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Enron Methanol Company

Parent Companies:
Enron Ventures Corp.
EPA Facility ID:
100000137835
Other ID:
TXD982555468
Facility DUNS:
883148686
Parent Company DUNS:
969986983

Location:

Address:
4403 La Porte Rd.
Pasadena, TX 77503
County:
HARRIS
Lat / Long:
29.732, -95.151 (Get map)
Method:
Interpolation - Digital map source (TIGER)
Description:
Center of Facility
Horizonal accuracy:
m
Horizontal reference datum:
Source map scale:

Owner/Operator:

Name:
Enron Methanol Company
Phone:
(281) 884-4226
Address:
P.O. Box 1008
Pasadena, TX 77501 -1008
Foreign Address:

Person responsible for RMP implementation:

Name:
David N. Bush
Title:
Plant Manager
Email:

Emergency contact:

Name:
David N. Bush
Title:
Plant Manager
Phone:
(281) 884-4226
24-hour phone:
(281) 884-4223
Ext or PIN:
Email:

Other contacts:

Facility (or company) email:
Facility phone:
(281) 884-4226
Facility (or company) URL:

Safety:

Local Emergency Planning Committee:
Pasadena LEPC
Full-Time Equivalent Employees:
53
Covered by OSHA PSM:
Yes
EPCRA section 302:
Yes
CAA Title Air Operating Permit:
No
CAA Permit ID#:
OSHA Star/Merit Ranking
No
Last Safety Inspection Date:
Feb. 3, 1998
Inspecting Agency:
Insurance inspection
Using Predictive Filing:
No

Processes:

Methanol Manufacturing
RMP ID:
17611
CBI claimed:
No
Program Level:
3
NAICS:
All Other Basic Organic Chemical Manufacturing (325199)
Chemical name
CAS#
Quantity (lbs.)
CBI
Flammable Mixture
00-11-11
22,664
No
Public OCA Chemical
0
No

RMP Preparer:

Name:
Address:

,
Foreign Address:

Phone:

Latest RMP Submission:

Date:
June 24, 1999
Type:
First-time submission
Reason:
Registered:
Yes
RMP ID:
13071

Deregistration:

Date:
Effective Date:
Reason:
Other Reason:

2. Toxics: Worst-case

None

3. Toxics: Alternative release

None

4. Flammables: Worst-case

Some Risk Management Plan information is not provided in the available RMP data. You need to make an appointment at an EPA Reading Room In order to get access to details from the Off-Site Consequence Analysis (OCA) such as:

Instructions on how to make an EPA appointment can be found here.

Public OCA Chemical (in Methanol Manufacturing)
CBI claimed:
No
Model used:
Charm
Passive mitigation
considered:
  • None
not considered:
  • Blast walls

5. Flammables: Alternative release

Some Risk Management Plan information is not provided in the available RMP data. You need to make an appointment at an EPA Reading Room In order to get access to details from the Off-Site Consequence Analysis (OCA) such as:

Instructions on how to make an EPA appointment can be found here.

Public OCA Chemical (in Methanol Manufacturing)
CBI claimed:
No
Model used:
Charm
Passive mitigation
considered:
  • Blast walls
not considered:
  • Dikes
  • Fire wall
  • Enclosures
Active mitigation
considered:
  • None
not considered:
  • Sprinkler systems
  • Deluge systems
  • Water curtain
  • Excess flow valve

6. Five-year accident history

Oct. 12, 1994 at 11:32
ID:
1620
NAICS:
All Other Basic Organic Chemical Manufacturing (325199)
Duration:
30 minutes
Chemicals involved:
  • Flammable Mixture
Release events:
Gas release
Fire
Explosion
Weather conditions at time of event
Wind speed:
6.0 miles/h NNW
Temperature:
75.00 ℉
Atmospheric stability:
E
Precipitation present:
No
Unknown weather conditions:
No
On-site impacts
Deaths of employees or contractors:
0
Deaths of public responders:
0
Deaths of public:
0
Injuries of employees or contractors:
7
Injuries of public responders:
0
Injuries of public:
0
Property damage:
$57000000
Known off-site impacts
Deaths:
0
Hospitalizations:
0
Medicals treatments:
15
Evacuated:
0
Sheltered-in-place:
500
Property damage:
$2200000
Environmental damage:
Initiating event:
Equipment Failure
Contributing factors:
  • Equipment failure
  • Human error
  • Improper procedure
  • By-pass condition
Off-site responders notified:
Notified and Responded
Changes introduced as a result of the accident:
  • Improved/upgraded equipment
  • Revised maintenance
  • Revised training
  • Revised operating procedures
  • New process controls
  • New mitigation systems
  • Revised emergency response plan
  • Changed process
  • Reduced inventory

7. Prevention: Program level 3

Methanol Manufacturing, All Other Basic Organic Chemical Manufacturing (325199)
Prevention Program ID:
9315
Safety Review Date
April 14, 1999
PHA Update Date
Feb. 8, 1999
PHA Techniques
  • What if/Checklist
Hazards Identified
  • Fire
  • Explosion
  • Overpressurization
  • Equipment failure
  • Cooling loss
  • Hurricanes
Process Controls
  • Vents
  • Relief Valves
  • Check Valves
  • Scrubbers
  • Flares
  • Manual Shutoffs
  • Automatic Shutoffs
  • Interlocks
  • Alarms
  • Keyed Bypass
  • Emergency Power
  • Backup Pump
  • Grounding Equipment
  • Rupture Disks
Mitigation Systems
  • Dikes
  • Blast Walls
Monitoring Systems
  • Process Area
Changes since PHA
  • Process Parameters
  • Process Controls
  • Process Detection
Training Type
  • None
Competency Testing
  • Demonstration
  • Observation
Procedure Review Date
Feb. 1, 1999
Training Review Date
June 1, 1999
Maintenance Review Date
June 1, 1999
Maintenance Inspection Date
June 1, 1999
Equipment Tested
Yes
Management of Change Most Recent Date
April 8, 1999
Management of Change Review Date
Sept. 30, 1998
Pre-startup Review Date
April 12, 1999
Compliance Audit Date
March 5, 1998
Compliance Audit Change Completion Date
May 31, 1999
Incident Investigation Date
April 26, 1999
Incident Invest. Change Completion Date
May 31, 1999
Participation Plan Review Date
Sept. 30, 1998
Hot Work Review Date
Sept. 30, 1998
Contractor Safety Review Date
Sept. 30, 1998
Contractor Safety Eval. Date
April 22, 1999

8. Prevention Program level 2

No Prevention Program level 2

9. Emergency response

Facility In Community Plan:
Yes
Facility Own Response Plan:
No
Specific Facility Response Plan:
Yes
Inform. Procedures in Response Plan:
No
Emergency Care in Response Plan:
Yes
Plan Review Date:
Response Training Date:
March 15, 1999
Local Response Agency:
Local Response Agency Phone:
(713) 475-5588
Subject To - OSHA EAP:
No
Subject To - OSHA HAZWOPER:
Yes
Subject To - CWA:
No
Subject To - RCRA:
Yes
Subject To - OPA:
No
Subject To - State EPCRA:
Yes
Subject To - Other:

Executive Summary

RMP Executive Summary - Enron Methanol Company

Enron Methanol Company's policy is to protect its employees, property, environment and the general public from any harm that may occur as a result of an emergency affecting this plant. This plan complies with the policy of providing a safe work environment for all employees, contractors, visitors and neighbors. It extends to the design, training and implementation of a comprehensive emergency management program that saves lives and reduces property damage in the unlikely event of an emergency.

Prevention is the primary goal. However if an emergency should ever occur, the immediate goal is to contain the emergency and its effects within facility boundaries, mitigate the incident as quickly as possible and prevent any threat to the general public and neighbors. It is Enron Methanol Company's policy to operate in an environmentally responsible manner consistent with environmental knowledge, policy and regulation that best serves the needs of the employees, community and the company. Life preservation is the prime consideration, so all procedures will be carried out in a manner to minimize risk to employees and emergency response personnel. Rescue and medical activities have priority over all other actions.


The Enron Methanol Company plant produces methanol from natural gas. The process produces a syngas containing hydrogen and methane. Hydrogen and methane do not individually meet the threshold quantity requirements; however, the syngas mixture does and is therefore regulated as a flammable mixture under RMP. Syngas is produced and consumed within the process and is not stored in significant quantities. Finished methanol is not regulated under the RMP rules.

This facility has no substantial amount of any toxic materials that are covered by this regulation.


A worst case scenario is designed to be a theoretical exercise which calculates the potential impact on the community based upon extreme conditions p
rescribed by the EPA. Weather conditions are assumed to be the least favorable possible, existing safety systems and procedures can not be considered, and trained emergency personnel are assumed to stand idly by. These assumptions make the worst-case scenario highly unlikely.

Worst Case scenario (Flammable):

Chemical: Syngas (a mixture including Hydrogen and Methane)

Assumptions:
7 Catastrophic failure of the largest single vessel containing syngas
7 Immediate failure of 2 <" thick steel vessel walls
7 Failure of all active safety systems
7 Worst-case weather conditions (stable, low wind speed)
7 Emergency response team and operations take no actions
7 Total release - entire contents of vessel (2,812 lbs.) followed by a Vapor Cloud Explosion

This endpoint extends to offsite areas.

Alternative Case Scenario (Flammable):

Chemical: Syngas (a mixture including Hydrogen and Methane)

Assumptions:
7 Case chosen is located near facility boundary to result in off site consequences
7 Failure of >" thick stainless steel vessel walls
7 Active and passive safety systems work
7 Emergency shutdown system isolates release in 10 minutes
7 Most common weather conditions
7 Total release - 95 lbs. followed by Vapor Cloud Explosion

This endpoint extends to offsite areas.


Enron Methanol Company follows OSHA PSM regulations in addition to other health, safety and environmental regulations appropriate to a chemical manufacturing facility. By Corporate policy, we operate safely and with concern for the environment. We take this responsibility seriously. The plant is designed following recognized design practices and procedures. Detailed operating procedures and training assure that the facility will be operated safely during normal and emergency situations. A sophisticated control system monitors the operation of the plant and if necessary an emergency shut down system will accomplish a safe and orderly shut down. Enron Methanol Company has conducted process hazard analys
es to determine the risks that exist in our process and opportunities to reduce those risks. Enron Methanol Company uses modern maintenance practices, tools and systems to keep equipment operating reliably and detect repair needs in their early stages. To improve equipment reliability, Enron Methanol Company conducts mechanical integrity inspections and failure analysis to determine the root cause of failures. Qualified personnel who have been trained in plant maintenance procedures maintain the plant. A Management of Change system controls changes to equipment and procedures.


There has been one incident at Enron Methanol Company in the last 5 years that meets the EPA Risk Management Program (RMP) reporting requirements:

On October 12, 1994, an explosion occurred at the facility. Community effects included road closures, shelter in place orders and black smoke. The number of people affected in the community was estimated at 500 based on reports published after the explosion. Only minor injuries were reported. During the seven month period following the incident, the facility was rebuilt using the latest available technology. Several vessels were removed or replaced with smaller vessels resulting in a smaller process inventory. The revisions include an upgraded plant control system and monitoring capabilities.


The Emergency Planning and Response plan consists of four elements: prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.

Prevention is supported by policies and procedures intended to assure the plant is operated in a safe manner. Inspections and audits of practices assure that the policies and procedures are being followed. Periodic reviews of the procedures and training serve to reinforce the importance of operating the plant in a safe manner.

Preparedness includes development of emergency procedures, obtaining and installing emergency equipment and notification devices, development and training of a plant emergency response team, coordinatio
n with neighboring companies, local authorities and CIMA (Channel Industries Mutual Aid). The plant has a written Emergency Planning and Response Manual and a team trained to implement the plans contained in the manual. The facility has a system of alarms, radios and telephones that can be used to communicate with employees neighboring facilities and local agencies. Periodic drills are conducted for likely scenarios, and emergency pre-planning is conducted for many recognized emergency events. A review is conducted following each drill to assess the effectiveness of these preparations.

Response is conducted under the Incident Command System (ICS) as outlined in 29 CFR 1910.120. There are ICS trained personnel on site at all times. The Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) and CIMA are the points of contact for offsite agencies.

Recovery procedures include incident investigation, damage assessment, clean-up and restoration. In addition, a review of the emergency response is conducted to evaluate and improve the response plans for the future.


Area gas detectors have been installed to rapidly detect leaks that might occur.

A process simulator is being developed to allow more comprehensive operator training.

We are constantly reviewing and revising existing procedures, developing new procedures, and researching methods to increase employee awareness.

Enron Methanol Company has demonstrated a willingness to be involved with community programs, and to be a responsible good neighbor. These practices are part of the management commitment.