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ExxonMobil Chemical Plant (286), Baton Rouge

LDEQ Accident Report

Accident #144539
PDF AvailablePDF
State Police #12-07315
Accident Date2012-11-09
Report Date 2012-11-16
Follow-up Date 2013-03-15
Follow-up: Yes

Pollutants Released

Pollutant Duration Point Source Greenhouse Gas Criteria Pollutant Ozone forming chemical Amount of Release
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)21h 48mFlare gas systemNONOYES12,208.0 pounds
Benzene21h 48mFlare gas systemNONOYES819.0 pounds
Ethylene21h 48mFlare gas systemNONOYES3,572.0 pounds
Propylene21h 48mFlare gas systemNONOYES1,423.0 pounds
Isoprene21h 48mFlare gas systemNONOYES399.0 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide21h 48mFlare gas systemNOYESYES3,938.0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide21h 48mFlare gas systemNOYESNO28,988.0 pounds
1,3-Butadiene21h 48mFlare gas systemNONOYES924.0 pounds
Toluene21h 48mFlare gas systemNONONOBRQ
Hydrogen Sulfide21h 48mFlare gas systemNONONOBRQ

Accident Classified As: Reportable Quantity

Cause of Problem: Instrument Failure

A failure of the fuel gas control valve servomechanism actuator failed due to particulate matter in the hydraulic system, causing OLA-2X gas turbine to trip and material to be released to the Site's flare gas system.

Discharge Preventable - No

Event was due to unanticipated plugging of the hydraulic servo actuator due to particulates in the hydraulic oil. Prior to this event, all hydraulic system filters and servos were replaced and the system was drained, cleaned, and charged with fresh oil during the October 2011 turnaround.

Notes/Remedial Actions

Feed was removed from five of seven furnaces and the remaining two furnaces were operating at minimal rates in order to reduce the load on the flare system and emissions to the atmosphere. The hydraulic oil filters and servos were replaced upon discovery of the foulant. The hydraulic oil system was drained, cleaned, and charged with fresh oil in December 2012 to remove a suspected contaminate and particulates. ExxonMobil is conducting additional laboratory analysis of the lube oil at our lubes and specialities lab to determine if additional steps are needed to help prevent recurrence. In addition, improved filtration has been installed. A citizen complaint was recorded and given LDEQ incident number 144543. The complaint cites "Exxon release causing terrible odors, making the caller sick." The LDEQ report references this report, incident 144539 for information on the release. The reportable quantities for VOC, benzene, ethylene, propylene, isoprene, 1,3-butadiene, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxide were exceeded as a result of this event.