Northwest Grain-St. Hilaire - Executive Summary
Cenex Harvest States Risk Management Program Executive Summary |
Cenex Harvest States is committed to the prevention of accidental releases of Anhydrous Ammonia. The company stores and distributes anhydrous ammonia in pressure vessels for use by farmers as a nitrogen fertilizer.
The Company believes that health, safety, and the preservation of our environment are critical measures of effective management and business success. We are committed to:
7 Providing a safe and healthful workplace for employees and visitors
7 Conducting our business with respect for the communities in which we operate and in the spirit of a good neighbor
7 Meeting or exceeding the requirements of the environmental, health, & safety laws and regulations
7 Working with government and other stakeholders to identify and solve problems
7 Training employees on the environmental, health & safety requirements of their jobs
Anhydrous ammonia is stored in pressure vessels on properties. It is transferred into the ves
sel from either semi-transports or rail cars. It is transferred out of the storage vessel into application equipment or nurse tanks. The application equipment or nurse tanks are then transported to the farmer's field where the product is injected into the soil.
The worst-case release from the storage facility is calculated by tanking the entire contents of the largest storage tank on site and releasing it over a 10-minute period. The calculations show how far a plume of ammonia with a concentration greater than 200 parts per million would travel before being dispersed to a safe exposure level. We used the Degidis air-monitoring program to calculate how large this plume would be. The degidis program was designed specifically for anhydrous ammonia and we feel it is the most accurate tool to predict an anhydrous ammonia release available today. A worst case release would affect an area approximately one mile from the facility.
A complete discharge of the storage vessel would be a v
ery unusual event. We were also required to an alternative or more likely release event. Although we will continue to do what we can to ensure no accidental releases occur we chose a 2-inch pipe or hose rupture to met this requirement. Again calculations show the extent of the plume with an ammonia concentration greater than 200 PPM. The area affected by this release is approximately 0.4 mile.
The storage tank is equipped with safety release valves that are designed to release pressure in the event the tank becomes over pressurized. The tanks are also equipped with excessive flow valves that are designed to shut down the flow of ammonia if a sudden release should happen.
In the event of a release from the storage facility that impacts the community we suggest sheltering those affected in place until the plume dissipates. Shelter in place involves everyone in the affected area seeking shelter indoors, shutting the windows and turning off the air conditioning and other ventilatio
Cenex Harvest States operates over 90 storage sites across the country. In the past five years we have had only four releases from fixed storage facilities. No one was injured or evacuated due to those releases.
Our employees are trained in the characteristics and proper handling procedures for anhydrous ammonia. They are equipped with the proper personal protective equipment for routine handling of the product. The training also covers the basics in responding to emergencies involving ammonia releases and is available to assist the community first responders with technical information and advice.
Cenex Harvest States plans to provide training and emergency response information to each fire department with jurisdiction over our fire department.
Cenex Harvest States continually updates the training provided to its employees. Employees are trained in proper handling, ammonia characteristics, and emergency procedures. The employees will review the emergency response pla