Quigg Branch Wastewater Treatment Plant - Executive Summary
Quigg Branch Wastewater Treatment Plant |
RMP Plan Executive Summary
This executive summary provides a brief overview of the Risk Management Program (RMP) and the associated policies at the Quigg Branch Wastewater Treatment Plant (Quigg Branch WWTP), owned by Rockdale County and operated by Operations Management International, Inc. (OMI).
Prevention and Response Policies
OMI believes that it is important to provide a safe workplace to its employees and minimize the impact of its operations on the surrounding community and the environment. Accordingly, OMI has developed proactive safety and environmental programs, which are reliant upon active employee participation and management leadership and support. This same proactive philosophy was employed in the development and implementation of the Quigg Branch WWTP RMP for the chlorine system. OMI has determined that the OSHA Process Safety Management standard also applies to the personnel at the Quigg Branch WWTP and
therefore has prepared this RMP to comply with the RMP Program 3 requirements. By doing so, OMI affirms its proactive safety and environmental philosophy and acknowledges the inherent value of full RMP compliance.
The RMP prevention program is arguably the most important element of the rule. Its program elements require the active participation of facility employees and management in conducting activities aimed at preventing accidental releases of regulated chemicals. If prevention activities could be completely successful, there would be no need for emergency response activities, since no releases would occur. Accordingly, a well-developed and properly-implemented prevention program will lower the possibility of an accidental release and minimize the consequences of a release should one occur.
OMI takes an active role in preventing accidental releases at all of the facilities it operates by ensuring that its employees are well-informed regarding the hazards associated with the re
gulated processes (e.g., chlorine at the Quigg Branch WWTP) and actively participated in comprehensive process hazard analyses. The employees that work on the chlorine system are properly trained in the safe operation of the covered processes and the safe handling of treatment chemicals. They are aided in this work by complete, understandable system operating procedures.
OMI management understands its duty to provide a safe working environment and to take measures to prevent accidents that may have an effect on the surrounding community. This understanding is reflected in procedures described and referenced in the Quigg Branch WWTP RMP procedures and policies.
As for emergency response, OMI has established and maintained procedures for emergency notification and response. These are reviewed with employees on a periodic basis and revised to accommodate changes in staffing when they occur.
Stationary Source and Regulated Substances
The Quigg Branch WWTP is located at 2331 North H
ighway 138, Rockdale County, Georgia. The 4.0 MGD Quigg Branch WWTP treats wastewater through a series of physical and chemical treatment operations. Incoming wastewater initially passes through automated bar screens before being treated in a three-channel orbital activated sludge basin. Clarification is accomplished in biological clarifiers with the option of flowing to chemical clarifiers for final solids precipitation. Final effluent is disinfected by chlorination and dechlorination prior to discharge to the Yellow River. Solids are digested aerobically and dewatered on an Ashbrook gravity belt and Ashbrook belt filter press prior to landfilling.
The Quigg Branch WWTP utilizes chlorine as a biocide in the treatment of wastewater. The chlorine is stored in one-ton containers with a maximum intended inventory of six to eight containers (12,000 to 16,000 pounds) on site. Therefore, the Quigg Branch WWTP is regulated under the RMP rule due to the volume of chlorine stored and us
ed at the facility.
Worst-case and alternative release scenarios have been determined after careful review of the regulation and consideration of the storage vessel configuration at the facility. For the worst-case release scenario, the regulation is clear. The assumption is that a full one-ton container of chemical is released over a ten-minute period. No active mitigation may be considered. Worst-case meteorological conditions as specified in the RMP regulation are also assumed to be present. The release is also assumed to occur outdoors.
For the alternative release scenario, the facility reviewed the consequences of a valve breaking off at the container connector during hookups in the storage area. No active mitigation was considered.
Results of the off-site consequence analyses are described in Sections 2 and 3 of the RMP*Submit plan for the Quigg Branch WWTP.
Prevention Steps for Chlorine
The prevention program and chemical-specific prevention steps a
re described in detail in the Quigg Branch WWTP RMP manual. The prevention program includes the following elements:
7 Process safety information, which includes information pertaining to the hazards of chlorine in the process, process technology, and process equipment
7 Process hazard analysis (PHA), which includes a systematic evaluation (by an employee team) of: the hazards of the chlorine process, identification of previous process incidents, engineering and administrative controls, consequences of failure of the engineering and administrative controls, facility siting, human factors, and possible safety and health effects of failure of controls
7 Operating procedures, which include steps for each operating phase, operating limits, safety and health considerations, and safety systems and their functions
7 Training for each Quigg Branch WWTP employee involved in operating the chlorine system
7 Mechanical integrity procedures to maintain the on-going integrity of the chlorine p
7 Management of change procedures to manage changes (other than "replacements in kind") to the chlorine system
7 Pre-startup safety review for additions or significant modifications to the chlorine process, or any new regulated chemical process
7 Compliance audits at least every three years from 1999 to evaluate Quigg Branch WWTP RMP compliance
7 Incident investigation, to be conducted and documented for each incident that resulted in, or could have reasonably resulted in, a catastrophic release of chlorine from the Quigg Branch WWTP
7 Employee participation in the development and implementation of the Quigg Branch WWTP RMP, and employee access to RMP information
7 Hot work prohibition policy on or near the chlorine system when chlorine is present in the affected section of the process
7 Contractor management program, to ensure appropriate evaluation and selection of qualified contractors for work on or near the chlorine system, proper notification of contractor
s regarding known chlorine system hazards and the Quigg Branch WWTP emergency evacuation plan, limited access to the chlorine process, and evaluation of contractor performance
In addition to these elements, the chlorine storage area at the Quigg Branch WWTP is equipped with a chlorine leak detection device that continuously monitors the air for chlorine gas. If the chlorine sensor detects a specified level, audio and visual alarms will be activated and a high rate ventilation system can be activated. The ventilation system withdraws chlorine and air from a low elevation in the chlorine storage room to a safe outdoor location. The alarm system is maintained and tested on a regular basis to ensure proper operation should there be a chlorine release. Management of Change procedures will be used for the upgrades to the chlorine system.
Within the five-year period prior to the submittal of this RMP, there were no accidental releases of chlorine meeting the requiremen
ts of 40 CFR 68.42.
Emergency Response Program
This facility has established and maintains an emergency response program that is coordinated with local response agencies, including the Conyers/Rockdale Emergency Management organization. The program is described in detail in the Quigg Branch WWTP RMP manual and meets the requirements of 40 CFR 68.95, which include facility notification of emergency responders and evacuation. The goals of the program are to protect onsite employees from the hazardous effects of chemical releases and to minimize the effects of releases on the general public. The program is routinely reviewed and updated to reflect personnel and regulatory changes.
Planned Changes for Improved Safety
Ideas for changes to improve safety are actively sought from employees. Employee meetings that focus on safety issues are held regularly at the Quigg Branch WWTP. Employees are encouraged and trained to recognize hazards and to present ideas to eliminate them or to mi
nimize the potential consequences of those hazards.
As part of the development of the Quigg Branch WWTP program, process hazard analyses were conducted with key employees to meet the prevention program requirements. During these sessions, recommendations were made for the purpose of improving safety and preventing accidental chemical releases. Each recommendation has been or will be considered for implementation. Though not all recommendations may be implemented, all will be considered. The exercise has provided all affected employees with a heightened awareness of safety issues related to the covered process.