BASF Corporation Geismar Site - Executive Summary
2049 LDEQ Facility ID Number |
Commitment to the Community
BASF Corporation has a long tradition of operating its facilities in the safest possible manner. BASF also believes in being a responsible corporate citizen and maintaining open, constructive dialogue with our neighbors. These principles are an integral part of our corporate vision statement and values. We believe that sharing this information with our neighbors makes good sense. By doing so, we believe the community will better understand how safe and ecologically sound BASF operations are.
BASF Corporation has the following Corporate Guidelines related to environmental, health and safety:
? We produce products that are safe to manufacture, use and dispose.
? We assist our customers to use our products safely and in an environmentally sound manner. We provide them with information on correct handling of our products.
? We minimize the impact on mankind and the environment during production, storage, transporta
tion, marketing and use of our products.
? Economic considerations do not take priority over environmental protection, health and safety.
? An important contribution to "Sustainable Development" is our involvement in the "Responsible Care" initiative worldwide. This applies to our products and services in all our businesses and affiliates.
? We are committed to making continuous improvements in safety, health and environmental protection. We do this acting on our own initiative and in consultation with recognized regulatory authorities. We take any action judged to be necessary, whether or not dictated by statutory obligation or official regulations.
? We encourage safety, environmental and health awareness among employees.
? We regard it as an important corporate duty to advance science and technology in order to improve safety and environmental protection.
? We carefully weigh the potential benefits and risks of new discoveries and technologies in dialogue with scientists and soci
ety before deciding on how to proceed.
? We pursue an open dialogue with all relevant opinion leaders in society. Our goals are to promote and strengthen mutual understanding and deepen trust in what we do.
The BASF Corporation Geismar Site implements these policies through site-specific programs and procedures.
The BASF Corporation Geismar Site uses acetylene and formaldehyde and methylamine to manufacture chemicals that are building blocks for products like automotive plastics, fibers for clothing, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical products; the site produces acetylene to use in this process. The site uses acrylonitrile, 2-methylpropene, and ammonia (anhydrous) to manufacture various amines including dimethylamine and cyclohexylamine. These chemicals are used as precursors for plastics, agricultural chemicals, dyes, soaps and water treatment chemicals. Ethylene and methane are used to produce ethylene oxide. This chemical is used as a building block for surf
actants like soaps and detergents, and is used in the medical industry to sterilize medical instruments. Ethylene oxide is used alone to produce glycols, and with propylene oxide to produce polymeric alcohols. Glycols are used for antifreeze and fibers, while the polymeric alcohols are used as building blocks for urethane foams like furniture cushions and automobile components. The BASF Corporation Geismar Site uses ammonia (aqueous) and vinyl acetate to produce binders for the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. These chemicals are used in such products as hair gels and pharmaceutical tablets. Chlorine, phosgene and formaldehyde are used in the production of diisocyanates. One of the diisocyanates that the Geismar Site produces is toluene diisocyanate, which is used to produce urethane foams like those found in life preservers and seat cushions. The diisocyanate byproducts, hydrogen chloride and hydrochloric acid (> 37%), are used in industrial and home products. Hydrochlori
c acid can be purchased from a hardware store as muriatic acid and be used to clean brick and masonry or to adjust the pH of swimming pools.
During the development of the Risk Management Plan, the BASF Corporation Geismar Site identified the following two scenarios using the guidance provided by the EPA:
? Release of phosgene from a temporary storage drum with off-site impacts. Administrative controls are in place to limit the amount of phosgene that can be stored.
? Vapor cloud explosion resulting from the release of methylamine with offsite impacts.
? Vapor cloud explosion resulting from the release of a flammable mixture containing acetylene, methane, and hydrogen with offsite impacts.
The following is a summary of the alternative release scenarios identified by the BASF Corporation Geismar Site for the Risk Management Plan:
? Release of acrylonitrile from an instrument connection failure with off-site impact. Operator response to iso
late the release point limits the release duration.
? Release of ammonia (anhydrous) from a leak in a high pressure pump with offsite impact. Operator response to isolate the release point limits the release duration.
? Release of ammonia (aqueous) from a leak in a transfer line with off-site impact. Operator response to isolate the release point limits the release duration.
? Release of chlorine from a leak in a transfer line with off-site impact. Operator response to isolate the release point limits the release duration.
? Release of cyclohexylamine from a leak below a distillation tower with off-site impact. Operator response to isolate the release point limits the release duration.
? Release of ethylene oxide from overfilling a rail car with off-site impact. Loading rate is limited by design. Operator response to isolate the release point limits the release duration.
? Release of formaldehyde from a process line leak with off-site impact. Operator response to isolate the release
point limits the release duration.
? Release of hydrogen chloride from a transfer line with off-site impact. Operator response to isolate the release point limits the release duration.
? Release of hydrochloric acid from overfilling a rail car with off-site impact. Loading rate is limited by design. Operator response to isolate the release point limits the release duration.
? Release of phosgene from a process line leak with offsite impact. Phosgene detectors alert operators of release. Operator response to isolate the release point limits the release duration.
? Release of propylene oxide from a leak in a pump with no off-site impact. Operator response to isolate the release point limits the release duration.
? Release of toluene diisocyanate from overfilling a rail car without off-site impact. Operator response to isolate the release point limits the release duration.
? Vapor cloud explosion resulting from the release of methylamine with off-site impact.
Accidental Release Preven
The BASF Corporation Geismar Site has a multi-layered approach to accident prevention. The foundation for this multi-level approach is composed of design controls. Design controls are implemented at the initial stages of designing a new process or new plant. Design teams ensure that every aspect of the project is designed in the safest way possible. The next layer is comprised of engineering controls that work to prevent accidents or to contain releases. In-line sensors, monitoring key process parameters, act as sentinels for our operations personnel. These sensors provide early warning of potential problems and can act automatically to initiate safe, equipment shutdown sequences. Pressure relief valves, emergency flares, dikes, and interlock systems are other examples of engineering controls. The top layer of the BASF Corporation Geismar Site's accident prevention approach is composed of administrative controls. Key procedures establish processes that address impo
rtant areas such as preventive maintenance and employee training. Equipment reliability is essential to keeping plants functioning and operating safely and properly. Employee training at the Geismar Site is a continuous process that begins upon hiring and includes periodic sessions to update employees regarding changes in our processes and changes in regulations. This multi-layered approach aids the BASF Corporation Geismar Site in complying with several process safety initiatives including the EPA Risk Management Program, the OSHA Process Safety Management standard, and the Chemical Manufacturer Association's Responsible Care Process Safety Code.
Five Year Accident History
This facility has had two accidental releases over the past five years which meet the reporting criteria. One of the releases was ammonia, the other was a flammable mixture of ethane and methane; neither of the releases had off-site impacts. The operational step during which the ammonia release occurred has be
en eliminated to prevent this accidental release from reoccurring. Engineering controls were added and equipment was upgraded to prevent the recurrance of the flammable gas release.
Emergency Response Program
While the BASF Corporation Geismar Site places very strong emphasis on accident prevention, how site personnel and systems respond to an emergency also plays a major role in risk management. Emergency response plans, training, and drills receive high priority at the Geismar Site. The fire brigade, Hazmat team members, medical staff and others are well prepared if an emergency does occur.
Planned Changes to Improve Safety
Facility processes are routinely changed to improve safety as a result of employee suggestions, process hazard analyses, incident investigations, etc.