Bango reps unveil emergency plans
Representatives from Bango Oil Refinery presented their emergency plan on Tuesday to county officials — to include first responders — and residents so they could ask questions about the documents.
County Manager Eleanor Lockwood said Bango is required to share its emergency plan with residents who live near the plant so a coordinated understanding of implementation procedures is in effect if an emergency were to occur.
“The primary purpose of the meeting tonight is for Bango refinery to explain their emergency preparedness plan,” Lockwood said. “However, since there was an incident a month or so ago, I’m hoping Bango refinery will provide you with a very brief overview of where they are in their recovery plan so you all will know what is going on.”
First responders invited to the meeting were the sheriff, fire chief and fire marshal in case specific questions about how the county responds in an emergency were asked.
Bango representatives answered residents’ questions Dave Yohey, environmental health and safety manager at the refinery, said they would present an overview of their emergency preparedness and contingency plan. They gave a brief update on the explosion that happened on Dec. 9, and he asked for questions.
Yohey outlined procedures Bango has been preparing:
The overview of the emergency action plan are the following elements:
— Notification requirements in an event of an emergency.
— Designation of a facility emergency coordinator.
— The materials handled at the facility.
— The identification of potential emergencies; fire, explosion, or spill.
— Identify the response procedures and activities in an event of an emergency.
— Implementation of contingency plan after an emergency has already happened.
— Hazard assessment, which is post emergency.
— The evacuation decision logic.
Notification requirements in the event of fire and/or explosion:
— The Churchill County Fire Department is notified by a 911 call.
Notification of spills
— Spills outside of our containment structures that could threaten human health or the environment the following notifications must be made: The Nevada Division Environmental Protection, the NDP Department of Emergency Management and the US EPA National Response Center.
— Churchill County Sheriff Department in conjunction with Bango’s emergency coordinator will make the decision whether or not an evacuation is required. The sheriffs department and the Nevada Highway Patrol implement it.
“Containment and control is a key element in Bango’s emergency preparedness plan, Yohey said. “And it’s also a key element in the spill prevention control and countermeasure plan that has been prepared and submitted to the state and county.”
Yohey said within those plans they have the identification of emergency response actions, the responsible emergency personal and notification of contractors and off site resources that maybe needed to help with the emergency. He said they also identified the facilities emergency equipment that include fire suppression, spill response and first aid.
— Identify the site access and egress.
— Evacuation routes are clearly delineated.
— Bango Road is controlled by Churchill County Sheriff and the highway patrol if a restriction on U.S. Highway 50 is needed.
— Site is restricted to public during an emergency event.
— Route to hospital is clearly identified in plan.
Yohey said the evacuation level is determined by the facility emergency coordinator, which is Ron Bell or himself as the alternate designee. He said the decision is made with coordination of the local agencies and the evacuation may include facility personal, which is probable in the event of an emergency. He said the evacuation of area residents is highly unlikely due to the material that is stored on site. If that is the case residents are notified by the sheriffs department.
The clean up of the plant is complete, and the engineering and damage assessment nearing completion, Yohey said. The investigation of the cause is still on going and the operation of the plant is still shut down.
Residents were allowed time to ask the representatives questions from concerns they have about the plant.
Resident Don Mello asked what the worst-case scenario would have been had the Navy not shown up to help our responders with the fire?
Yohey responded by saying the worse case scenario identified in their spill prevention control countermeasure plan was part of their substantial harmed determination and in the event of a release of their million gallon tank and with the failure of our secondary containment, that material would migrate in the down parallel to Bango Road to the point where it almost intersects highway 50. Due to the porosity of the soil and the material that would be released, engineering estimates predicted that it would not cross Highway 50.
“You recently tied into a natural gas pipeline and my understanding is that of the pipeline goes up it will take out a big area,” said Doug Hillman. “What contingencies do you have built in your plan that if your plant catches on fire, do you have an emergency shut off to that pipeline?”
The natural gas company does not allow them to shut the pipeline off, said Ron Bell, facility manager for Bango.
“We can shut off within the plant,” he said. “We shut off all of the sources of the gas and gas where the pipeline delivers to the plant, but we cannot shut off the pipeline. That has to be done by the gas company and they are notified in an emergency.”
One resident asked if there was an emergency operation plan?
Yohey responded by saying the action plan presented is an overview of detailed procedures that are documented. The plan is in place with specific responsibilities for the personnel. He said the emergency contingency plan is the driving document.