The Dannon Company, Inc. - Executive Summary
THE DANNON COMPANY, INC. |
RISK MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
1. General accidental release and prevention policy of The Dannon Company.
In this yogurt processing facility 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
It is our policy at The Dannon Company 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. Safety depends directly on our proper ha
ndling 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.
The Dannon Company, Inc., 1300 Petersmith Street, Fort Worth, Texas, operates a refrigeration
system utilizing anhydrous ammonia as the primary refrigerant. Mechanical refrigeration is a
thermodynamic process where the refrigerant, ammonia, is used as a heat exchanging fluid to
maintain a desired temperature in an enclosed environment. The refrigeration cycle consists of
evaporation, compression, condensation and expansion. Evaporation and condensation are
designed to alter the quantity of energy associated with the refrigerant. Compression and
expansion are designed to change the availability of the associated energy. The refrigeration cycle
is a closed loop process. The ammonia cycle utilizes fluid temperature, press
ure and latent heat of
vaporization for cooling. The refrigeration system uses this phenomenon to remove heat from a
desired space, and then to discard that heat through condensation, to an area where it is of no
The Dannon Company facility uses ammonia refrigeration to maintain processing, storage room
and product tank temperatures required for the processing and storage of our product. There are
approximately 350 employees at this facility, including hourly and salary personnel, that
manufacture and prepare shipment of refrigerated dairy products via truck approximately 24
hours a day, seven days a week.
The refrigeration system contains 65,000 pounds of aggregate ammonia. The potential hazards
that could lead to an accidental release of the 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,
dor. 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 source.
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 screw machine room. This vessels normal operating level is 16,000 pounds of
liquid ammonia, approximately 35% of it's total capacity. Although the high pressure receiver is
capable of holding 45,000 po
unds, this exceeds engineering controls which limit 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 The Dannon Company facility:
Ammonia Quantity: 16,000 pounds
Rate of Release: 1600 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 2.2 miles
Alternate release scenario is represented by the release of ammonia vapor from a safety relief
valve (SRV) due to an overpressurization condition on the pump recirculator vessel located
within the screw machine room. The indicated rel
ief valve would be performing exactly as it is
designed to do during an overpressurization 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 The Dannon Company facility:
Ammonia Quantity: 230 pounds
Rate of Release: 21 pounds/min. (20 min. release)
Wind Speed: 3.0 m/sec.
Distance to Endpoint: .1 miles
The following administrative and engineering controls are in place at The Dannon
Company. These controls are designed to eliminate, or reduce the possibilities of an
accidental release from the refrigeration system.
* Electronic ammonia detection installed in compressor rooms, coolers, processing areas
and receiving. Alarm system activates a local audible alarm to alert plant personnel of the
potential ammonia leak in the monitored areas.
* High liqu
id level switches are configured to accumulators and recirculators. High level
switches will shut down associated compressor operation during a high level condition.
* All compressors are configured with 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 contracted through a reputable refrigeration company
to ensure the refrigeration system and it's components are kept in optimum mechanical and
operating status. Weekly inspections are conducted by the refrigeration contractor. Daily rounds
are made by plant personnel to verify proper equipment operation.
* Security personnel on premises 24 hours a day, seven days a week to m
access as well as make rounds to detect malfunctions within the refrigeration equipment.
4. Five-year accident history.
The Dannon Company facility at Fort Worth has had zero accidental releases to report.
5. Emergency Action Program
The purpose of The Dannon Company Emergency Action Plan is to:
1. Minimize exposure to our employees and the surrounding community 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. Facility management has developed an Emergency Response Plan to ensure a fast and
efficient response in the event of an accidental release of hazardous materials.
Our Emergency Action Plan currently meets requirements as set forth in OSHA 29 CFR 1910.38,
Employee Emergency and Fire Prevention Plans.