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Separation Distances

Chemical industry

In July 2011, the Ministry of Environmental Protection published for the first time the Ministry CEO’s circular regarding separation distances policy for stationary risk factors. The separation distances document was updated in March 2014.

The term “separation distances” refers to the minimal distance between a cache of hazardous substances and a public receptor.

Separation distances are determined by calculating the range resulting from a predetermined scenario based on the type of hazardous substance.

The range is calculated according to an end value, which is also predetermined for every substance and according to the type of the risk: toxicity risks, conflagration risks or explosion risks.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection has determined different end values for existing plants compared to projects at a planning stage, and to those which are planned it has taken a more onerous approach.

When a hazardous substance cache is far away from public receptors, the calculation of the separation distances is a relatively simple technical procedure. However, in many cases there are conflicts between the location of the public receptors and the risk source.

These conflicts must be solved, otherwise the Ministry of Environmental Protection takes various enforcement measures that go as far as revoking the plant’s toxins permit, effectively closing the business.

Hazmat, which has been in this business since 1985, offers escorting and support throughout the process.

The service we offer is designed to meet the following needs:

  • The substances for which separation distances calculations are required.
  • Selecting the scenarios based on the type of substance and type of risk.
  • Mapping existing and planned public receptors.
  • Calculating separation distances according to the latest CEO circular.
  • Adding assisting calculations, as required by The Ministry of Environmental Protection, beyond the calculations stated in the CEO circular.
  • Identifying conflicts.
  • Providing administrative solutions for conflicts (for instance, “clear area” exception).
  • Providing passive solutions for conflicts.
  • As a last resort, providing active solutions for conflicts.

Our service includes all of the calculations, document preparation, assistance in hiring an authorized measurer to map the receptors, examining alternatives for measures to reduce separation distances, examining the effectiveness of reduction measures, and preparing an action plan and approving it by The Ministry of Environmental Protection for meeting the separation distances document. As required, we also conduct the planning of reduction measures.