Hatfield Quality Meats - Executive Summary
ACCIDENTAL RELEASE PREVENTION AND EMERGENCY RESPONSE POLICIES |
At Hatfield Quality Meats, Inc. (Hatfield), we pride ourselves on our commitment to the community and our stewardship of the environment. We take our environmental responsibilities very seriously. The investments Hatfield has made in environmental stewardship result in a cleaner environment and the conservation of our precious resources. Hatfield is committed to constant reinvestment into its facility to keep its equipment and processes modern and efficient, resulting in the highest level of equipment integrity and safety for our employees and the surrounding communities.
With the submission of this Risk Management Plan (RMP), Hatfield continues to show its commitment to operate the facility and all its processes in a safe, environmentally responsible manner. Emergency response planning and an accidental release prevention program are in place to ensure a safe working environment and with it, protection of the public an
d the environment outside the property lines.
FACILITY DESCRIPTION AND SUBSTANCES HANDLED
Hatfield Quality Meats is a family owned and operated company that has been in business since 1895. Hatfield is a manufacturer and supplier of quality fresh and manufactured pork products for retail and foodservice industries. The operations performed at the plant include: slaughtering, cutting, processing manufacturing, and rendering. The facility occupies approximately 762,000 square feet and is situated on approximately 75 acres of land.
The facility has approximately 49,315 pounds of ammonia onsite in its refrigeration systems. This Risk Management Plan was developed for these ammonia refrigeration systems. Four compressor rooms containing 10 main ammonia storage vessels provide refrigeration for the entire facility.
WORST-CASE RELEASE SCENARIO AND ALTERNATE RELEASE SCENARIOS
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has defined worst-case accidental release of anhydrous ammonia,
which is a vapor under ambient temperature and is handled as a liquid under pressure in most of the refrigeration system, as a release of the greatest amount of ammonia in a single vessel over a period of 10 minutes.
The toxic endpoint for ammonia is 200 ppm. That is the maximum airborne concentration below which it is believed that nearly all individuals can be exposed for up to one hour without experiencing or developing irreversible or other serious health effects or symptoms which could impair an individual's ability to take protective action.
Following the procedures outlined in EPA's Risk Management Program Guidance for Ammonia Refrigeration (40 CFR Part 68) (November 1998), it has been determined that the worst-case release would reach offsite endpoints and nearby public receptors.
The likelihood of the worst-case release is remote. The ammonia vessels, piping, and related equipment is designed, built, and operated according to stringent industry standards, such as the Int
ernational Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) Bulletins. Therefore, several other possible releases were evaluated as alternate release scenarios to the worst-case release scenario. The alternate release scenarios that were evaluated include a 10-minute release due to a transfer hose split or sudden hose uncoupling. The impact areas of these alternate releases reach offsite public receptors.
GENERAL ACCIDENTAL RELEASE PREVENTION PROGRAM AND CHEMICAL-SPECIFIC PREVENTION STEPS
The ammonia system at Hatfield is subject to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Process Safety Management Rule (PSM Rule). The management system developed based on this regulation together with elements of the Risk Management Program results in a comprehensive prevention program. Hatfield is committed to maintaining this system.
The elements of the prevention program include: an employee training program, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for numerous operations, a maintenan
ce program, a system to manage changes at the plant to ensure that safety and employee training issues are addressed, a hot work permit program, a program for ensuring that contractors are trained and informed of hazards, and a system to review new or modified sources before start-up to ensure safety.
FIVE-YEAR ACCIDENT HISTORY
The ammonia systems at Hatfield have had no accidents with an offsite impact.
THE EMERGENCY RESPONSE PROGRAM
Hatfield has developed and maintains an Emergency Response Plan (ER Plan). It is the policy of the facility management to implement the requirements of this ER Plan by managing and operating the facility in accordance with the OSHA PSM and EPA RMP regulations and general good operating practices. The objective is to minimize the risk of a fire or an accidental hazardous material release. The ER Plan was developed to ensure fast and efficient response in case of an emergency situation.
The ER Plan identifies the emergency response organization, the
procedures for notification and evacuation, and emergency preparedness and planning.
Hatfield has assigned roles for its emergency response coordinator, alternate emergency response coordinators, and emergency response team. These emergency coordinator and alternates are responsible for emergency actions as well as coordination with state and local agencies on a 24-hour basis. The emergency coordinator functions as the leader of the emergency response team, initiates plant evacuation if needed, notifies the appropriate governmental agencies and offsite responders, and is responsible for documenting and reporting after the emergency. The emergency response team provides additional support.
In addition, the ER Plan details the responsibility of the first aid team, the emergency procedures, and the evacuation procedures. The facility conducts two emergency drills per year.
Hatfield has coordinated services with a number of government and community agencies which would respond to
an emergency, such as the state and local police or fire departments, the ambulance squad, state and county emergency response officials, and an area hospital.
PLANNED CHANGES TO IMPROVE SAFETY
Hatfield Quality Meats is committed to maintaining a safe and efficient ammonia refrigeration system. Part of this commitment is maintaining and operating the system in accordance with the principles and requirements of the OSHA PSM and EPA RMP plans. Changes to improve safety will be implemented as directed by these two plans and standards presented by the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration.