Written by Kelly Kaczala
December 04, 2009
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has fined Sunoco $32,250 for deficiencies in its equipment and its risk management plan at the Toledo Refinery as part of a settlement agreement.
In April, 2008, the Ohio EPA inspected the plant and found four violations, including one that had been ongoing since a 2002 inspection, according to Dina Pierce, the Ohio EPA’s northwest district media coordinator.
Those violations include:
• failing to address several recommendations in a previous process hazard analysis, an ongoing violation. “The company had until early 2008 to get the recommended work done – essentially the time between inspections,” said Pierce. “The company is required to submit documentation to Ohio EPA when these tasks are complete.”
A process hazard analysis is a specific procedure that industries across the nation do to assess the potential hazards associated with their industrial processes, explained Pierce. “It is intended to improve safety and minimize the consequences if fires or spills of hazardous chemicals occur. This is the basis of a risk management plan. During a previous analysis, recommendations were made that should improve safety and/or reduce risk. Sunoco did not follow through on some of the recommendations, which is a violation.”
• failing to certify that operating procedures are current and accurate;
• failing to correct deficiencies in several pieces of equipment before further use;
• failing to document that compliance audit deficiencies have been corrected.
The Ohio EPA conducts risk management plan inspections every five years, according to Pierce.
Routine inspections of the facility to check compliance with its air pollution control permit are done every three years by Toledo’s Division of Environmental Services, which is contracted by Ohio EPA to handle air pollution permitting, inspections and complaints in Lucas County. Additional inspections can be conducted at any time in response to a specific complaint, she said.
The settlement requires Sunoco to document the completion of all corrective actions and resolutions of deficiencies, which includes the submission of a written schedule to complete actions that were due in 2008, such as correcting improperly sized pressure relief devices in Plant 6 and external fire cases for two sphere-shaped butane tanks. The company also must complete overdue inspections of pressure relief valves, according to Pierce.
Sunoco will pay $25,800 of its fine to Ohio EPA’s risk management plan fund, and the remainder, $6,450, to the Ohio EPA’s Clean Diesel School Bus Program fund.