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Questions:

1. Discuss the hazards posed by the interaction of the hazardous materials present at the refinery and adjacent facilities, including the resulting by-products of the incident fire and acid gas release.

2. As the lead refinery representative on the unified incident command (UIC), what actions should be taken by the UIC to respond to this incident (please consider all receptors).

3. If the polymerization unit is engulfed in the fire, how will this affect your response?

4. All emergency responders participated in the post-incident critique. What corrective actions should be implemented by the refinery to prevent the reoccurrence of this incident?


Read the incident scenario, and write a response that is at least three pages in length. Your response

 

must include answers to the questions being asked. All sources used, including the textbook, must be

 

referenced. Paraphrased and/or quoted materials must have accompanying in-text and reference

 

citations in APA format.

 

Scenario:

 

You are the Refinery Emergency Response Coordinator for an incident at the SJV Refinery which has been in

 

operation since 1966. The refinery processes 120,000 bbls of crude oil per day, which has a sulfur content of 2.5

 

percent. The refinery converts crude oil to naptha, light oil, and heavy oils using the Atmospheric/Vacuum

 

Distillation Unit with key equipment such as the following:

 


 

naptha, kerosene, gasoline, and diesel hydrotreaters;

 

isomerization unit;

 

naptha reformer;

 

fluid catalytic cracker;

 

coker;

 

hydrocracker;

 

polymerization unit (petrochemical section of the refinery polymerizing olefin gases to produce

 

polyethylene);

 

sulfur recovery Claus plant (catalytic reactors); and

 

distillate/gasoline blending tanks.

 

The refinery was initiating work on a major plant turnaround at the time of the incident to complete required

 

maintenance repairs, mechanical integrity inspections, and modifications to existing equipment. Twenty contractor

 

companies (approximately 150 employees) have been contracted to perform this work under the direction of

 

refinery staff. All of the contractor workers completed the refinery orientation training.

 

Work for the contractor crews is assigned/scheduled each morning. On the day of the incident, the day-shift (6 am

 

to 6 pm) crew had been tasked with isolating the acid gas feed stream for the Claus unit. Due to other work

 

priorities, the crew did not isolate the line as planned. A shift turnover for the night contractor crew did not happen

 

due to mandatory safety training that delayed their arrival at the worksite. Upon their arrival at the work site, the

 

night crew held a job safety analysis (JSA) review of the scheduled task (line breaking of the acid gas feed line to

 

replace a segment) to be performed and the hazards present. No pressure gauges or monitoring was present to

 

indicate that the acid gas feed line was operational. The crew initiated the line breaking activity (open the line to

 

the atmosphere) at approximately 7:45 pm under self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), which almost

 

immediately resulted in the uncontrolled release of acid gas. A nearby ignition source from a welding operation

 

ignited the flammable gas. The following actions were initially taken:

 

The evacuation alarm was sounded and the refinery emergency response team (ERT) was activated.

 

The plant manager and the local fire department were notified of the incident.

 

The incident command was established at the refinery office near the main refinery access gate to the

 

south (this is the furthest distance within the refinery boundary from the incident location).

 

The refinery ERT incident commander implemented actions required under the approved refinery

 

emergency response plan.

 


 

The ERT was not able to immediately isolate the acid gas feed pipeline.

 

The fire department arrived on location and assumed the incident command of the event.

 

Additional Relevant Information:

 

The refinery encompasses an area measuring 2000 feet by 1400 feet. The Claus unit is located in the

 

most northern part of the refinery, approximately 1350 feet from the main refinery access gate to the

 

south. The polymerization unit is operating directly adjacent to the Claus unit.

 

The nearest residential community is located approximately 1000 feet to the northeast of the refinery.

 

A plastic recycling plant is located along the south fence boundary of the refinery.

 

A major interstate highway runs directly parallel to the plant, approximately 1/4 of a mile directly north of

 

the refinery.

 

The ambient temperature on the day of the incident was 85 ? F and the wind was blowing at 7 mph from

 

the southwest to the northeast.

 

Work crews were scheduled to work 12-hour shifts, 24-hours a day, to complete the refinery turnaround.

 

Due to the age of the refinery, SJV has implemented a robust mechanical integrity program.

 

The refinery has a trained ERT that can respond to incidents.

 

Fixed water monitors are present throughout the refinery to extinguish refinery equipment fires. The

 

refinery ERT does not fight fires past the incipient stage.

 

The refinery has received notices of violation (NOVs) from the local air district in the past several years

 

due to gas and liquid leaks from piping components, such as valves, compressor/pump seals, and for

 

excess sodium dioxide (SO2) emissions related with their sulfur plant.

 

Due to historical discharges of organic compounds, groundwater monitoring wells are present down

 

gradient of the facility. Groundwater underlying the plant has historically been encountered at 30 feet

 

below ground surface.

 

Hydrogen sulfide is present in the acid gas feed to the Claus plant. The H 2S concentration of the acid

 

gas feed is approximately 70 percent by volume. H2S and sulfur dioxide (SO2) have the following physical

 

properties:

 

Physical Property

 

Specific Gravity at 68oF (20oC)

 

Vapor Density (Air=1)

 

Flashpoint

 

Autoignition Point

 

Lower Explosive Limit

 

Upper Explosive Limit

 

IDLH

 


 

H2S

 

1.54

 

1.18

 

-116oF (-82.4oC)

 

500oF (260oC)

 

4.3%

 

46%

 

100 ppm

 


 

SO2

 

1.4

 

2.22

 

Not Applicable

 

Not Applicable

 

Not Applicable

 

Not Applicable

 

100 ppm

 


 

Questions:

 

1. Discuss the hazards posed by the interaction of the hazardous materials present at the refinery and

 

adjacent facilities, including the resulting by-products of the incident fire and acid gas release.

 

2. As the lead refinery representative on the unified incident command (UIC), what actions should be

 

taken by the UIC to respond to this incident (please consider all receptors).

 

3. If the polymerization unit is engulfed in the fire, how will this affect your response?

 

4. All emergency responders participated in the post-incident critique. What corrective actions should be

 

implemented by the refinery to prevent the reoccurrence of this incident?

 


 

 

Paper#9210593 | Written in 27-Jul-2016

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