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Chalmette Refining (1376), Chalmette

LDEQ Accident Report

Accident #133679
PDF AvailablePDF
State Police #11-06256
Accident Date2011-09-06
Report Date 2011-10-14
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
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)No information given.Tank Roof LeakNONOYES 
BenzeneNo information given.Tank Roof LeakNONOYES 
XyleneNo information given.Tank Roof LeakNONONO 

Accident Classified As: Reportable Quantity

Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

Emission values included in the later report of 134390. All values in notes for this report. On August 9, 2011, at approximately 0930 hours, oil was discovered on the roof of Tank 71. The roof was cleaned and visually inspected, and though no leaks were discovered, it was determined that additional inspection was required, including mechanical thickness readings. Additional cleaning was necessary for this to occur. Concurrently, it was determined that the source of the oil was likely a failed check valve on the tank roof drain. This drain was plugged to ensure no oil could back up onto tank roof. On Friday, October 7, 2011 at approximately 1040 hours, while cleaning the roof of Tank 71 to allow the inspection group to access the roof for mechanical thickness reading, scale was removed and a hole developed in the roof. Cleaning was stopped at that point and personnel exited the roof and notified Refinery personnel. The initial leak estimate determined it to be potentially in excess of 1000 lbs of hydrocarbon and 10 lbs of benzene. Prompt notifications to the agencies were made upon discovery. In a separate event at 0915 hours on October 11, 2011, approximately 20 gallons of gasoline were released to the soil when a cam lock fitting did not seal properly at Tank 403. The emissions associated with this event were approximately 116 lbs hydrocarbon and 1 lb of benzene. In combination with the above incident, the RQ for benzene was exceeded.

Discharge Preventable - No

Not preventable. The hole in the Tank 71 roof was unpredicted and unforeseen.

Notes/Remedial Actions

Mitigation efforts to reduce emissions potential commenced promptly, as tank level was reduced, however, the product could not be removed from the tank roof. Foam was applied to the tank roof at 1540 hours, greatly reducing the emissions from the event. The tank roof was landed Sunday, October 9, and the oil was able to be removed from the floating roof. Additionally, the tank contents were drained and water was introduced into the tank, however a thin oil layer is still present as repairs progressed. There were multiple complaints associated with this incident; a. Terrible odor coming from the direction of the river where there is a barge parked, and several facilities in that direction as well. t134349 b. Terrible odor coming from the direction of the river making several people in area sick. Vomiting, headache, and child exposure. t133866 c. Barge that has been tied up at the docks for 2 days is producing terrible odors. No tempo # d. Incredibly strong and foul odor coming from the direction of the river. No Tempo #