Conoco, Inc. - Lake Charles Refinery - Executive Summary

| Accident History | Chemicals | Emergency Response | Registration | Source | Executive Summary |

2538 LDEQ Facility ID Number 
The RMP rule requires that this site provide an executive summary in the RMPlan. This summary provides the following items: 
? Accidental release prevention and response policies 
? Description of the stationary source and regulated substances 
? Offsite consequence analysis results 
? General accidental release prevention program and chemical-specific prevention steps 
? Five-year accident history 
? Emergency response program 
? Chemical Specific Prevention Steps 
? Planned changes to improve safety 
The Conoco, Inc., Lake Charles Refinery (LCR) site 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 imp 
lement reasonable controls to prevent foreseeable releases of regulated substances. However, if a release does occur, our trained personnel will respond to control and contain the release. 
The LCR site is located In Westlake, Louisiana.  It operates a variety of processes that takes raw crude oil and produces petroleum products such as unleaded gasoline, petroleum coke, kerosene, and jet fuel.  The LCR site has regulated flammables, such as propane, butane, NFPA4 flammable mixtures, and hydrogen. The site also has several of the RMP listed toxic substances, but none at the quantity or concentration specified in the regulation.  
The WCS associated with a release of flammable substances in Program 3 processes at the site is a vapor cloud explosion (VCE) involving the full inventory of the largest storage tank containing mainly butane. No administrative controls are in place to limit the storage in 
ventory in the tank; therefore, the full tank inventory of 3 million pounds is assumed to release, completely vaporize, and ignite, resulting in a VCE.  The maximum distance to the 1-psi endpoint for this WCS is 1.16 miles impacting a population of 2,266 people.  Although we have numerous controls to prevent such releases and to manage their consequences, no credit for passive mitigation measures was taken into account in evaluating this WCS. 
The ARS associated with a release of a flammable substances at the site is the radiant heat effects of a fireball formed where a sphere of mainly butane overheats from a fire impinging on the tank (BLEVE) resulting in the release of 1.27 million pounds of butane over 40 seconds and exploding. The maximum distance to the 1-psi endpoint for this event is 0.60 mile impacting a population of 598 people.  This event was selected as being a practical scenario for use in emergency planning and response.  
The LCR site also has several of the RMP listed  
toxic substances, but none at the quantity or concentration specified in the regulation therefore we will not be reporting a toxic WCS or ARS. 
We keep records for all significant accidental chemical releases that occur at our facility. We investigate every incident very carefully to determine ways to prevent similar incidents from occurring.  The following is a brief summary of accidental chemical releases involving material covered under EPA's RMP rule since June, 1994.  This incident history considers off-site impact such as shelter-in-place of the public, injuries to the public or equipment damage of $50,000 or more. 
October 28, 1994 - Fluidizer Catalytic Cracking process explosion.  One death, nine injuries, no off-site impacts, property damage $5 million. 
September 30, 1996 - Product Fractionation process, flash fire due to the release of 60 pounds of propane.  Three injuries, no off-site impact, no property damage. 
The following is a summary of the general accident prevention program in place at the LCR site.  Because processes at the site are regulated by the EPA RMP regulation are also subject to the OSHA 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 LCR site 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 refinery 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 site and addresses each accident prevent 
ion program element.  In addition, the site has a number of initiatives under way that address process safety and employee safety issue. 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 LCR site keeps a variety of technical documents called Process Technology Packages (PTP's). PTP's 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 refinery 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). This information is supplemented by documents that specifically address known corrosion concerns and any known hazards associated with the inadvertent mixing of chemicals.  For specific process areas, the refinery has documented safety-related limits for specific process parameters (e.g., temperature, level, composition) in a Safe Operating Limits (SOL) section of the PT Packages.  The refinery ensures that the process is maintained within these limits using process controls and monitoring instruments, highly trained personnel, and protective instrument systems (e.g., automated shutdown systems).  
The site also maintains numerous technical documents that provide information about the design and construction of process equipment.  This information include 
s materials of construction, design pressure and temperature ratings, electrical rating of equipment, etc. 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 
The LCR site 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 LCR site uses a combination of the hazard and operability (HAZOP) analysis technique along with a What-If checklist to perform these evaluations. In addition the HAZOP/What-If checklist the site uses a systematic Layer of Protection Analysis (LOPA) which takes industry failure rates and 
applies to a scenario to calculate a threshold value.  The combination of HAZOP/What-If checklist/LOPA 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 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 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 being implemented in response to PHA team findings are tracked until they are complete. 
 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 LCR site periodically updates and revalidates the hazard analysis results.  These periodic reviews are conducted at least every 5 years and will be conducted at this frequency until the process is no longer operating. The results and findings from these updates are documented, tracked, 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 LCR site maintains written procedures that address various modes of process operations, such as (1) process 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 experienc 
ed 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 maintained current and accurate by revising them as necessary to reflect changes made through the management of change process.   
In addition, the LCR site maintains key process parameter documents that provides guidance on how to respond to upper or lower limit exceedances for specific process or equipment parameters.  This information, along with written operating procedures, is readily available to operators in the process  and for other personnel to use as necessary to safely perform their job tasks. 
To complement the written procedures for process operations, the LCR site has implemented a comprehensive training program for all employees involved in operating a process.  New employees receive basic training in refinery operations. After successfully completing this training, a new opera 
tor is paired with a senior operator to learn process-specific duties and tasks.  After operators demonstrate (e.g., through tests, skills demonstration) having 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 3 years.  All of this training is documented for each operator, including the means used to verify that the operator understood the training. 
The LCR site uses contractors to supplement its workforce during periods of increased maintenance or construction activities.  Because some contractors work on or near process equipment, the refinery 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 refinery 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 LCR site evaluates contractor safety programs and performance during the selection of a contractor.  Site personnel periodically monitor contractor performance to ensure that contractors are fulfilling their safety obligations. 
Pre-startup Safety Reviews (PSSRs) 
The LCR site 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 the equipment are appropriately pr 
epared 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 uses checklists to verify all aspects of readiness.  A PSSR involves field verification of the construction and serves a quality assurance function by requiring verification that accident prevention program requirements are properly implemented. 
Mechanical Integrity 
The LCR site has well-established 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 a 
ctivities form a system that maintains the mechanical integrity of the process equipment. 
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 job 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 vessels).  If a deficiency is identified, employees will correct the deficiency before placing the equipment back into service (if possible), or a 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 LCR site 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 LCR site 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 materials 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 ope 
rations and maintenance activities are performed safely. 
Management of Change 
The LCR site has a comprehensive system to manage changes to 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 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 LCR site promptly investigates all incidents that resulted in, or reasonably could have resulted in, a fire/explosion, toxic gas release, major prope 
rty damage, environmental loss, or personal injury.  The goal of each investigation is to determine the facts and develop corrective actions to prevent a recurrence of the incident or a similar incident.  The investigation team documents its findings, develops recommendations to prevent a recurrence, and forwards these results to refinery 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 5 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 LCR site 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 3 years.  Both hourly and management personnel participate as audit team members.  The audit team develops findings that are forwarded to refinery 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 LCR site have hazards that must be managed to ensure continued safe operation.  The accident prevention program summarizes previously is applied to all Program 2 and 3 EPA RMP-covered processes at the LCR site.  Collectively, these prevention program activities help prevent potential accident scenarios that could be caused by (1) equipment failure and (2) human errors. 
In addition to the accident prevention pr 
ogram activities, the LCR site has safety features on many processess to help (1) contain/control a release, (2) quickly detect a release, and (3) reduce the consequence of (mitigate) a release.  The following types of safety features are used in various processes: 
Release detection 
Hydrocarbon detectors with alarms 
Release Containment/Control 
? Process relief valves that discharge to a flare to capture and incinerate episodic releases 
? Scrubber to neutralize chemical releases 
? Valves to permit isolation of the process (manually or automated) 
? Automatic shutdown systems for specific process parameters (e.g., high level, high temperature) 
? Vessel to permit partial removal of the process inventory in the event of a release (e.g. dump tank) 
? Curbing or diking to contain liquid releases 
? Redundant equipment and instrumentation (e.g., interruptible power supply for process control system, backup firewater pump) 
? Atmospheric relief devices 
Release Mitigation 
? Fire suppression a 
nd extinguishing systems 
? Deluge for specific equipment 
? Trained emergency response personnel 
? Personal protective equipment (e.g., protective clothing, self-contained breathing apparatus) 
? Blast-resistant buildings to help protect control systems and personnel 
The LCR site maintains a written emergency response program, which 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 LCR site 
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. The emergency response program is updated when necessary based on modifications made to refinery processes or other refinery facilities.  
The overall emergency response program for the LCR site is coordinated with the Lake Charles, Louisiana 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 LCR site 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 facilitat 
ing quick response to an incident.  In addition to periodic LEPC meetings, the LCR site conducts periodic emergency drills that involve the LEPC and emergency response organizations, and the refinery provides annual refresher training to local emergency responders regarding the hazards of regulated substances in the refinery.  
The LCR site resolves all findings from PHAs, some of which result in modifications to the process.  The following types of changes are planned: 
? Removing toxic chemicals such as chlorine and sulfur dioxides as water treating chemicals 
? Written work instructions for calibrating and testing instrumentation safety systems 
? Installing emergency shutdown valves in the liquefied petroleum gas storage area to decrease the inventory that could be released.
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