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ExxonMobil Chemical Plant (286), Baton Rouge

LDEQ Accident Report

Accident #109677
State Police #08-05462
Accident Date2008-09-01
Report Date 2008-09-08
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)6d 8hWeatherNONOYES3,800.0 pounds
Benzene6d 8hWeatherNONOYES23.0 pounds
Hexane6d 8hWeatherNONONO584.0 pounds
Toluene6d 8hWeatherNONONO2.0 pounds
Cumene6d 8hWeatherNONOYES1.0 pounds
Ethylbenzene6d 8hWeatherNONOYES1.0 pounds
Styrene6d 8hWeatherNONONO1.0 pounds
Xylene6d 8hWeatherNONONO1.0 pounds

Accident Classified As: No Information Given

Cause of Problem: Power Failure

As a result of Hurricane Gustav the Baton Rouge Resins Finishing Plant (BRFP) experienced significant facility damage and power interruptions that required operations to safely shutdown. Hurricane Gustav is clearly considered an "act of god." The Baton Rouge Resin Finishing Plant only had generators for electrical power to maintain a small number of instruments and critical pumps. There was no power available for the compressors that collect vent gases from storage tanks and route them to the site's flare. The seal leg on the flare seal drum prevented the relatively small breathing losses from reaching the flare for combustion. The flare pilots were extinguished during the storm but we have established the ability to relight it. However due to natural gas supply availability and the inability to route the vent streams to the flare tip we elected to allow the flare pilots to remain unlit until we restored power to the vapor recovery compressors. Power was restored to BRFP at 230 pm on 9/6/08 and the flare pilots were relit. All tanks that were venting to the atmosphere were routed to the flare.

Discharge Preventable - No

Hurricane planning procedures were followed to prepare the complex to the greatest extent possible for the effects of the hurricane. The complex was shutdown to avoid further impacts to the environment.

Notes/Remedial Actions

BRFP was safely and systematically shutdown due to hurricane Gustav. Learning from this event will be incorporated into future hurricane preparations. BRFP was unable to complete some of the timing obligations due to Hurricane Gustav. It has prevented from meeting all the timing obligations of the required September monitoring. At the time the primary focus of mechanical resources was on storm related repairs to enable safe startup of unit operations. The plant was to accomplish the LDAR monitoring within the next 60 days. In addition, the availability of parts is also a difficult logistics problem so the focus was on their resources toward startup. BRFP was safely and systematically shutdown due to Hurricane Gustav. Learnings from this event will be incorporated into future hurricane preparations. .