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Valero (1238), Meraux

LDEQ Accident Report

Accident #76080
State Police #05-0067
Accident Date2005-01-10
Report Date 2005-01-17
Follow-up Date 0000-00-00
Follow-up: No

Pollutants Released

Pollutant Duration Point Source Greenhouse Gas Criteria Pollutant Ozone forming chemical Amount of Release
Sulfur Dioxide2 Hrs 20 MSouth Flare - EPN # 3 - 77NOYESNO29,362.0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide1 Hr 30 M#3 Sulfur Recovery Unit IncineratorNOYESNO239.0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide1 Hr 30 MSouth Flare - EPN # 3 - 77NOYESNO8,595.0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide1 Hr 30 M#3 Sulfur Recovery Unit IncineratorNOYESNO212.0 pounds

Accident Classified As:

Cause of Problem: Instrument Failure

A contract programmer set the equipment so that it was "too sensitive" to process paremeters and thus triggered a safety shut down of the unit.

Discharge Preventable - No

Notes/Remedial Actions

Two incidents were reported in one letter (see next row). The original incident released a big volume of SO2 through the South Flare; restarting produced the emissions in the Tail Gas Treater. The report specifically says that this was NOT due to human error (despite the programmer's setting)