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Motiva Enterprises (2719), Convent

LDEQ Accident Report

Accident #148806
PDF AvailablePDF
State Police #13-02185
Accident Date2013-05-18
Report Date 2013-05-24
Follow-up Date 2013-06-13
Follow-up: Yes

Pollutants Released

Pollutant Duration Point Source Greenhouse Gas Criteria Pollutant Ozone forming chemical Amount of Release
Sulfur Dioxide10h 59mFlare #3NOYESNO28,884.0 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide10h 59mFlare #3NONONO50.3 pounds

Accident Classified As: Reportable Quantity

Cause of Problem: Instrument Failure

On the morning of May 18, the H-Oil Unit was operating normally when emergency pressure control valve 70HV234 inadvertently opened. Operations immediately reduced charge to the unit and closed the emergency pressure control valve in an attempt to re-engage operation, which was unsuccessful. In order to prevent an unsafe condition from the elevated temperatures and levels in equipment, operations stabilized the unit by flaring and removing charge from the unit to start a controlled shutdown.

Discharge Preventable - No

Failure of the valve positioner relay was unpredictable.

Notes/Remedial Actions

Operations immediately reduced charge to the unit and closed the emergency pressure control valve in an attempt to re-engage operation, which was unsuccessful. In order to prevent an unsafe condition from the elevated temperatures and levels in equipment, operations stabilized the unit by flaring and removing charge from the unit to start a controlled shutdown. After investigation, it was concluded that the restriction orifice in the valve positioner relay plugged causing air pressure from the valve positioner to the actuator to drop below the pressure threshold required to hold the valve closed. The replacement of a control valve positioner, filter, and air regulator will eliminate the recurrence of an identical event in the short term. The replacement of this equipment will be conducted during the 2013 H-Oil reactor entry shutdown which is currently underway. Motiva will complete the proposed replacements prior to completion of the 2013 H-Oil reactor entry shutdown. To reduce the likelihood of a similar event from occurring in the future, Motiva will inspect these components during subsequent H-Oil reactor entry turnarounds for evidence of plugging and replace equipment as necessary. The total amount of hydrogen sulfide does not exceed the RQ of 100 pounds, but the maximum lb/hr emissions limit was exceeded for the hours between 8 AM and 11 AM. The permitted rates and amount released above authorized emissions were listed, but not the exact total amounts emitted.