Blue Ridge Farming, Inc. (Co-Owner) - Executive Summary
The Blue Ridge Farming, Inc. (owned in equal parts by several farmers) facility, located near Three Rocks and Cantua Creek, California, is used seasonally (approximately 8 weeks, in the Spring) by Britz Fertilizers, Inc. to distribute anhydrous ammonia directly to farmers. |
Each Britz employee who works at this facility receives anhydrous ammonia safety training, via videos and hands-on demonstrations, and is required to successfully complete at least 3 filling cycles before he is allowed to operate solo. Management personnel conduct process inspections to minimize the potential for accidental releases. Procedures are established for the notification of municipal agencies in the event of an accidental release which threatens to go off-site.
Anhydrous ammonia is the only material handled at this site, which is listed in the RMP program, at a volume in excess of the threshhold amount. This single RMP process consists of:
One 18,000 gallon (gross water capacity) field stor
age tank containing 78,000 lbs. ammonia.
This facility does not manufacture the anhydrous ammonia; rather, it is purchased from wholesale distributors, transported to the site by highway cargo tankers and off-loaded into the storage tank. Britz personnel then transfer it into smaller (usually 1,000 gallons water capacity or 850 gallons ammonia) transportation/application tank trailers, for distribution at the retail level, to farmers who utilize if as nitrogen fertilizer on their crops. For this reason, along with the fact that it does not qualify as a Program 1 facility (public receptors within the worst-case scenario zone), Program 2 was chosen for this facility.
The worst case scenario is the release of the entire 78,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia from the storage tank, which has an off-site impact with a toxic end point of 1.25 miles. The alternative case scenario is a 11,908 pound release from a broken 2-inch pipe between the storage tank and the loading bulkheads, which has
an off-site impact with a toxic end point of 0.60 miles. The toxic end points were calculated with the DEGADIS air dispersion model.
There have been no accidental releases at this facility within the past 5 years that have caused any deaths, injuries, evacuations, sheltering in place, property damage or environmental damage on-site or
Britz personnel on-site are instructed to evacuate to safe locations at right angles to the wind-flow, and then make their way to a communication source and notify their supervisor or a company office. The Fresno County Fire Protection district is then notified, initiating the county-wide emergency response plan. Other municipal agencies (ie: Fresno County Environmental Health Department) are also to be notified in the event of a release which threatens to go off-site.
The Britz training program for personnel working at this facility, as well as other anhydrous ammonia distribution sites, includes initial training for new personnel and up
date refresher training for long-term personnel.
Some changes will be made in the physical facility due to the results of the inspections conducted in conjunction with the preparation of this RMP.