Anheuser-Busch, Inc. Baldwinsville Brewery - Executive Summary
Risk Reduction Policies |
The management of the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Baldwinsville, New York, recognizes and shares the communitys interest in safe operation of our facility. We have completed this report under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencys (EPA) risk management program (RMP) to communicate our efforts to achieve a safe workplace.
The brewery uses ammonia as a key part of the cooling system that maintains beer at the proper temperature during certain stages of the brewing process. Ammonia is one of the materials covered under the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administrations Process Safety Management standard (PSM) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agencys Risk Management Program regulations. The brewery follows these regulations, as well as others, to ensure that it safely handles, uses, and stores ammonia and other potentially hazardous chemicals safely. The brewery has had no releases of ammonia that resulted in injuries to people, harm to property
, or damage to the environment since it opened in 1983.
Our corporate environmental, health, and safety (EHS) policy and requirements promote the overall safety of this brewery, employees, and the public. This policy includes risk reduction programs that provide assurance for the safe management of process risks to prevent environmental, health and safety incidents and to protect the workplace, the community and the environment. These programs enable the brewery to prevent the occurrence, or minimize the consequences of, significant releases of ammonia.
It is Anheuser-Busch's policy to conduct our business in accordance with all applicable laws, regulations, and permits and to promote a safe workplace and a quality environment. Each employee is trained and required to comply strictly with this policy. We do not allow production goals or financial objectives to over-ride safety and environmental concerns.
Also, it is Anheuser-Busch's policy to lead by example so that other c
ompanies, including vendors and suppliers, are similarly interested in protecting the health and safety of employees and safeguarding the environment. We are committed to the spirit as well as the letter of our EHS policy and promote, throughout the organization, responsibility and accountability for strict compliance with that policy. Anheuser-Busch employees whose actions in the performance of their duties may affect the environment and/or public health are trained sufficiently to permit them to comply strictly with our EHS policy.
In conducting our businesses, we continue to seek and implement cost effective methods to reduce the EHS impact of our operations. We integrate EHS considerations into our business planning and decision-making processes, including product research and development, packaging, and new manufacturing methods. Our continuous EHS improvement goals include pollution prevention and resource conservation. We ask our contractors to adopt EHS standards, ethi
cs, and policies similar to our own and we will give preference to suppliers that do so.
We encourage our employees, customers, and the public to share with us their EHS concerns. We continually talk with local authorities in communities in which we operate to share ideas about preventing incidents with materials we use or store.
Ammonia is used in the refrigeration system of the brewery. As part of the brewing process, the beer is cooled to ensure its consistency, flavor and overall quality. The beer packaged in kegs also is stored in a refrigerated area in our facility until it's shipped. Because of the characteristics of ammonia, our employees observe certain safety precautions to prevent unnecessary human and environmental exposure, both within the brewery and in the surrounding community.
Worst-Case Release Scenario
As required by the EPA's Risk Management regulation, we have identified an extremely unlikely "worst-case" scenario in which piping to a h
igh pressure receiver fails and releases 30,000 pounds of ammonia. Under worst-case weather conditions and with no mitigating actions, ammonia could travel 3.1 miles before dispersing enough to no longer pose a threat to the public.
This scenario is unlikely to occur at the Baldwinsville brewery for a number of reasons:
( We meet or exceed industry standards for the manufacture and quality control of pipes and vessels that contain ammonia used at our facility;
( Ammonia is not corrosive in the form in which it is used at the brewery;
( Pressure relief safety valves limit operating pressure so chances for a large-scale release are minimal;
( Ammonia sensors warn of leaks;
( Automatic and manual safety valves allow the immediate shut-off of the ammonia system (described below);
( Equipment is inspected and kept in proper working order and replaced when necessary;
( Worst-case weather conditions as assumed in by the definition of worst case are uncommon in the Baldwinsville area;
( The brewery has an emergency response plan and equipment in place (see description below).
Alternative Release Scenario
An alternative release scenario would be the opening of a pressure relief valve, which itself is a system safety device designed to relieve pressure to avoid a more serious release. The largest release from a pressure relief valve at any of our 12 breweries in the past five years has been 400 pounds released in ten minutes. Under common weather conditions, this amount of ammonia could travel 0.13 miles (225 yards) before dispersing enough to no longer pose a threat to the public.
This scenario is unlikely for the same reasons presented in the discussion above regarding the worst-case release.
Accidental Release Prevention Program
Anheuser-Busch has years of experience operating ammonia-based refrigeration systems at its breweries. This experience has helped bring about designs and operating plans that produce a safe system. No ammonia releases from any
of the companys breweries have ever resulted in consequences off brewery property. The following elements have produced this safe operating record:
( Process hazard analysis and review, including corrective action follow-up requirements;
( Standard operating procedures that all operators of the refrigeration system must follow;
( Formal operator training (80 hours minimum);
( Preventative maintenance to ensure that the entire refrigeration system is mechanically sound;
( Procedures to ensure that changes to the refrigeration system are managed so ammonia flow remains safe;
( Safety review prior to the startup of new or modified equipment;
( Audits of the PSM and RMP programs;
( Incident investigations to ensure that lessons are learned to prevent future incidents;
( Employee involvement in risk reduction programs;
( Contractor safety procedures are reviewed to ensure outside workers exercise the same safety consciousness as brewery employees;
( A hot work permit system that ensures
all welding work is conducted safely.
( Process safety information; and
( Emergency planning and response.
The brewery additionally complies with the requirements of the OSHA PSM standard (40 CFR 1910.119), the EPA RMP rules (40 CFR 68), and the ANSI/IIAR 2-1992 standard for Equipment, Design, and Installation of Ammonia Mechanical Refrigerating Systems.
Five-Year Accident History
The brewery has had no releases that have caused onsite or offsite injuries, or damage to property or the environment. In fact, the brewery has never had releases with these impacts since it began operation in 1983.
Emergency Response Program
The Baldwinsville brewery has in place a variety of emergency response procedures in the event of an incident involving ammonia. The emergency response program is based on OSHA's requirements for emergency action plans (29 CFR 1910.38) and HAZWOPER (29 CFR 1910.120). We have trained employees for emergency response and maintain an "Emergency Response Plan
" (ERP) which has been supplied to, and discussed with, the Belgium-Cold Springs Fire and Rescue Department and the Onondaga County LEPC. We conduct annual drills with local agencies to help us remain prepared to implement the ERP at the brewery.
Brewery personnel notify local agencies when emergency response is needed. Local agencies determine if the public needs to be notified. If it is determined that the public needs to be notified, the local agencies perform the notification task.
Planned Changes to Improve Safety
Anheuser-Buschs Baldwinsville brewery ammonia refrigeration system is periodically modified to improve safety. In the late l990s, the ammonia refrigeration pressure relief valves were all inspected and upgraded, where necessary.
Anheuser-Busch is pleased to share its record of safe operations with the citizens of Baldwinsville. We believe the Risk Management Plan under which we are providing this information is an important tool for encouragi
ng communications with our neighbors. Although we are confident the worst case and alternative scenarios presented in this report are highly unlikely, we want youour neighborsto know we are prepared to respond quickly and effectively should one ever occur. Anheuser-Busch has worked hard over the years to ensure the highest standard of safety. Our goal is to continue the excellent and safe track record.