Nunes Cooling Inc. - Executive Summary
NUNES COOLING INC. is located within Fresno County, California, in an entirely agricultural area, and is a produce pre-cooling, cold storage, and shipping facility. The facility was first constructed on this site in the year 2000. Anhydrous ammonia is used as the closed loop system refrigerant for the pre-cooling and cold storage equipment and is the only acutely hazardous chemical used on the site . The facility consists of approximately 52,000 sq ft of cold storage warehouse space and various types of fixed and mobile pre-cooling equipment on the aproximate 23 acre site. |
The risks to the community from this facility would come from an incident in which the ammonia normally contained within the refrigeration system was allowed to escape into the atmosphere. In the worst-case scenario the toxic end point is located off the property within surrounding agricultural area, the alternate release scenario was selected as the most likely event that would have a toxic en
dpoiont located off of the subject property. Events which were considered possible and able to cause a release of ammonia for the purposes of the Hazard Evaluation were: equipment failure, operator error, design deficiency, vehicular accident, acts of sabotage/vandalism, fire and earthquake. It is expected that other specific events would have similar results as those listed above. Direct contact with the released ammonia vapor by people inside the toxic endpoint is the main area of concern.
The worst case release scenario considered was as required, specifically being the release of 100% of the ammonia contained within the largest vessel over a 10 minute period. The analytical results of this scenario show a distance to the toxic endpoint of approximately 1.4 miles, which includes only farmland and one similar produce cooler. The alternative release scenario chosen as the most likely event involves the release of 300 lbs. of ammonia over a 30 minute period from a le
aking valve or cracked pipe. The distance to the toxic endpoint would be approximately .1 miles in this case. Both scenarios result in off-site impacts.
Mitigation of ammonia releases is addressed by the following:
1. System design and construction
2. Administrative controls
3. Containment curb inside the main engine room
4. Diffusion tank for PRV releases
5. Operating engineer on-site daily
6. Off-hours security service
7. A release inside of a building could involve closing the building doors
Administrative controls and policies to be used in the event of a release are contained in the existing
" Business Response Plan - 2000". The major topics covered by this document are:
1. Emergency Contact List
2. Emergency Action Team
3. Notification Procedures
4. Hazardous Material Inve
5. Site Plan, Facility Layout
6. Personnel Responsibilities
7. Evacuation Plan and Procedures
8. Employee Training
9. Employer Emergency Response Checklist
Risk reduction steps have been and are continuing to be implemented by Nunes Cooling Inc. to .minimize the possibility of an accidental release of ammonia, and in the event of an accidental release, to minimize the effects upon the surrounding properties. The essential risk reduction steps now in effect at this facility are:
1. Regular daily equipment inspections
2. The weekly equipment inspections and logging
3. Maintaining equipment maintenance records
4. Maintaining records of previous releases and their causes
5. Proper training of operators
6. Mechanical and electrical system controls automatically maintain the correct system
temperatures and pressures, and provide safety shut-down and pressure relief in
the event that the system operates out of the design limits.
7. The ammonia diffusion tank is installed to contain ammonia that could be released through
a pressure relief valve in the main engine room.
8. Pressure vessels are equiped with high level alarm switches.
9. All equipment and system components are designed for ammonia service
10. The system was designed and installed in accordance with applicable Federal, State
and local codes and ordinances.
11. This facility currently operates under a Community Emergency Response Plan which:
a. Identifies the Emergency Coordinator and Emergency Contacts
b. Details the Emergency Notification Procedures
procedures for hazardous material incidents
d. Details reporting procedures
e. Contains the evacuation plan
f. Shows the locations of all acutely hazardous materials on-site
g. Shows the locations of emergency response and mitigation equipment on-site
This facility has just been constructed and therefore has not had an ammonia release within the last five years.