Beaver Facility - Executive Summary

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The CMS Field Services Beaver 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 Beaver gas plant, located near Beaver, Texas, operates a variety of processes to produce petroleum products (e.g., natural gas, natural gas liquids, propane and condensate) from natural gas. The Beaver gas plant has several regulated flammables, such as propane and natural gas liquids. There are no regulated toxic substances at the Beaver facility. 
The following is a summary of the accident prevention program in place at the Beaver 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 Beaver gas 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 chemical 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 emp 
loyees 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 Beaver gas 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 parameters 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 info 
rmation. 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 systems). 
The gas plant also maintains numerous technical documents that provide information about the design and construction of process equipment. This information includes materials of construction, 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 Beaver gas plant has a comprehensive 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 Beaver gas plant primarily uses the hazard and operability (HAZOP) analysis technique to perform these evaluations. HAZOP analysis is recognized as one of the most systematic and thorough 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 identifies and evaluates hazards of the process, as well as accident prevention and mitigation measures, and the team makes suggestions for additio 
nal 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 updat 
es 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 Beaver gas 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 Beaver plant maintains 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 Beaver gas 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 or 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 Beaver gas 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 addition, the Beaver gas plant evaluates contractor safety programs and performance during the selection of a contractor. Gas plan 
t personnel periodically monitors contractor performance to ensure that contractors are fulfilling their safety obligations. 
Pre-Startup Safety Reviews (PSSRs) 
The Beaver gas 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 Beaver gas plant has well-established practices and procedures to maintain pressure vessels, piping systems, relief and vent systems, cont 
rols, 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 intended and to verify that equipment is within acceptable limits (e.g., adequate wall thickness for pressure ve 
ssels). If a deficiency is identified, employees will correct the deficiency before placing the equipment back into service (if possible), or a management of change (MOC) 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 Beaver gas 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 Beaver gas 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 sources for equipment undergoing maintenance, (3) a procedure for safe removal of hazardous sub 
stances before process piping or equipment is opened, (4) a permit and procedure to control spark-producing 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 (MOC) 
The Beaver gas 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 been compromised by the change. Affected chemical hazard information, process ope 
rating 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 Beaver gas plant promptly investigates all incidents that resulted in, or reasonably could have resulted in a fire or 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 affected 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 revalidations. 
Compliance Audits 
To help ensure that the accident prevention program is functioning properly, the Beaver gas 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 Beaver gas plant have hazards that must be managed to ensure continued safe operation. Following is a description of existing safety features applicable t 
o 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 Beaver 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 Beaver gas 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 (manual or automated) 
3.    Automated shutdown systems for specific process parameters (e.g., high temperatu 
4.    Curbing or diking to contain liquid releases 
5.    Redundant equipment and instrumentation (e.g., uninterruptible power supply for process control system, backup firewater pump) 
6.    Atmospheric relief devices 
Release Mitigation 
1.    Fire suppression and extinguishing systems 
2.    Deluge system for specific equipment 
3.    Trained emergency response personnel 
4.    Personal protective equipment (e.g., chemical protective clothing, self-contained breathing apparatus) 
5.    Blast-resistant buildings to help protect control systems and personnel 
The Beaver gas 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 Beaver gas 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 sub 
stance, 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 Beaver gas plant facilities. The emergency response program changes are administered through the MOC process, which includes in 
forming and/or training affected personnel in the changes.  
The overall emergency response program for the Beaver gas plant is coordinated with the Beaver Fire Department and the Beaver County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). This coordination includes periodic meetings of the committee, which includes local emergency response officials, local government officials, and industry representatives. The Beaver gas plant has around-the-clock communications capability with appropriate LEPC officials and 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 to periodic LEPC meetings, the Beaver gas plant conducts periodic emergency drills that involve the LEPC and emergency response organizations, and the gas plant provides annual refresher training to local emergency responders regarding the hazards of regulated substances in the gas pla 
The Beaver 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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