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Motiva Enterprises (1406), Norco

LDEQ Accident Report

Accident #121839
State Police #10-01094
Accident Date2010-03-02
Report Date 2010-03-08
Follow-up Date 2010-04-28
Follow-up: Yes

Pollutants Released

Pollutant Duration Point Source Greenhouse Gas Criteria Pollutant Ozone forming chemical Amount of Release
Ethylene7h 20mFLARE: RCCU FlareNONOYES1,417.3 pounds
Propylene7h 20mFLARE: RCCU FlareNONOYES10,351.4 pounds
1,3-Butadiene7h 20mFLARE: RCCU FlareNONOYES77.6 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)7h 20mFLARE: RCCU FlareNONOYES42,527.9 pounds
Flammable Gas7h 20mFLARE: RCCU FlareNONOYES33,872.9 pounds
Highly Reactive Volatile Organic Compounds (HRVOCs)7h 20mFLARE: RCCU FlareNONONO11,768.7 pounds

Accident Classified As:

Cause of Problem: Other - See text

Refinery letter states that "the main air blower for Motiva's RCCU unit tripped unexpectedly which..resulted in an emergency shut down of the RCCU and RGHT units." Upon start up of RCCU, it is suspected the RCCU flare pilot was unlit causing release to air of Ethylene, Propylene, 1,3=Butadiene, VOC, Flammable Gas, HRVOC. HEAVY FLARING ALSO OCCURRED AT SHELL CHEMICAL LP but will be included in a separate report (GO-1 flare). Follow-up report states that "Motiva WAS NOT ABLE TO DETERMINE THE ULTIMATE CAUSE of the loss of the pilot flame, but that gas pressure being set above the design pressure or severe weather conditions may have contributed to the loss of pilot flame. FLARE.

Discharge Preventable - Yes


Notes/Remedial Actions

RQ. Reportable quantities were exceeded during this incident. "All released materials were dispersed naturally in the atmosphere from the RCCU flare stack." Release was stopped by the re-lighting of the flare. Also flare pilot flame-out alarm was placed back into service and refresher training provided to all operations personnel on the importance of maintaining flare pilot flames. LDEQ report states that according to "LDEQ Enforcement Division, this incident is being included in an Enforcement Action being drafted by the LDEQ Enforcement Division."