The dangerous substances stored and handled at the Terminal with the potential to result in a major accident are:
- petrol (gasoline) (class I petroleum)
- kerosene (class II petroleum)
- diesel (class III petroleum)
- marked gasoil (class III petroleum)
Circle K also stores and uses smaller quantities of petroleum product additives and marker dyes (for kerosene and gas oil).
Each of the five substances – gasoline, kerosene, diesel, marked gas oil, and ethanol – as well as the marker dyes is classified as flammable. Gasoline is classified as extremely flammable, ethanol is classified as highly flammable, and the other substances are classified as flammable. All of the substances, except for ethanol, are also classified as toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects.
The potential major accident hazards associated with the flammable substances are fires and, in the case of gasoline, vapour cloud explosions. The potential impacts from such major accidents are thermal radiation for fires, and overpressures for vapour cloud explosions. Fires may also result in the generation of smoke which may be carried down wind.
The Terminal is equipped with a siren which will sound continuously in the event of a major accident. On hearing the siren, you should:
- Go indoors and close all doors and windows.
- Occupants of the Galway Harbour Enterprise Park should prepare to evacuate the Park. The Port of Galway Harbour Master will notify you by text message if an evacuation is required.
- If the Harbour Master instructs you that an evacuation of the Park is required, all personnel should evacuate to the designated assembly point beside the Harbour Hotel / the car-park to the south of the Cé Na Mara apartments.
- A designated manager / member of staff from each premises in Galway Harbour Enterprise Park should confirm that their premises has been evacuated, and advise the Emergency Services
- All occupants should wait for, and follow, any instructions from the Emergency Services.
- Do not return to your premises unless instructed that it is safe to do so by the Emergency Services.
- Do not obstruct or impede the Emergency Services.
The siren is tested at 11:00am on the first Wednesday of each month.
The information in this notice is available electronically at www.circlek.ie
HSA Site Visits
In its role as the Central Competent Authority under the COMAH Regulations, the HSA conducts site visits. The most recent HSA site visit at the Terminal was on 1st June, 2022. Further information on HSA site visits can be obtained by contacting Circle K (see contact details above) or from the HSA (see www.hsa.ie).
Access to Information
The COMAH Regulations require the HSA to make certain information on COMAH establishments permanently available to the public, and this information is available on the HSA’s website (www.hsa.ie). Additional information may be obtained from the HSA, or by contacting Circle K (see contact details above), subject to Regulation 26 of the COMAH Regulations.
Major Accident Hazards
The types of major accident that could arise at the Terminal are:
- A fire in a bulk storage tank, resulting in thermal radiation
- A fire in a bund, resulting in thermal radiation
- A pool fire outside a bund, resulting in thermal radiation
- A vapour cloud explosion from a release of gasoline (petrol) from a bulk tank or road tanker, resulting in overpressure effects
- A release of petroleum product that does not ignite
- A release of petroleum product that could impact on the environment
The Terminal has been designed and is operated to minimise the potential for such major accidents to occur. The Terminal is equipped with a fire protection system to detect and respond to potential fire scenarios, which includes water & foam storage tanks, water pumps, foam systems on class I & II tanks, water drenchers on all tanks, bund foam pourers, foam cannons, and foam monitors. The fire protection system was designed in conjunction with Galway Harbour Fire and Rescue and is compatible with the emergency services’ equipment.
Circle K also maintains spill response equipment that is deployed in the event of a spill or release, and there is an interceptor on the site drainage to prevent material entering the municipal system. The Terminal has been designed with both secondary and tertiary containment, and therefore the potential for a spill or release to migrate offsite is minimised.
Fires give rise to thermal radiation; exposure to thermal radiation can result in injury to people, or damage to buildings, plant, and equipment. The extent of any injury or damage depends on the level of thermal radiation and the time exposed to the thermal radiation. For the largest fire scenario at the Terminal, the thermal radiation effects that could result in injury from prolonged exposure do not extend outside the general area of Galway Harbour Enterprise Park.
Fires can also give rise to smoke; exposure to smoke from petroleum fires can cause irritation (to the eyes, nose, throat) and may cause breathing difficulties.
Vapour cloud explosions give rise to overpressures; exposure to an overpressure can result in injury to people, either directly or being hit with debris, and damage to buildings, plant, and equipment. Explosion overpressures are generally of a short duration. For the largest vapour cloud explosion scenario at the Terminal, the overpressure effects resulting in injury or damage to buildings do not extend outside the general area of Galway Harbour Enterprise Park.
Spills and releases that do not ignite may migrate beyond the area of the release. Contact with petroleum products can result in injury to people through contact with the skin, ingestion and / or inhalation. Petroleum products can also result in damage to the aquatic environment.
In co-operation and consultation with the emergency services, Circle K has developed emergency response procedures to prevent, and limit the consequences of, major accidents. The mitigating actions include technical elements (such as the fire protection systems), and routine emergency exercises for both terminal staff and the emergency services.
As an Upper Tier COMAH establishment, Circle K is required to, and has, developed an Internal Emergency Plan to respond to the potential major accidents and to minimise their effects.
Circle K has also liaised with the external emergency services in the development of the External Emergency Plan for the Terminal:
- An Garda Síochána
- The Health Service Executive
- Galway Harbour Company
- Galway City Council
- Galway County Council, including Galway Fire & Rescue
Circle K is also a member of the Shannon Estuary Anti-Pollution Team (SEA-PT). Together with several other oil companies, Circle K co-ordinates with SEA-PT on the emergency response plan for potential releases of petroleum to the marine environment. More information on SEA-PT is available at www.seapt.ie.
The Internal and External Emergency Plans are subject to regular testing and review to ensure that they remain up to date and appropriate to the major accident hazards at the Terminal.
In the event of an incident requiring activation of the External Emergency Plan, the emergency services arrive at the Terminal in approximately 10 minutes. In the event of an accident, the emergency services cooperate with An Garda Síochána, the HSE, and other emergency personnel. Personnel and resources can also be called in from other emergency services.
In the event of an accident, all instructions and orders from the emergency services must be followed.