Merchants Terminal Corporation, Jessup - Executive Summary
MERCHANTS TERMINAL CORPORATION |
RISK MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
1. General accidental release and prevention policy of Merchants Terminal.
In this frozen food distribution center we utilize anhydrous ammonia as a refrigerant. Anhydrous
ammonia is considered hazardous by the Environmental Protection Agency. The same properties
that make ammonia a valuable refrigerant also makes it necessary to observe certain safety
precautions during it's use to prevent exposure to our workers, the surrounding community and
the environment. It is our policy at Merchants terminal Corporation to implement the
requirements of the Risk Management Program by managing and operating this facility in full
compliance with all applicable federal and state regulations that we are governed by. The
objective is to minimize the risk of an accidental release of hazardous materials. Safet
directly on our proper handling of ammonia. Our plant personnel have been trained on the
equipment operating procedures and the various safety devices that are incorporated in our facility
to prevent the possibility of accidental releases.
2. Stationary source and regulated substance handled.
Merchants Terminal Corporation, 7950 Oceano Avenue, Jessup, Maryland is responsible for the
storage and distribution of various frozen food products. Merchants Terminal is located in an
industrial area of the suburban Baltimore area. In addition to our facility the surrounding
community houses other commercial businesses as well as residential areas.
There are approximately 34 employees at this facility which includes hourly and salary personnel.
This distribution facility receives and prepares shipment of frozen and refrigerated food products
via tractor trailers approximately 10 hours a day, five days a week.
The potentially hazardous chemical used at the Merchant
s Terminal facility is Anhydrous
Ammonia. Anhydrous ammonia, in a liquid and vapor physical state, is the chemical used in the
The potential hazards that could lead to an accidental release of ammonia include, but are not
limited to, equipment failure, damage to piping, damage to equipment, human error, etc.
Although ammonia is a colorless, tasteless liquid, it's dominant characteristic is it's pungent,
distinct odor. Persons exposed to ammonia will not voluntarily stay in areas of even small
concentrations, although these levels would not normally result in any health risks. Risks from
accidental exposure to ammonia in a vapor state are irritations to the eyes, nose and throat. The
extent of irritation depends on the exposure amount and length of time exposed.
Ammonia is classified non-flammable by the Department of Transportation. Ammonia will burn,
but only in a very narrow concentration level when accompanied with a constant ignition sourc
The normal inventory level of ammonia that is used during the refrigeration process at the
Merchants Terminal facility is 28,000 pounds.
3. Worst case and alternate case release scenarios including administrative and
engineering controls to limit/ prevent accidental release.
Worst case scenario depicts continuous source leak from the High Pressure Receiver (HPR)
located inside the plant main machine room. This vessels normal operating level is 6,500 pounds
of liquid ammonia, approximately 50% of it's total capacity. Although the high pressure receiver
is capable of holding 13,000 pounds, this far exceeds company policy and engineering controls
which limits the liquid level to a maximum of 80% at any time. Considering the "catastrophic"
possibility does exist for this vessel to release it's entire contents, engineering controls
incorporated into the system would normally prevent such a release.
Worst case release scenario criteria for Merchants Terminal
Ammonia Quantity: 6,500 pounds
Rate of Release: 650 lbs / min. (10 min. release)
LOC (Level of Concern): 200 ppm (EPA ERPG-2)
Physical State: Gas
Type of Area: Urban
Wind Speed: 1.5 m/sec
Distance to Endpoint 1.5 miles
Alternate release scenario is represented by the release of ammonia vapor from a safety relief
valve (SRV) due to an over-pressurization condition on a vertical vessel located within the
Merchants Terminal facility machine room. The indicated relief valve would be performing exactly
as it is designed to do during an over-pressurization condition. Valve would open to relieve the
over-pressure and vent into the atmosphere via the roof vent pipe.
Alternate case release scenario criteria for Merchants Terminal facility:
Ammonia Quantity: 195 pounds
Rate of Release: 28 pounds/min. (17 min. release)
Wind Speed: 3.0 m/sec.
Distance to Endpoint: 170 yards
The following administrative and engineering controls are in place at Merchants
Terminal. These controls are designed to eliminate, or reduce the possibilities of an
accidental release from the refrigeration system.
* Electronic ammonia detection in compressor, vessel and distribution areas. Alarms tie
in to ADT Security system. Computer system activates a local audible alarm indicating an
ammonia leak in the monitored areas. ADT notifies designated facility personnel of the potential
problem detected by the system.
* High level switches are configured to high and low temp accumulators which shut down
compressor operation and close liquid make-up feed solenoid valves during a high level condition.
* All compressors are configured w
ith critical safety controls (high pressure, low pressure,
high oil temp cut-outs, etc.) to shut down the respective compressor in the event of an abnormal
* Safety Relief Valves are configured to all pressure vessels, condensers and compressor
oil separators to eliminate over-pressurization conditions in those associated pieces of equipment.
* Periodic Maintenance Program is established within the maintenance department to
ensure the refrigeration system and it's components are kept in optimum mechanical and
* Emergency shutdown procedures are in place to activate the shut down system in the
event of an actual emergency.
4. Five-year accident history.
The Merchants Terminal distribution facility has had zero accidental releases to report.
5. Emergency Response Program
The purpose of the Merchants Terminal Emergency Action Plan is to:
1. Minimize exposure to our employees and the surrounding c
ommunity in the event of a
hazardous material release or spill.
2. Assure the safe emergency evacuation of the plant in the instance that it is required.
3. Provide for prompt medical attention to any employees who become seriously injured
or ill at work.
4. Future development of our current plan will coordinate response of our internal and
the available external resources to provide an efficient and effective response approach to
any type of emergency that may occur at our facility.
Our Emergency Action Plan currently meets requirements as set forth in OSHA 29 CFR 1910.38,
Employee Emergency and Fire Prevention Plans.