Tropicana Prducts, Inc. - Executive Summary
Tropicana Products, Inc. is a citrus processing plant which produces citrus fruit juices and juice beverages. Tropicana has operated in Bradenton Florida for over 50 years and is a proven leader in the juice industry. |
Tropicana's chilled juices require constant refrigeration to maintain their high quality and freshness. Our cooling systems utilize anhydrous ammonia as a refrigerant. We use ammonia instead of other refrigerants because ammonia has several advantages over the available alternatives. Ammonia is a very energy efficient refrigerant, does not cause damage to the ozone, and is one of the most widely used industrial chemicals.
Anhydrous ammonia is a regulated hazardous material. The properties of ammonia make it necessary to implement safety and emergency management programs to minimize the impacts of a possible release or spill. In order to determine the impacts of large releases of ammonia, a worst case scenario is evaluated. The worst case scenario for Bradenton in
volves the rupture of a storage vessel and has off-site impacts extending approximately 1.3 miles. However, based upon the safety procedures and management programs that are in place, Tropicana believes the worst case scenario is highly unlikely. A more realistic release scenario and one that better identifies the potential risk to the surrounding community is the alternative release scenario. The alternative release scenario involves an over-pressurization of a chilling system that results in an ammonia release from a pressure relief valve. While the probability of the alternative release scenario is very low, it serves as a better planning tool to predict the impacts of a release. Tropicana has incorporated mitigation systems such as automatic shut-off valves, high pressure relief valves, level alarms, barricades, monitoring/detecting systems and equipment inspection rounds to reduce or minimize potential releases.
Tropicana has proactively implemented many safety and emergen
cy response programs to prevent the possibility of an accidental ammonia release. These programs have been developed as part of our Prevention Plan and the Emergency Response Plan. The Prevention Plan includes programs such as Process Safety Management (PSM), Planned Maintenance, Training, and written Operating Procedures. The Emergency Response Plan includes the Integrated Contingency Plan (ICP), Hazardous Materials Response Team, Emergency Operations Center, and an Inclement Weather Plan.
Process Safety Management was established by OSHA to prevent releases of hazardous chemicals. Tropicana uses PSM to properly design, operate, and maintain the ammonia refrigeration system. A comprehensive maintenance and training program has been established to ensure the integrity of all systems. Tropicana established a Hazardous Materials Response team over 15 years ago. This team is made up of approximately 100 employees all trained and prepared to react to any on-site emergency. An Emer
gency Operations Center can be established at any time needed, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our EOC and Hazmat teams are highly trained, experienced, and prepared for immmediate action. Tropicana maintains an Integrated Contigency Plan for the Bradenton facility which outlines the emergency response management system. This system provides safe and standardized procedures for the control and mitigation of hazardous emergency situations.
Tropicana's corporate policy requires that all emergency response activities follow the procedures, organization, and guidance outlined within the ICP. Tropicana's ICP includes coordination with local, state and federal emergency response agencies. Tropicana practices with local fire, EMS, and law enforcement agencies to ensure successful emergency response. Tropicana understands the necessity of informing the public and recently partnered with local government, emergency responders, and other industries to host "Safety Street Manatee" in Ma
Tropicana is dedicated to the safety of our employees and the surrounding communities. The Brandenton facility has recently reached STAR status under OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program. STAR status is only given to those facilities that consistently demonstrate excellence in safety and exceed OSHA requirements to maintain a safe operation. Over the previous five years, Tropicana has had no ammonia releases that resulted in any off-site impacts.
Tropicana has and will continue to be a leader in the industry for safe operations of ammonia refrigeration systems. Our commitment to Process Safety Management and Emergency Response is embraced at all levels of the organization. Planned changes to improve safety include equipment modernization to reduce the ammonia inventory, conversion of juice chillers to glycol based systems, and consolidation of the ammonia refrigeration systems. Tropicana's goal is for continuous improvement in all aspects of the Risk Management Program t
o greatly reduce or eliminate the possibility of an ammonia release.