Hormel Foods Corporation Beloit Plant - Executive Summary
The Hormel Foods facility located in Beloit, Wisconsin is a pork processing facility. The primary purpose of this facility is to process raw pork into food products for distribution to retailers. |
Ammonia is contained in equipment in the facility and is compressed, condensed and evaporated to remove heat from within the facility to maintain safe storage areas and remove heat from the products being handled.
Ammonia is classified by EPA as a toxic chemical and it is necessary to observe certain safety precautions in handling it to prevent unnecessary human exposure, to reduce the health threat to our own workers, and reduce the threat to nearby members of the community. It is our policy to adhere to all Federal and State rules and regulations. Safety depends upon the manner in which we handle the ammonia, the safety devices inherent in the design of this facility, the safe handling procedures that we use and the training of our personnel.
An accidental release prevention program ha
s been in place for many years. The facility was designed and constructed in accordance with the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) guidelines, and is in compliance with State codes. This food processing facility complies with EPA?s Accidental Release Prevention Rule and with all applicable State codes and regulations.
All of our ammonia refrigeration operators are trained using a formal training program. This program consists of having an effective preventive maintenance program and comprehensive employee training to insure equipment integrity. The facility has instituted a 5 year safety relief valve changeout schedule as recommended by IIAR.
Our emergency response program is based upon Federal guidelines as they apply to this facility. The emergency response plan includes procedures for notification of the local fire authority, local emergency response agencies, and notification of any potentially affected neighbors. The facility emergency response plan is b
ased on all known applicable regulations and requirements. The emergency response plan has been discussed with the Beloit Fire Department. Representatives of the Beloit Fire Department visit this plant on an annual basis.
The facility has a trained team of emergency responders that are available to contain any ammonia release. These trained staff are skilled at responding to a release and isolating problem areas within the ammonia refrigeration system.
There have been no reportable accidents or releases in the past 5 years related to the ammonia system.
In regards to the worst and alternative case release scenarios for ammonia, both release scenario's will reach offsite receptors.
In all cases of a potential release, the extent of downwind areas affected is dependent on the amount of chemical released, weather conditions, wind speed and direction, etc.