Monday, April 22, 2013

Media Must Cease in Referring West, Texas Facility as a Fertilizer Plant


Quite alarming when nation-wide stakeholders don't believe they have anything in the magnitude of the West, Texas facility such as a fertilizer manufacturer yet have establishments supplying fertilizers to farmer end-users

Don't kid yourself folks, West Fertilizer was not a fertilizer manufacturer either, as the media incorrectly portrays in many instances. The Texas establishment supplied custom blended fertilizer to farmers in the area as a retail establishment in addition to operating a grain handling facility, yet exempt under the OSHA Process Safety Management (PSM) Standard, while handling a Highly Hazardous Chemical (anhydrous ammonia).

The media incorrectly labels the facility as a fertilizer plant. So a bakery that customs mixes flour and sugar is a flour mill or sugar refinery? As a result of this inaccurate information many stakeholders  don't believe they have potential fire and explosion hazards in their backyard.

This is a dangerous trend where safety professionals must educate the media on the facts before others incorrectly believe no hazards exist. Unfortunately Texas authorities did not learn from the Magnablend catastrophe  especially in regards to Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPC).

NAICS 42451: Grain and Field Bean Merchant Wholesalers, in addition to West Fertilizer covered under EPA RMP handling anhydrous ammonia with OSHA PSM exemption.

Total number of facilities: 82
Number of deregistered facilities: 10
Number of processes that could reach off-site: 82
Total pounds of toxic chemicals in processes: 28,355,310
Total pounds of flammable chemicals in processes: 0
Number of 5-year accidents: 4
Number of deaths from 5-year accidents: 0
Number of injuries from 5-year accidents: 4
Amount of property damage from 5-year accidents: $0

NAICS 424910, Farm Supplies Merchant Wholesalers, additional establishments in USA under EPA RMP handling anhydrous ammonia with OSHA PSM exemption

Total number of facilities: 3,645
Number of deregistered facilities: 601
Number of processes that could reach off-site: 3,738
Total pounds of toxic chemicals in processes: 6,728,564,906
Total pounds of flammable chemicals in processes: 392,870
Number of 5-year accidents: 138
Number of deaths from 5-year accidents: 3
Number of injuries from 5-year accidents: 191
Amount of property damage from 5-year accidents: $209,774

NAICS 493130, Farm Product Warehousing and Storage. in addition to West Fertilizer covered under EPA RMP handling anhydrous ammonia

Total number of facilities: 260
Number of deregistered facilities: 121
Number of processes that could reach off-site: 267
Total pounds of toxic chemicals in processes: 101,485,227
Total pounds of flammable chemicals in processes: 72,000
Number of 5-year accidents: 5
Number of deaths from 5-year accidents: 0
Number of injuries from 5-year accidents: 4
Amount of property damage from 5-year accidents: $0

RMP was last updated on RTK Net with a set of EPA data made on May 30, 2012

TIER II Reporting To SEPC and LEPC's

Tier II in conjunction with LEPC' is a key element where many chemicals are not triggered with  thresholds in the EPA/RMP or OSHA/PSM programs. In contrast, TIER II when used as intended by the LEPC's engages the necessary hazard awareness on the other side of the fence-line throughout the community in preventing, planning and preparing for future accidents.

What is a Texas Tier Two Report?
"Two types of thresholds that determine whether a hazardous chemical will be included on the Texas Tier Two Report:

#1. There are very low thresholds for any of the listed EPA Extremely Hazardous Substances (500 pounds or the Threshold Planning Quantity in pounds for the specific listed chemical, whichever amount is less).

#2. For all other "generally hazardous chemicals" products which require a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) Hazard Communication Standard], the threshold for reporting is 10,000 pounds."

LIST OF LISTS
• EPCRA Section 302 Extremely Hazardous Substances
• CERCLA Hazardous Substances
• EPCRA Section 313 Toxic Chemicals
• CAA 112(r) Regulated Chemicals For Accidental Release Prevention

"This consolidated chemical list includes chemicals subject to reporting requirements under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), also known as Title III of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and chemicals listed under section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act (CAA).

This consolidated list has been prepared to help firms handling chemicals determine whether they need to submit reports under sections 302 and 313 of EPCRA and determine if releases of chemicals are reportable under CERCLA and section 304 of EPCRA. It will also help firms determine whether they will be subject to accident prevention regulations under CAA section 112(r)"


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