Zif Gas Plant - Executive Summary

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The Equinox Oil Company Zif Gas Plant has a long-standing commitment to worker and public 
safety. This commitment is demonstrated by the resources invested in accident prevention, such as 
training personnel and considering safety in the design, installation, operation, and maintenance of 
our processes. Our policy is to implement reasonable controls to prevent foreseeable releases of 
regulated substances. However, if a release does occur, gas plant trained personnel will respond to 
control and contain the release. 
The Zif Plant, located approximately seven miles south of Clay City in Wayne County, Illinois, 
operates a variety of processes to produce petroleum products (e.g., natural gas, propane, 
butane/gasoline [BG]-mix and condensate) from natural gas. The Zif Plant has several regulated 
flammables, such as propane and BG-mix. There are no regulated t 
oxic substances at the Zif facility. 
The worst-case scenario (WCS) associated with a release of flammable substances in Program Level 
3 processes at the gas plant is a vapor cloud explosion (VCE) involving the full inventory of the 
largest storage tank containing BG-mix and condensate. A written procedure is in place to limit the 
storage inventory to 24,000 gallons, (85% of the maximum tank capacity); therefore, the reduced 
inventory is assumed to release and ignite, resulting in a VCE. The maximum distance to the 1psi 
endpoint for this WCS is 0.41 miles. Although controls are in place to prevent such releases and to 
manage their consequences, no credit for passive mitigation measures was taken into account in 
evaluating this WCS. 
The Alternative Release Scenario (ARS) for flammable substance's At the Zif Plant is a VCE resulting 
from the release of propane from the propane storage area. The maximum distance to the 1 - psi 
endpoint for this event 
is 0.17 miles. This event was selected as being a practical scenario for use in 
emergency planning and response. Figure 1-1 graphically presents the hazard assessment results for 
the flammable WCS and ARS events. 
The following is a summary of the accident prevention program in place at the Zif Plant. Because 
processes at the gas plant that are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) risk 
management program (RMP) regulation are also subject to the Occupational Safety and Health 
Administration's (OSHA's)  process safety management (PSM) standard, this summary addresses each 
of the OSHA PSM elements and describes the management system in place to implement the accident 
prevention program. 
Employee Participation 
The Zif Plant encourages employees to participate in all facets of process safety management and 
accident prevention. Examples of employee participation range from updating and compiling technical 
documents and c 
hemical information to participating as a member of a process hazard analysis (PHA) 
team. Employees have access to all information created as part of the gas plant accident prevention 
program. Specific ways that employees can be involved in the accident prevention program are 
documented in an employee participation plan that is maintained at the gas plant and addresses each 
accident prevention program element. In addition, the gas plant has a number of initiatives under way 
which address process safety and employee safety issues. These initiatives include forming teams to 
promote both process and personal safety. The teams typically have members from various areas of 
the plant, including operations, maintenance, engineering, and plant management. 
Process Safety Information 
The Zif Plant keeps a variety of technical documents that are used to help maintain safe operation of 
the processes. These documents address chemical properties and associated hazards, limits for key 
process parame 
ters and specific chemical inventories, and equipment design basis/configuration 
information. Specific departments within the gas plant are  assigned responsibility for maintaining 
up-to-date process safety information. A table  summarizing the reference documents and their 
location is readily available as part of the written employee participation plan to help employees locate 
any necessary process safety information. 
Chemical-specific information, including exposure hazards and emergency response/exposure 
treatment considerations, is provided in material safety data sheets (MSDSs). The gas plant ensures 
that the process is maintained within acceptable limits using process controls and monitoring 
instruments, highly trained personnel,  and protective instrument systems (e.g., automated shutdown 
The gas plant also maintains numerous technical documents that provide information about the design 
and construction of process equipment. This information includes materials of con 
struction, design 
pressure and temperature ratings, and electrical rating of equipment. This information, in combination 
with written procedures and trained personnel, provides a basis for establishing inspection and 
maintenance activities, as well as for evaluating proposed process and facility changes to ensure that 
safety features in the process are not compromised. 
Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) 
The Zif Plant has a program to help ensure that hazards associated with the various processes are 
identified and controlled. Within this program, each process is systematically examined to  identify 
hazards and ensure that adequate controls are in place to manage these hazards. 
The Zif Plant primarily uses the fault tree analysis technique to perform these evaluations. Fault tree 
analysis is recognized as a systematic hazard evaluation techniques. The analyses are conducted using 
a team of people who have operating and maintenance experience as well as engineering expertise. 
This team id 
entifies and evaluates hazards of the process, as well as accident prevention and 
mitigation measures, and the team makes suggestions for additional prevention and/or mitigation 
measures when the team believes such measures are necessary. 
The PHA team findings are forwarded to local and corporate management for resolution. 
Implementation of mitigation options in response to PHA findings is based on a relative risk ranking 
assigned by  the PHA team. This ranking helps ensure that potential accident scenarios assigned the 
highest risk receive immediate attention. All approved mitigation options in response to PHA team 
findings are tracked until they are completed. The final resolution of each finding is documented and 
retained. To help ensure that the process controls and/or process hazards do not eventually deviate 
significantly from the original design safety features, the plant periodically updates and revalidates the 
hazard analysis results. 
These periodic reviews are conducted at  
least every five years and will be conducted at this frequency 
until the  process is no longer operating. The results and findings from these updates are documented 
and retained. Once again, the team findings are forwarded to management for consideration, and the 
final resolution of the findings is documented and retained. 
Operating Procedures 
The Zif Plant maintains written procedures that address various modes of process operations, such 
as (1) unit startup, (2) normal operations, (3) temporary operations, (4) emergency shutdown, (5) 
normal shutdown, and (6) initial startup of a new process. These procedures can be used as a 
reference by experienced operators and provide a basis for consistent training of new operators. 
These procedures are periodically  reviewed and annually certified as current and accurate. The 
procedures are kept current and accurate by  revising them as necessary to reflect changes made 
through the management of change process. In addition, the Zif Plant maint 
ains written operating 
procedures, which are readily available to operators in the process unit and for other personnel to use 
as necessary to safely perform their job tasks. 
To complement the written procedures for process operations, the Zif Plant has implemented a  
comprehensive training program for all employees involved in operating a process. New employees 
receive basic training in gas plant operations if they are not already familiar with such operations. 
After successfully completing this training, a new operator is paired with a senior operator to learn 
process-specific duties and tasks. After operators demonstrate (e.g., through tests, skills 
demonstration) adequate knowledge to perform the duties and tasks in a safe manner on their own, 
they can work independently. In addition, all operators periodically receive refresher training on the 
operating procedures to ensure that their skills and knowledge are maintained at an acceptable level. 
This refresher training is 
conducted at least every three years. All of this training is documented for 
each operator, including the means used to verify that the operator understood the training.   
The Zif Plant uses contractors to supplement its workforce during periods of increased maintenance 
or construction activities. Because some contractors work on or near process equipment, the gas 
plant has procedures in place to ensure that contractors (1) perform their work in a safe manner, (2) 
have the appropriate knowledge and skills, (3) are aware of the hazards in their workplace, (4) 
understand what they should do in the event of an emergency, (5) understand and follow site safety 
rules, and (6) inform gas plant personnel of any hazards that they find during their work. This is 
accomplished by providing contractors with (1) a process overview, (2) information about safety and 
health hazards, (3) emergency response plan requirements, and (4) safe work practices prior to their 
beginning work. In ad 
dition, the Zif Plant evaluates contractor safety programs and performance 
during the selection of a contractor. Gas plant personnel periodically monitor contractor performance 
to ensure that contractors are fulfilling their safety obligations. 
Pre-Startup Safety Reviews (PSSRs) 
The Zif Plant conducts a PSSR for any new facility or facility modification that requires a change in 
the process safety information. The purpose of the PSSR is to ensure that safety features, procedures, 
personnel, and equipment are appropriately prepared for startup prior to placing the equipment into 
service. This review provides one additional check to make sure construction is in accordance with 
the design specifications and that all supporting systems are operationally ready. The PSSR review 
team uses checklists to verify all aspects of readiness. A PSSR involves field verification that accident 
prevention program requirements are properly implemented. 
Mechanical Integrity 
The Zif Plant has well-estab 
lished practices and procedures to maintain pressure vessels, piping 
systems, relief and vent systems, controls, pumps and compressors, and emergency shutdown systems 
in a safe operating condition. The basic aspects of this program include: (1) conducting training, (2) 
developing written procedures, (3) performing inspections and tests, (4) correcting identified 
deficiencies, and (5) applying quality assurance measures. In combination, these activities form a 
system that maintains the mechanical integrity of the process. 
Maintenance personnel receive training on (1) an overview of the process, (2) safety and health 
hazards, (3) applicable maintenance procedures, (4) emergency response plans, and (5) applicable safe 
work practices to help ensure that they can perform their jobs in a safe manner. Written procedures 
help ensure that work is performed in a consistent manner and provide a basis for training. Inspections 
and tests are performed to help ensure that equipment functions as int 
ended and to verify that 
equipment is within acceptable limits (e.g., adequate wall thickness for pressure vessels). If a 
deficiency is identified, employees will correct the deficiency before placing the equipment back into 
service (if possible), or a management of change team will review the use of the equipment and 
determine what actions are necessary to ensure the safe operation of the equipment.  
Another integral part of the mechanical integrity program is quality assurance. The Zif Plant 
incorporates quality assurance measures into equipment purchases and repairs. This helps ensure that 
new equipment is suitable for its intended use and that proper materials and spare parts are used when 
repairs are made.  
Safe Work Practices 
The Zif Plant has long-standing safe work practices in place to help ensure worker and process safety. 
Examples of these include (1) control of the entry/presence/exit of support personnel, (2) a 
lockout/tagout procedure to ensure isolation of energy sour 
ces for equipment undergoing 
maintenance, (3) a procedure for safe removal of hazardous substances before process piping or 
equipment is opened, (4) a permit and procedure to control sparkproducing activities (i.e., hot work), 
and (5) a permit and procedure to ensure that adequate precautions are in place before entry into a 
confined space. These procedures (and others), along with training of affected personnel, form a 
system to help ensure that operations and maintenance activities are performed safely. 
Management of Change 
The Zif Plant has a comprehensive system to manage changes to all covered processes. This system 
requires that changes to items such as process equipment, chemicals, technology (including 
process-operating conditions), procedures, and other facility changes be properly reviewed and 
authorized before being implemented. Changes are reviewed to (1) ensure that adequate controls are 
in place to manage any new hazards, and (2) verify that existing controls have not b 
een compromised 
by the change. Affected chemical hazard information, process operating limits, and equipment 
information, as well as procedures, are updated to incorporate these changes. In addition, operating 
and maintenance personnel are provided any necessary training on the change. 
Incident Investigation 
The Zif Plant promptly investigates all incidents that resulted in, or reasonably could have resulted 
in, a fire/explosion, toxic gas release, major property damage, environmental loss, or personal injury. 
The goal of each investigation is to determine the facts and develop corrective actions to prevent a 
recurrence and forwards these results to gas plant management for resolution. Corrective actions 
taken in response to the investigation team's findings and recommendations are tracked until they are 
complete. The final resolution of each finding or recommendation is documented, and the 
investigation results are reviewed with all employees (including contractors) who could be aff 
by the findings. Incident investigation reports are retained for at least five years so that the reports 
can be reviewed during future PHAs and PHA re-validations. 
Compliance Audits 
To help ensure that the accident prevention program is functioning properly, the Zif Plant periodically 
conducts an audit to determine whether the procedures and practices required by the accident 
prevention program are being implemented. Compliance audits are conducted at least every three 
years. Both hourly and staff personnel participate as audit team members. The audit team develops 
findings that are forwarded to gas plant management for resolution. Corrective actions taken in 
response to the audit team's findings are tracked until they are complete. The final resolution of each 
finding is documented, and the two most recent audit reports are retained.. 
The processes at the Zif Plant have hazards that must be managed to ensure continued safe operation. 
ing is a description of existing safety features applicable to prevention of accidental releases 
of regulated substances in the facility. 
Universal Prevention Activities 
The accident prevention program summarized previously is applied to all RMP-covered processes 
at the Zif Gas Plant. Collectively, these prevention program activities help prevent potential accident 
scenarios that could be caused by equipment failures and human errors. 
Specialized Safety Features 
The Zif Plant has safety features on many units to help (1) contain/control a release, (2) quickly detect 
a release, and (3) reduce the consequences of (mitigate) a release. The following types  of safety 
features are used in the covered processes: 
Release Detection 
    1.   Hydrocarbon detectors with alarms 
Release Containment/Control 
    1.   Process relief valves that discharge to a flare to capture and incinerate episodic releases 
    2.   Valves to permit isolation of the process 
    3.   Automated shutdown sys 
tems for specific process parameters 
    4.   Curbing or diking to contain liquid releases 
    5.   Redundant equipment and instrumentation 
    6.   Atmospheric relief devices 
Release Mitigation 
    1.   Fire suppression and extinguishing systems 
    2.   Trained emergency response personnel 
    3.   Personal protective equipment 
    4.   Blast-resistant buildings to help protect control systems and personnel 
The Zif Plant has an excellent record of accident prevention over the past five years. There have been 
no off-site accidents within this time period. 
The Zif Plant maintains a written emergency response program that is in place to protect worker and 
public safety, as well as the environment. The program consists of procedures for responding to a 
release of a regulated substance, including the possibility of a fire or explosion if a flammable 
substance is accidentally released. The procedures address all 
aspects of emergency response, 
including proper first aid and medical treatment for exposures, evacuation plans and accounting for 
personnel after an evacuation, notification of local emergency response agencies and the public, if a 
release occurs, and post incident cleanup and decontamination requirements. In addition, the plant 
has procedures that address maintenance, inspection, and testing of emergency response equipment, 
as well as instructions that address the use of emergency response equipment. Employees receive 
training in these procedures as necessary to perform their specific emergency response duties. When 
necessary, the emergency response program is updated based on modifications made to gas plant 
processes or other Zif Plant facilities. The emergency response program changes are administered 
through the MOC process, which includes informing and/or training affected personnel in the 
The overall emergency response program for the Zif Plant is coordinated with th 
e Clay City 
Volunteer Fire Department. The  Zif Gas Plant has around-the-clock communications capability with 
appropriate emergency response organizations (e.g., fire department). This provides a means of 
notifying the public of an incident, if necessary, as well as facilitating quick response to an incident. 
In addition, the  Zif Gas Plant conducts periodic emergency audits that involve emergency response 
organizations, and the gas plant provides annual refresher training to local emergency responders 
regarding the hazards of regulated substances in the gas plant. 
The Zif Gas Plant resolves all findings from PHAs, some of which may result in modifications to the 
process. At the current time, no changes are planned over the foreseeable future.
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