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Chalmette Refining (1376), Chalmette

LDEQ Accident Report

Accident #142614
State Police #12-059059
Accident Date2012-09-04
Report Date 2012-09-11
Follow-up Date 2012-11-09
Follow-up: Yes

Pollutants Released

Pollutant Duration Point Source Greenhouse Gas Criteria Pollutant Ozone forming chemical Amount of Release
Crude Oilcrude feed charge line to the #1 Crude unitNONONO198.2 gallons

Accident Classified As: Reportable Quantity

Cause of Problem: Under Investigation

On Tuesday, September 4, 2012, at approximately 05:00 hours, crude oil accumulation was observed on the ground by the benzene recovery unit (BRU) area. This incident happened during refinery startup activities subsequent to Hurricane Isaac. The cause of the accumulation is a leak in the crude feed charge line to the #1 Crude unit. No information given to cause except that this was an underground crude feed charge line. Report dated Jan 2013 still did not have root cause analysis for this leak.

Discharge Preventable - Yes

Release was deemed preventable because inspection data less than adequate to provide early indication of potential piping thickness degradation. Replacement piping has been routed above ground to prevent potential degradation mechanisms for underground piping circuits.

Notes/Remedial Actions

This event is related to Hurricane Isaac recovery activities. During start up of Chalmette Refinery discovered 4.72 barrels of crude oil (3 reports on this, original (September 11, 2012) reported <1 barrel, 2nd (November 9, 2012) reported 50-75 barrels and 3rd (January 9, 2013) went back down to 4.72 barrels) leaking from the crude feed charge line to the #1 Crude unit. Once identified, the pumps were turned off and the line was isolated to stop the leak source. Vacuum trucks are being utilized to contain and recover the loss of crude oil from the isolated section of the charge piping. The isolated section of piping contains approximately 50-75 bbls which will be actively collected via vacuum trucks to minimize spill potential. Air monitoring was initiated at the spill site and has demonstrated no affect in the clean-up area. Offsite monitoring was conducted and all readings were below detection limits. No emergency conditions or offsite impacts resulted from this release. An investigation is ongoing to identify the root cause of why the leak occurred and will be addressed in a 60-day follow-up letter. Refinery has utilized alternative piping to provide crude feed. The underground line will be cleared of hydrocarbon material, isolated, and taken out of service.