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Valero (1238), Meraux

LDEQ Accident Report

Accident #142493
State Police #12-05828
Accident Date2012-08-30
Report Date 2012-09-06
Follow-up Date 2012-10-29
Follow-up: Yes

Pollutants Released

Pollutant Duration Point Source Greenhouse Gas Criteria Pollutant Ozone forming chemical Amount of Release
Slop OilNo information GivenOAF Sump at Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP)NONONO47.0 gallons
BenzeneNo information GivenOAF Sump at Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP)NONOYES7.8 pounds

Accident Classified As: Reportable Quantity

Cause of Problem: Weather

On August 30, 2012, while assessing conditions following Hurricane Isaac, Valero personnel discovered a slop oil spill to the ground in the Wastewater Treatment area, oil and sheen in a storm water drainage ditch along the western edge of the refinery, and a sheen in the 20 Arpent Canal that receives water from this ditch. A few days later, after the water level had dropped several feet, grass stained with oil was discovered along the 20 Arpent Canal. Valero determined the root cause of this spill to be inadequate containment for the heavy rains and high winds experienced during hurricane· Isaac. When the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) shut down during the hurricane, oil collected in the OAF Sump which overflowed when the area was flooded. The primary cause for this event was Weather, but the secondary cause is Equipment Design (inadequate containment at Wastewater Treatment Plant).

Discharge Preventable - No

No, the heavy rains of Hurricane Isaac were beyond the capacity of the current design of the OAF Sump.

Notes/Remedial Actions

Slop Oil, estimated at 1 barrel (42 gallons), was released to the ground and an estimated 5 gallons was released to water. Valero provided verbal notification within 2 hours of discovering the release of material offsite. Valero recovered the oil on the ground and in the ditch using vacuum trucks and absorbent materials. All soils and vegetation with visible contamination were removed for disposal at an offsite commercial landfill. Valero will design and install a fixed roof and wall around the OAF Sump to prevent the OAF Sump from filling up with storm water and overflowing. The last document LABB has for this event is the 60 day follow up on December 21, 2012. Valero shut down their refinery before the storm and did not report any other pollution besides this slop oil (and benzene that volatilized off of the oil). Citizen complaint made 9/1/12 regarding a strong fuel smell present. Would like to know if an emergency by-pass was occurring because of lack of capacity to contain rainwater. Observed high levels of ponds prior to storm. On 8/30/12 Valero reported the release of 1 barrel of slop oil in the Waste Water Treatment area which ocurred during Hurricane Isaac this complaint was recorded by LADEQ by incident number 142484, but was referenced to this incident by Valero.