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Motiva Enterprises (1406), Norco

LDEQ Accident Report

Accident #144566
PDF AvailablePDF
State Police #12-07383
Accident Date2012-11-13
Report Date 2012-11-20
Follow-up Date 2012-12-13
Follow-up: Yes

Pollutants Released

Pollutant Duration Point Source Greenhouse Gas Criteria Pollutant Ozone forming chemical Amount of Release
Carbon Monoxide3h 45mOlefins Flare (EPN 6-84)NOYESNO11.4 pounds
Nitrogen Dioxide3h 45mOlefins Flare (EPN 6-84)NOYESYES2.1 pounds
Particulate Matter3h 45mOlefins Flare (EPN 6-84)NOYESNO0.4 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide3h 45mOlefins Flare (EPN 6-84)NOYESNO149.7 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)3h 45mOlefins Flare (EPN 6-84)NONOYES4.7 pounds

Accident Classified As: Below Reportable Quantity (BRQ)

Cause of Problem: Process Upset

On November 13, 2012 at 08:45 hours, Motiva's Diesel Hydrotreater (DHT) flared vent gas to Shell Chemical's OL-5 elevated flare. This flaring was due to the DHT vent gas compressor (K-5337) tripping as a result of a high liquid level in the stripper's overhead accumulator (PV-1987) and in the compressor's interstage knock out pot (PV-1988). In addition, the DHT's recycle compressor (K5339) tripped due to high level in the recycle gas compressor knock out pot (PV-2028).

Discharge Preventable - No Information Given

Notes/Remedial Actions

No remedial actions were given. The flaring occurred at Shell Chemical East, but was caused by a compressor tripping at Motiva Enterprises Norco Refinery's Diesel Hydrotreater (DHT) unit. No reportable quantities were exceeded; however the permitted limits for sulfur dioxide were exceeded as a result of this release. Only gives the total VOCs released in the Permitted Source Emissions table; no breakdown per chemical even though they stated some of the released VOCs in their written notification (ethane, hydrogen sulfide, isobutane, methane, n-butane, and propane). SPOC states that 6000-7000 lbs per hour were sent to the elevated flare, and with a 99% flare efficiency it only resulted in 32 lbs of hydrocarbons being released per hour.