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Valero (26003), Norco

LDEQ Accident Report

Accident #146729
PDF AvailablePDF
State Police #13-00746
Accident Date2013-02-19
Report Date 2013-02-26
Follow-up Date 2013-06-07
Follow-up: Yes

Pollutants Released

Pollutant Duration Point Source Greenhouse Gas Criteria Pollutant Ozone forming chemical Amount of Release
Sulfur Dioxide14h 15mFlares 1, 2, 3, and 4NOYESNO828.3 pounds
Carbon Monoxide14h 15mFlares 1, 2, 3, and 4NOYESNO1,450.7 pounds
NOx14h 15mFlares 1, 2, 3, and 4NONOYES266.6 pounds
Particulate Matter14h 15mFlares 1, 2, 3, and 4NOYESNO11.0 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)14h 15mFlares 1, 2, 3, and 4NONOYES548.9 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide14h 15mFlares 1, 2, 3, and 4NONONO4.1 pounds

Accident Classified As: Reportable Quantity

Cause of Problem: Power Failure

On February 19, 2013, at approximately 04:10, the Diesel Hydrotreating (DHT) Recycle Gas Compressor (K-15-53) malfunctioned resulting in a unit shutdown and a release to the flare of 828 pounds of sulfur dioxide. The GE Multilin relay indicated a short due to apparent moisture intrusion that caused arcing which damaged the insulators and cables. Heavy rain was in the area at the time of the incident.

Discharge Preventable - Yes

This incident was reasonably preventable.

Notes/Remedial Actions

Safely shutdown the DHT. No pollutants were recouped. Emissions were minimized by restarting the recycle gas compressor. The cables were repaired and the insulators were replaced. A cover for the capacitor cabinet was fabricated to cover the holes due to rust which allowed water inside to prevent any further damage from inclement weather. To prevent recurrence, the following procedures have or will be adopted: 1) Communicate this incident to all affected personnel. 2) Replace the existing cabinet on the next turn-around. 3) Modify the existing roof/cover to provide better protection from inclement weather. (A temporary repair was already completed.) 4) Survey similar cabinets for damage and make required repairs and/or replacements. 5) Establish preventative maintenance program for similar cabinets plant-wide. 6) Determine the necessity of the capacitors for K-15-53 and either replace or remove them. 7) Improve effectiveness of and/or training on the maintenance work process to ensure that repair findings/discovery scope during the course of work that is not addressed at the time is captured in a work order. 8) Draft an emergency operating procedure to address the loss of the recycle compressor. SO2 reportable quantities were exceeded. A report was issued on 4/19/2013 stating that Valero was "unable to complete the investigation within 60-days of the above referenced incident".