Quaker Chemical Company, Inc - Executive Summary
It is Quaker Chemical Company, Inc. policy to work diligently to promote a safe work environment for our employees and to work with the local community to provide a safe area to live. Our chemical company has operated in the same location for over thirty years. Producing such products as All Purpose Cleaners, Hand Soaps, Floor Wax, Carpet Cleaning Chemical, Etc. In 1978, twenty one years ago, Quaker began packaging Hydrofluoric Acid by request from one of our customers. Since then we have added some additional customers of this type. The majority of these customers purchase the HF packaged in small containers, such as one gallon and five gallon pails. As this business increased, and to remain competitive in the market, it became apparent that we would need to bring in this product by bulk tankers loads (about 38,000 lbs per load). This would require Quaker to install a large holding tank to hold the product before packaging in smaller containers. W
hen purchasing the tank and equipment necessary and when making improvements in our process we requested the assistance of the HF manufacturers. Over the years we've had the assistance of the top three producers of Hydrofluoric Acid in the United States, LCI Inc., Chemtech, and AlliedSignal. Each of these company's have heightened our commitment to the safe handling of HF.
Safety and Accident Prevention:
Quaker being a relative small company, fifteen employees, up until this year our safety has been primarily handled by management. Recently we formed a "Safety Committee" which is made up of management, and production department supervisors. Accidental release prevention and emergence response is reviewed and adjusted by the "Safety Committee". This committee meets once each month to discuss the process and safety issues. The group reviews any concerns that have occurred over the last thirty days, and/or have been raised in the supervisors/employee meetings. Once the concerns have be
en identified then the committee devises a plan of action. The committee also reviews all new processes and/or changes in the process (equipment, tanks, valves, etc). For example after reviewing the RMP and worse case scenarios we decided to stop using our large tank installed in the summer of 1994. This tank is outdoors and we felt that we could greatly reduce the effect of an accident by placing this tank inside a building. As of May 31, 1999 we are no longer using this tank for the storage of 70% HF. We will continue to use it for HF less than 50 percent strength until we have moved into our new tank facility due to be completed about September 30, 2000. Until the Company completes the construction of the new building and holding tanks we will continue to bring in the HF in 520 pound drums of less. It also has been the practice of the company to work cooperatively with the local area emergency personnel. Each year the local fire department makes a complete walk through of our plant
becoming acquainted with the type of hazards stored and where they are. The walk through usually includes most of the employees of the local fire department that is just three blocks from our facility. Also, our company has requested several courtesy inspections conducted by DEHC (South Carolina Department of Health and Control) these inspections have included OSHA compliance, Industrial hygiene, air monitoring, and process review the latest being August 1999.
Facility and Regulated Chemical:
Currently we bring in 70% HF packaged in 480 pound drums or less. The average number of drums received in a single shipment is 80 drums. This product is stored in an enclosed warehouse. When we start processing the 70% HF we move one pallet at a time out of the warehouse into the pumping area. Here the four drums are placed onto a pallet containment basin to be pumped into our dilution tank(Diluted to less than 50% HF). If there was a leak in one of the drums the basin would contain the produc
t and limit the surface area of the spill.
New process proposed completion September 2000
The new tank (Proposed completion September 2000) holding area (enclosed building) for 70% Hydrofluoric Acid will have many additional safeguards. Some of these include, all tanks will be housed inside a building which will have a separate containment bay for each tank, our 70% HF tank will be setup as a tank inside a tank. If for some reason the first tank was to fail the second tank would contain the product. If in the unlikely event the second tank was to fail the double tanks will be sitting in an acid resistant lined concrete walled bay large enough to contain more than 140% of the first tanks maximum capacity. To control the possibility of tank rupture we have two separate pressure relieve outlets each going to a separate fume scrubbing system. If for some reason one of the outlets were to fail the other would act as a backup. We will installed a negative pressure relieve device to avoid th
e tank imploding due to any negative pressure.
Worst Case Scenario:
The 70% HF located on a pallet over pallet basin is what we have based our worse case scenario. In the projected scenario we have considered that one of the drums of 70% HF leaks it's entire contents in one minute. The maximum capacity of a drum is 520 pounds.. In this scenario the drums are outside of their normal storage area in the open air. The containment basin will limit the surface area of the spill to 18 square feet. Using the OCA Guidance method of modeling the offsite projected area includes less than 300 feet or one hundred yards.
For the alternative scenario we have considered the pumping of 70% HF from a 500 lb drum into our 1,500 gallon dilution tank. Our pump moves product at a maximum rate of 100 lbs per minute. In our alternate scenario we have projected that the output line from the pump to the dilution tank has burst. We have estimated that it will take the pump operator
no longer than 30 seconds to shut the suction valve off on the pump, this would cause 50 lbs of product to be spilled. Using the OCA Guidance method of modeling the offsite projected area includes less than 300 feet or one hundred yards. In this scenario the spill is not in an enclosed area. This alternate scenario was chosen because pumps hoses and connectors provide more opportunity for an accident. A hose or connection failure is something that you hope never happens but you never know when one may fail.
No releases have occurred during the last five years at our facility.
Our emergency response to worse case scenario is to secure and evacuate the spill area, notify the rest of the employees and the local area population. To immediately call The Richland County LEPC requesting them to implement the response plan that they have developed for our facility. Upon the arrival of the emergency response personal the response coordinator will be advi
sed of the current situation and a plan of action will then implemented.
To meet the requirements of notifying the public of the possible hazards in the case of an accident we have done the following. We have worked with the Richland/Lexington County LEPC and other area companies that fall under the RMP. The method chosen as a group to notify the public has several elements. First the LEPC and the local participating companies meet together to form a unified method of meeting the notification requirements of the RMP. We chose to set up a public meeting where all could be educated as to what the RMP means to them. After a discussion of the basics of the RMP the Attendees were invited in to meet with the different participating company to review their RMP plan. This meeting was advertized through printed brochures handed out by the participating companies to their local neighbors, radio announcements, television ads, newspaper announcements.