Novo Nordisk BioChem North America, Inc. - Executive Summary

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Executive Summary 
Novo Nordisk BioChem North America, Inc., Franklinton, NC 
Novo Nordisk BioChem North America, Inc. (NNBNA) is the largest multipurpose enzyme manufacturing plant in the United States.  NNBNAs mission simply states that "We will be the preferred partner to our customers and our community."  Our commitment to continually improve environmental and safety performance is evidenced by our excellent safety record and our history of environmental improvements within the facility and the community.  Our environmental and safety policies are designed to ensure that this commitment continues.  See the Novo Nordisk web site, for environmental and safety policies as well as historical performance data.  
NNBNA takes pride in following all applicable safety regulations as well as having strict internal safety programs to prevent hazards in the workplace.  Multiple layers of accident prevention measures include 
7 Routine safety training of employees and c 
7 Standard operating procedures 
7 Process control and detection systems 
7 Regular equipment inspections and preventive maintenance programs 
7 Regular safety audits 
Our emergency response program involves coordination with the Franklin County Local Emergency Planning Committee, fire departments and emergency responders to develop the best plans possible.  Our written Emergency Action Plan is regularly reviewed and updated, and employees are routinely trained. 
Offsite Consequence Analysis 
Since we started using anhydrous ammonia as a nutrient source to the fermentation process over 10 years ago, NNBNA has operated without any ammonia related safety incident.  The 12,000 gallon storage tank of anhydrous ammonia is limited to 85% capacity through administrative controls.  An offsite consequence analysis was conducted using an EPA-approved dispersion modeling software program called ALOHA (Areal Locations of Hazardous Atmospheres).   
The "worst-case" scenario at NNBNA would be  
the rupture of the ammonia storage tank with the release of 26 tons of ammonia gas into the air over a period of 10 minutes.  The distance to the endpoint based on prescribed weather and wind conditions is 3.4 miles.  This scenario is highly unlikely since the tank is well maintained and located in a well protected, isolated spot not subject the vehicular traffic or overhead crane activities.      
The "alternate-case" scenario at NNBNA would be the rupture of the feed pipe to an ammonia vaporizer causing the release of 606 pounds of ammonia into the air over a period of 1 minute.  The distance to the endpoint is 0.65 miles. 
Accident Prevention Program 
Numerous safety systems are in place to prevent a release of ammonia.  Our 5-year accident history indicates our excellent experience, as there have been no reportable releases.  Our compliance with OSHA Process Safety Management (29 CFR 1910.119) provides us with a very structured program that is continually evaluated and improved.   O 
ne of the strongest elements of our program is our employee training program which consists of safe operating practices and personal protective equipment.  Our standard operating procedures are updated regularly, and management of change procedures ensure equipment modifications are made with proper safety considerations.  Regular audits of our process safety management program ensure compliance and identify areas for improvement.  Our ammonia system is equipped with relief valves and automated and remote shutoffs, audible and visual warning alarms, and process area monitoring.  Regular equipment inspections and preventive maintenance programs ensure the mechanical integrity of our ammonia system. 
Emergency Response Program 
Our emergency response plan is developed with the assistance of local emergency responders and  the Franklin County Local Emergency Planning Committee.  Employees are trained to investigate small leaks of ammonia while wearing proper personal protective equipment.  
If a large release of ammonia occurs, employees are trained to evacuate and to notify local emergency responders.  If such a release could affect surrounding areas, the county emergency management office has procedures to notify the affected communities.  Drills are conducted regularly to ensure employees are trained in actions to take in the event of an emergency.   
Future Actions 
NNBNA is excited about implementing new modifications to further increase the safety of our emergency response program.  In the fall of 1999, additional ammonia release detection systems and emergency notification systems will be installed.  Once these devices are installed, our employees will be trained again on the notification systems and we will be conducting drills to test our emergency planning efforts.  In addition, plans for a water deluge mitigation system on the ammonia tank relief valves are in the design phase.  Such a mitigation system would significantly reduce the amount of ammonia gas that  
could be released into the air if the tank becomes over-pressurized. 
To summarize, NNBNA is proud to be a good neighbor to Franklin County and we are committed to ensuring safety is a first priority.
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