Sargento Foods, Inc. - Executive Summary
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY |
Sargento Foods, Inc., in Kiel, Wisconsin is a cheese processing plant with modern capabilities.
This newly constructed facility (1993) occupies about 120,000 square feet, and is situated on a 40
acre parcel of land. The property is located in a predominantly rural area, on the northern
outskirts of Kiel. Adjacent properties to the northwest, north, northeast, east, and southeast are
farmland or undeveloped. Commercial-type properties are located to the south, southwest, and
west. Residential properties are located to the southwest beyond the commercial properties.
The ammonia refrigeration system was designed and installed in accordance with Wisconsin
Administrative Code COMM Chapter 43 and ATM standards. The system is a basic two stage
mechanical refrigeration system utilizing ammonia as the refrigerant. The total maximum
intended inventory of ammonia within the refrigeration system at any time is approximately
20,000 pounds. The facility is equipped with sophist
icated alarm and ammonia detection
systems, as well as a computerized ammonia monitoring system.
The worst case release scenario for this stationary source is the total quantity of ammonia
contained within the refrigeration system. For this scenario to occur, several pressurized vessels,
the piping system, and the engineering controls would all have to fail. The ammonia detection
system is equipped to detect even minor ammonia releases and regulate system operation to
prevent the release of the entire contents of ammonia. In the unlikely event of the release of all
20,000 pounds of ammonia, the distance to the toxic end point could be up to 2.52 miles. This is
based on the RMP Offsite Consequence Analysis and worst case parameters identified under the
Several more likely alternate release scenarios were also evaluated for this ammonia system. The
scenario resulting in the greatest offsite impact is the rupture of a 1/2-inch diameter pipe, causing
ammonia to release under
pressure. The release could have a toxic endpoint distance of up to
Sargento Foods is committed to protecting the health and well-being of their employees, the
environment, and the community. Employee training programs are in place, including ammonia
awareness training for all employees, emergency response training for the response teams and
ammonia system training for the maintenance personnel. The facility has a chemical labeling
program and a spill prevention plan. Outside contractors must follow written contractor policies.
Hot work permits are required.
Sargento Foods has never had an accident involving the ammonia system that caused deaths,
injuries, property damage, environmental damage or sheltering in place. If an emergency were to
occur, the local fire and hazardous response team would be notified and the emergency response
procedure would be followed. The facility has an Emergency Action Plan, and employees have
been instructed how to use the plan. Emergency
drills are carried out several times each year. The
Local Emergency Planning Committee has developed an offsite plan for the ammonia system and
is aware of the procedures in case of a release or emergency situation. The local response teams
are invited to participate in the annual Emergency Response refresher training, which is
conducted each year at the Sargento facility. Qualified trainers are retained from Lakeshore
The ammonia system at Sargento Foods--Kiel facility is covered by the Occupational Safety and
Health Administration (OSHA) Process Safety Management Plan (PSM) which requires the
facility to manage system operations and develop emergency response and accident prevention
programs. Sargento Foods has developed and implemented a PSM program for the Kiel facility.
The PSM was audited in September of 1997. In response to the audit, a Process Hazard Analysis
(PHA) was conducted in April 1998. The PHA resulted in improved tracking and documentation
ning and system maintenance programs. Training and maintenance schedules are now
handled promptly and efficiently through the use of computer software. Additional personnel
were trained for emergency response as a result of the PHA.