40 CFR § 68.25 - Worst-case release scenario analysis.

§ 68.25 Worst-case release scenario analysis.

(a) The owner or operator shall analyze and report in the RMP:

(1) For Program 1 processes, one worst-case release scenario for each Program 1 process;

(2) For Program 2 and 3 processes:

(i) One worst-case release scenario that is estimated to create the greatest distance in any direction to an endpoint provided in appendix A of this part resulting from an accidental release of regulated toxic substances from covered processes under worst-case conditions defined in § 68.22;

(ii) One worst-case release scenario that is estimated to create the greatest distance in any direction to an endpoint defined in § 68.22(a) resulting from an accidental release of regulated flammable substances from covered processes under worst-case conditions defined in § 68.22; and

(iii) Additional worst-case release scenarios for a hazard class if a worst-case release from another covered process at the stationary source potentially affects public receptors different from those potentially affected by the worst-case release scenario developed under paragraphs (a)(2)(i) or (a)(2)(ii) of this section.

(b) Determination of worst-case release quantity. The worst-case release quantity shall be the greater of the following:

(1) For substances in a vessel, the greatest amount held in a single vessel, taking into account administrative controls that limit the maximum quantity; or

(2) For substances in pipes, the greatest amount in a pipe, taking into account administrative controls that limit the maximum quantity.

(c) Worst-case release scenario - toxic gases.

(1) For regulated toxic substances that are normally gases at ambient temperature and handled as a gas or as a liquid under pressure, the owner or operator shall assume that the quantity in the vessel or pipe, as determined under paragraph (b) of this section, is released as a gas over 10 minutes. The release rate shall be assumed to be the total quantity divided by 10 unless passive mitigation systems are in place.

(2) For gases handled as refrigerated liquids at ambient pressure:

(i) If the released substance is not contained by passive mitigation systems or if the contained pool would have a depth of 1 cm or less, the owner or operator shall assume that the substance is released as a gas in 10 minutes;

(ii) If the released substance is contained by passive mitigation systems in a pool with a depth greater than 1 cm, the owner or operator may assume that the quantity in the vessel or pipe, as determined under paragraph (b) of this section, is spilled instantaneously to form a liquid pool. The volatilization rate (release rate) shall be calculated at the boiling point of the substance and at the conditions specified in paragraph (d) of this section.

(d) Worst-case release scenario - toxic liquids.

(1) For regulated toxic substances that are normally liquids at ambient temperature, the owner or operator shall assume that the quantity in the vessel or pipe, as determined under paragraph (b) of this section, is spilled instantaneously to form a liquid pool.

(i) The surface area of the pool shall be determined by assuming that the liquid spreads to 1 centimeter deep unless passive mitigation systems are in place that serve to contain the spill and limit the surface area. Where passive mitigation is in place, the surface area of the contained liquid shall be used to calculate the volatilization rate.

(ii) If the release would occur onto a surface that is not paved or smooth, the owner or operator may take into account the actual surface characteristics.

(2) The volatilization rate shall account for the highest daily maximum temperature occurring in the past three years, the temperature of the substance in the vessel, and the concentration of the substance if the liquid spilled is a mixture or solution.

(3) The rate of release to air shall be determined from the volatilization rate of the liquid pool. The owner or operator may use the methodology in the RMP Offsite Consequence Analysis Guidance or any other publicly available techniques that account for the modeling conditions and are recognized by industry as applicable as part of current practices. Proprietary models that account for the modeling conditions may be used provided the owner or operator allows the implementing agency access to the model and describes model features and differences from publicly available models to local emergency planners upon request.

(e) Worst-case release scenario - flammable gases. The owner or operator shall assume that the quantity of the substance, as determined under paragraph (b) of this section and the provisions below, vaporizes resulting in a vapor cloud explosion. A yield factor of 10 percent of the available energy released in the explosion shall be used to determine the distance to the explosion endpoint if the model used is based on TNT equivalent methods.

(1) For regulated flammable substances that are normally gases at ambient temperature and handled as a gas or as a liquid under pressure, the owner or operator shall assume that the quantity in the vessel or pipe, as determined under paragraph (b) of this section, is released as a gas over 10 minutes. The total quantity shall be assumed to be involved in the vapor cloud explosion.

(2) For flammable gases handled as refrigerated liquids at ambient pressure:

(i) If the released substance is not contained by passive mitigation systems or if the contained pool would have a depth of one centimeter or less, the owner or operator shall assume that the total quantity of the substance is released as a gas in 10 minutes, and the total quantity will be involved in the vapor cloud explosion.

(ii) If the released substance is contained by passive mitigation systems in a pool with a depth greater than 1 centimeter, the owner or operator may assume that the quantity in the vessel or pipe, as determined under paragraph (b) of this section, is spilled instantaneously to form a liquid pool. The volatilization rate (release rate) shall be calculated at the boiling point of the substance and at the conditions specified in paragraph (d) of this section. The owner or operator shall assume that the quantity which becomes vapor in the first 10 minutes is involved in the vapor cloud explosion.

(f) Worst-case release scenario - flammable liquids. The owner or operator shall assume that the quantity of the substance, as determined under paragraph (b) of this section and the provisions below, vaporizes resulting in a vapor cloud explosion. A yield factor of 10 percent of the available energy released in the explosion shall be used to determine the distance to the explosion endpoint if the model used is based on TNT equivalent methods.

(1) For regulated flammable substances that are normally liquids at ambient temperature, the owner or operator shall assume that the entire quantity in the vessel or pipe, as determined under paragraph (b) of this section, is spilled instantaneously to form a liquid pool. For liquids at temperatures below their atmospheric boiling point, the volatilization rate shall be calculated at the conditions specified in paragraph (d) of this section.

(2) The owner or operator shall assume that the quantity which becomes vapor in the first 10 minutes is involved in the vapor cloud explosion.

(g) Parameters to be applied. The owner or operator shall use the parameters defined in § 68.22 to determine distance to the endpoints. The owner or operator may use the methodology provided in the RMP Offsite Consequence Analysis Guidance or any commercially or publicly available air dispersion modeling techniques, provided the techniques account for the modeling conditions and are recognized by industry as applicable as part of current practices. Proprietary models that account for the modeling conditions may be used provided the owner or operator allows the implementing agency access to the model and describes model features and differences from publicly available models to local emergency planners upon request.

(h) Consideration of passive mitigation. Passive mitigation systems may be considered for the analysis of worst case provided that the mitigation system is capable of withstanding the release event triggering the scenario and would still function as intended.

(i) Factors in selecting a worst-case scenario. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (b) of this section, the owner or operator shall select as the worst case for flammable regulated substances or the worst case for regulated toxic substances, a scenario based on the following factors if such a scenario would result in a greater distance to an endpoint defined in § 68.22(a) beyond the stationary source boundary than the scenario provided under paragraph (b) of this section:

(1) Smaller quantities handled at higher process temperature or pressure; and

(2) Proximity to the boundary of the stationary source.

[61 FR 31718, June 20, 1996, as amended at 64 FR 28700, May 26, 1999]