No risk plan results in big fine

Sinclair Oil is facing a $378,000 fine after a 2010 EPA inspection showed the company hadn't properly implemented its risk management plan for its Rawlins, WY, refinery.

12/11/2012


ISS SourceWith no proper risk management plan in place, Sinclair Oil is facing a $378,000 fine from the government.

Under a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the fine is a result of a 2010 inspection of the company’s troubled oil refinery near Rawlins, WY, the agency announced Thursday.

The inspection showed Sinclair hadn’t properly implemented its risk management plan, a key requirement for the facility, which deals with a large range of toxic substances and hazardous gases, the EPA said.

“Sinclair has had several accidents and releases of hazardous substances over the past several years that relate to process equipment,” said Mike Gaydosh, director of EPA’s enforcement program in Denver. “This settlement will help ensure the company is operating in accordance with industry standards to protect the environment as well as residents of nearby communities.”

Under the terms of the deal, Sinclair will also update operating procedures for its process equipment, provide additional training to workers, improve maintenance of equipment and perform integrity tests on pressure vessels and piping that will reduce the possibility of an accidental release of hazardous chemicals from the refinery, the EPA said.

Sinclair is working “Very aggressively and with great urgency” on the refinery near Rawlins, company spokesman Clint Ensign said.

“We’re devoting more personnel and resources to helping that refinery be better because this is not who we are as a company,” he said. “We’ve done much better in the past and we need to address these situations, and we’re doing so with great urgency.”

The costs of the requirements weren’t available from the EPA or on the court order detailing the settlement filed with the U.S. District Court in Wyoming. Ensign said the deal between the EPA and Sinclair occurred earlier this year.

“Most of the items noted in their 2010 review have already been addressed and taken care of,” Ensign said. “There are some remaining items that are on a set schedule to be addressed.”

Regulators and inspectors have been busy with the refinery, leveling millions of dollars in penalties against Sinclair in the past year and requiring pollution control upgrades and training.

This most recent settlement comes shortly after regulators fined Sinclair for a number of other incidents.

Sinclair just received a fine of $215,250 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for two separate fires in May that severely burned several workers.

Sinclair and the EPA reached a $14.3 million settlement in August for excessive emissions of nitrous oxide and sulfur dioxide in incidents dating back to 2008.

In 2011 alone, the state Department of Environmental Quality reached a $5.4 million settlement with Sinclair over a 2010 oil leak that killed birds on the refinery’s evaporation ponds.



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Leaders Under 40 program features outstanding young people who are making a difference in manufacturing. View the 2013 Leaders here.
The new control room: It's got all the bells and whistles - and alarms, too; Remote maintenance; Specifying VFDs
2014 forecast issue: To serve and to manufacture - Veterans will bring skill and discipline to the plant floor if we can find a way to get them there.
2013 Top Plant: Lincoln Electric Company, Cleveland, Ohio
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Why manufacturers need to see energy in a different light: Current approaches to energy management yield quick savings, but leave plant managers searching for ways of improving on those early gains.
Electric motor power measurement and analysis: Understand the basics to drive greater efficiency; Selecting the right control chart; Linear position sensors gain acceptance
Protecting standby generators for mission critical facilities; Selecting energy-efficient transformers; Integrating power monitoring systems; Mitigating harmonics in electrical systems

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.