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Chalmette Refining (1376), Chalmette

LDEQ Accident Report

Accident #152005
State Police #13-04837
Accident Date2013-10-31
Report Date 2013-11-07
Follow-up Date 0000-00-00
Follow-up: No

Pollutants Released

Pollutant Duration Point Source Greenhouse Gas Criteria Pollutant Ozone forming chemical Amount of Release
Hydrogen FlourideD acid coolerNONONO218.0 pounds
Sulfur DioxideFlare #1NOYESNO10,360.0 pounds

Accident Classified As: Reportable Quantity

Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

On October 30, personnel identified increased fluoride levels of routine samples at the battery limits of the Alkylation unit in the cooling water return system from 0.39 parts per million (ppm) to 0.5 ppm. Based on preliminary findings, the "D" acid cooler at the alkylation unit appears to have developed a leak. Sampling conducted at Outfall 013, which measures fluoride concentration, suggests a neutral pH, dilute solution of HF was leaking from a heat exchanger in the cooling water system and discharged through the outfall. CRLLC personnel began to shutdown the unit in order to isolate the cooler on October 31. As a result of the leak and subsequent shutdown of the unit, intermittent flaring occurred at the #1 Flare beginning on October 31 and ending on November 2.

Discharge Preventable - No

CRLLC had no indication nor could have prevented the exchanger leak from occurring.

Notes/Remedial Actions

The Alkylation Unit was shut down in a safe and controlled manner in order to isolate the acid cooler. The acid cooler is being inspected and repaired to minimize the risk of recurrence. The rates were reduced and the acid was evacuated from the unit. Fluoride samples were measured from the cooling water effluent throughout the shutdown of the unit. The pH of Outfall 013 was continuously monitored.