Roche Vitamins Inc. Belvidere, NJ - Executive Summary
Executive summary for the Roche Vitamins Inc. Belvidere, NJ facility. |
Roche Belvidere is an important manufacturing facility for Roche Vitamins Inc. While our principal business is the production of bulk Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), the facility also produces sodium lasalocid, (the active ingredient in a line of animal feed additives), as well as finished forms of Vitamins A, D3, E, B1, B2, B6, B12, biotin and beta-carotene.
The facility was established on a 500 acre site bordering the Delaware River in rural Warren County in the late 1960's. Today Roche Belvidere includes over 50 buildings, which includes four major production operations and a complete utility systems infrastructure, including co-generation of electricity and steam and onsite water and wastewater treatment facilities.
Right from the very beginning safety and environmental stewardship has been a "matter of course". Protecting people and the environment is a serious business at Roche Belvidere. Roche has reduced emiss
ions to the environment by 90% through continuous improvement of our operations and a capital investment of several millions of dollars. These improvements have been recognized by both local and federal regulatory agencies. Roche is proud of these accomplishments. This site has PSM covered processes. We follow OSHA, EPA/NJDEP and Roche Corporate Safety, Environmental and Industrial Hygiene Standards, Guidelines and Directive. Senior Management at the site, through a site Leadership Team that includes all operating units and support functions ensures that these initiatives are visible and implemented throughout the site.
The only RMP regulated chemical on the plant site is chloroform. The Worst Case Scenario modeling for chloroform does not produce any offsite impacts. As of February 28, 2001, Roche no longer uses chlorine to purify process, potable and waste water. This formerly covered process has been replaced with a Sodium Hypochlorite (bleach) disinfectant system
Chloroform is a
building block used in the production of other products. It is ranked among the top 50 chemicals with the highest production volumes in the US. We use chloroform as a media in the rearrangement process. Chloroform is a colorless liquid with a strong odor. The vapor can be extremely irritating to the eyes, throat and breathing passages when inhaled. This irritation warns us to avoid it before we encounter higher concentrations. It also causes headaches. High concentrations could cause more serious problems, such as difficult and painful breathing and, in extreme cases, death. For repeated exposures, other potential health effects may occur. Employees or contractors who work around chloroform take the following extra precautions: Wearing appropriate safety equipment and undergoing special OSHA training to ensure safe handling of the product.
Roche Vitamins Inc. (Roche) uses a variety of safety equipment and procedures to prevent accidental releases of chloroform. Remote automated sh
ut-off devices and relief valves handle unexpected rises in temperature or pressure. Safety controls, including warning alarms, interlocks and leak detectors, provide multiple lines of defense. Frequent monitoring of pressure in vessels and piping prevents problems. Regular equipment inspections and preventative maintenance procedures ensure proper operation. Staff and contractors receive extensive health and safety training, following OSHA guidelines. Staff are trained in startup, operation, shut-down, loading and unloading, and maintenance of all equipment. Full investigation of any incident -- even small leaks -- prevents them from occurring again. Appropriate permits have been obtained and are maintained. Audits (inspections) are performed to ensure correct procedures are followed.
For chloroform, using the Phast Air Dispersion Modeling, the Worst Case Scenario for Roche Vitamins Inc., Belvidere is: catastrophic tank failure. Approximately 341,200 pounds of chloroform leaks fr
om a tank within 10 minutes and vaporizes. This worst case release scenario has no offsite impact. Passive mitigation considered in this release scenario is a concrete dike (secondary containment) large enough to contain the entire contents of the tank.
For chloroform, there are no offsite consequences for any alternative release scenarios. Therefore, no alternate case is presented.
The following is a five year history of reportable incidents. There were no incidents involving chlorine or chloroform which impacted the community or the environment during this time frame.
To be prepared for potential chemical accidents, Roche communicates regularly and works closely with the Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs), the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and local community responders. A detailed emergency response plan has been developed and tested. The plans are shared with the LEPCs, local fire departments and OEM. The Roche emergency response team has routine joint drills
with these agencies participating. Each community has developed Emergency Response Procedures. It is important to follow the directions of the local officials. Information will be broadcast on the Local Emergency Stations. Roche Vitamins Belvidere participates in a computer based 24 hour telephone emergency notification service called Community Alert Network (CAN). The system allows emergency responders to quickly contact a large number of residents with specific instructions about an impending or ongoing emergency situation.
Elements of Roche Vitamin Inc. Belvidere emergency response plan include: Around the clock coverage with trained emergency response teams including continuous on site incident command leadership. And as mentioned previously, the CAN emergency notification system that could instruct residents to "shelter in place" - stay indoors, close all windows and doors, and monitor a local radio station. When the emergency situation is over, a second telephone call will be
received from CAN.