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Valero (26003), Norco

LDEQ Accident Report

Accident #130948
State Police #11-02543
Accident Date2011-05-02
Report Date 2011-05-09
Follow-up Date 2011-06-30
Follow-up: Yes

Pollutants Released

Pollutant Duration Point Source Greenhouse Gas Criteria Pollutant Ozone forming chemical Amount of Release
Methanea few minutesCoker LPG lineYESNOYES6.1 pounds
Ethanea few minutesCoker LPG lineNONOYES146.6 pounds
Propanea few minutesCoker LPG lineNONOYES436.3 pounds
Propylenea few minutesCoker LPG lineNONOYES158.7 pounds
Isobutanea few minutesCoker LPG lineNONOYES107.1 pounds
n-Butanea few minutesCoker LPG lineNONONO436.9 pounds
1-Butenea few minutesCoker LPG lineNONOYES140.1 pounds
Isobutylenea few minutesCoker LPG lineNONOYES104.6 pounds
trans-2-Butenea few minutesCoker LPG lineNONONO61.0 pounds
cis-2-Butenea few minutesCoker LPG lineNONONO41.6 pounds
3-Methyl-1-Butenea few minutesCoker LPG lineNONOYES20.7 pounds
Isopentanea few minutesCoker LPG lineNONOYES72.1 pounds
1,3-Butadienea few minutesCoker LPG lineNONOYES4.8 pounds
n-Pentanea few minutesCoker LPG lineNONONO122.4 pounds
1-Pentenea few minutesCoker LPG lineNONOYES14.0 pounds
2-Methyl-1 Butenea few minutesCoker LPG lineNONOYES24.9 pounds
trans-2-Pentenea few minutesCoker LPG lineNONONO21.7 pounds
cis-2-Pentenea few minutesCoker LPG lineNONONO62.9 pounds
2-Methyl-2-Butenea few minutesCoker LPG lineNONOYES10.7 pounds
Hexanea few minutesCoker LPG lineNONONO80.6 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfidea few minutesCoker LPG lineNONONO38.7 pounds
Ethylenea few minutesCoker LPG lineNONOYES8.1 pounds

Accident Classified As: No Information Given

Cause of Problem: No Information Given

Valero had blinded and de-inventoried the Coke LPG line as part of a project to elevate the Prospect Road pipe bridge that connects their East Plant and West Plant. The blinds were removed several days prior to the incident but valves in the pipe system remained closed. Valero believes that gas leaked by one of the valves and accumulated in a section of pipe after the blind had been removed on the West Plant side of the project area thus trapping gas between two closed valves. On the day of the incident, the project operator opened the downstream valve in the pipe bridge that was closest to the FCCU in order to commission a new section of pipe; the upstream valve remained. When the valve was cracked open, gas that had accumulated in the pipe leaked out into the FCCU which was undergoing construction at the time of the incident.

Discharge Preventable - Under Investigation

Under investigation. State there will be a follow up.

Notes/Remedial Actions

Coker liquified petroleum gas (LPG) which is composed mainly of butenes and propenes was released from pipe openings in the FCCU area and dispersed. Emissions were minimized by isolating the coker LPG line. Valero identified the following corrective actions and target completion dates were identified as a result of the root cause failure analysis of this incident: (1) Issue safety alert on this incident to all personnel (2) Review incident with operators and discuss need for good communications when lining up piping to units (3) Develop a battery limits blind list for the FCCU for use during future turnarounds (4) Develop a battery limits list for Complex III (Crude-Vacuum-Coker units) for use during future turnarounds