form, safety equipment and more are provided for the operators to guide them and managers, to a safe outcome of a potentially dangerous situation
Planned Changes to Improve Safety
St. John the Baptist Parish believes in training and will continue to train their employees. Safety meetings will be held to ensure that safety ideas, procedure and concerns are met. People are our most important asset - their safety our greatest responsibility