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ExxonMobil Chemical Plant (286), Baton Rouge

LDEQ Accident Report

Accident #120703
State Police #10-00185
Accident Date2010-01-10
Report Date 2011-03-08
Follow-up Date 0000-00-00
Follow-up: Yes

Pollutants Released

Pollutant Duration Point Source Greenhouse Gas Criteria Pollutant Ozone forming chemical Amount of Release
Propylene3 dflareNONOYES2,421,834.0 pounds
Ethylene3 dflareNONOYES716.0 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)3 dflareNONOYES141,454.0 pounds
Flammable Vapor3 dflareNONOYES2,562,647.0 pounds
1,3-Butadiene3 dflareNONOYES 
Nitrogen Oxide3 dflareNOYESYES 
Sulfur Dioxide3 dflareNOYESNO 

Accident Classified As: Reportable Quantity

Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

Unknown cause for leak in the propylene line of the EPLA (Ethylene Purification Unit). The EPLA uses high pressure propylene for refrigeration.

Discharge Preventable - Yes

Pipe support design allowed guide to directly contact a pressure-containing component. HAWK imaging camera availability and potential was not broadly recognized by operations personnel.

Notes/Remedial Actions

Initial report was received on 1/19/10. Ethylene Purification Unit (EPLA) uses high pressure propylene for refrigeration. Leak in pipe started 1/9/10 but discovered 1/10/10 at 8:20 pm. Proper and safe disposition of high pressure propylene is flaring. EPLA unit was shut down and more flaring occurred. Flaring occurred. Ended 1/11/10 at 3:22 am. Subsequent start up also resulted in flaring which are covered under permit. This was not preventable as it was an unusual incident. Follow up report after invesitgation was received on 3/22/10. Following corrective actions were contemplated: Design and install a permanent repair for the line, Review vibration study, Increase HAWK camera utilization to detect leaks early, Implement flow alarms for early warning via Real Time Advisor computer system. Exxon Mobil personnel requested and met with the Enforcement Divsion to settle the penalty on this preventable release.