Central Bi-Products - Executive Summary
The Central Bi-Products facility located in Long Prairie, Minnesota is a rendering facility and provides products for the pet food industry that handles ammonia and chlorine, which is considered toxic by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). |
The primary purpose of this facility is to provide a service to the animal and poultry processing facilities by taking non-edible bi-products and processing by protein conversion into useful products. The process includes grinding, fluidizing evaporation and additional processes. Also, fresh poultry is prepared, cooled or frozen, and shipped for use as pet food.
Ammonia is used at the facility to refrigerate areas to maintain a safe storage and processing of products used for animal feeds. Ammonia is a valuable chemical used in the facility refrigeration system, providing the means to remove heat from the products being handled. Ammonia is contained in equipment in the facility and is compressed, condensed and evaporated to remove h
eat from areas within the facility.
Chlorine is used as an oxidizer in odor control systems within the facility. Chlorine is widely accepted for these applications. Chlorine is stored in steel cylinders and is conveyed through a vacuum piping system within the facility to points of use. If the vacuum system fails, the system will automatically shut down.
Since ammonia and chlorine are classified by EPA as toxic chemicals, it is necessary to observe certain safety precautions in handling them to prevent unnecessary human exposure, to reduce the health threat to our own workers, and reduce the threat to nearby members of the community. It is our policy to adhere to all Federal and state rules and regulations. Safety depends upon the manner in which we handle ammonia, and chlorine, combined with the safety devices inherent in the design of this facility combined with the safe handling procedures that we use and the training of our personnel.
An accidental release prevention progr
am has been in place at the facility for many years. The facility was constructed using the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) guidelines, and is in compliance with state codes. This processing facility complies with EPA's Accidental Release Prevention Rule and with all applicable state codes and regulations.
All of our ammonia refrigeration operators are trained using an on the job training program and that provided by refrigeration contractors who are members of IIAR, a nationally recognized authority in ammonia refrigeration. This program consists of having an effective preventative maintenance program, including using the services of an independent refrigeration contractor to assist in the operation and maintenance of the facility, and employee training to insure adequate response to equipment integrity. The facility has a plan to replace Safety Relief Valves on a 5-year interval as recommended by IIAR. The vessels containing ammonia are located inside th
e building which would lessen the impact of any ammonia release from a vessel.
The chlorine system is set up according to the guidelines and recommendation of the Chlorine Institute. The cylinders are delivered on a routine basis by a reliable firm and the system as previously mentioned operated on a vacuum system connected to the pressurized tank. Any damage to the system where a pipe is opened to the atmosphere, the valve at the cylinder will automatically close.
Our emergency response program is based upon federal guidelines as they apply to this facility. The emergency response plan includes procedures for notification of the local fire authority, local emergency response agencies, and notification of any potentially affected neighbors. The facility emergency response plan is based on all known applicable regulations and requirements. The emergency response plan has been discussed with the Long Prairie Fire Department and other agencies involved with a response. Representa
tives of the Long Prairie Fire Department visited this plant on an annual basis.
There have been no reportable accidents in the past 5 years related to the ammonia, and chlorine, systems. Furthermore, there have been no reportable releases at this facility in the past 5 years.
In regards to the worst case release scenario for these two toxic chemicals as defined by EPA, the worst case release for ammonia from the high pressure receiver (located inside the building) could travel beyond the facility property boundary in an urban setting to the toxic endpoint as defined by EPA. An alternative, more likely, release scenario could travel within the property boundary or just beyond the property on the south side of the facility to the toxic end point.
For chlorine, the worst case release scenario would cause a release from the storage cylinder that could travel beyond the facility property boundary in an urban setting to the toxic endpoint as defined by EPA. An alternative, more likely
, release scenario could travel within the property boundary or just beyond the property on the south side of the facility to the toxic end point.
In all cases, of a potential release, the extent of downwind areas affected is dependent on the amount of chemical released, weather conditions, wind speed and direction, etc.