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ExxonMobil Refinery (2638), Baton Rouge

LDEQ Accident Report

Accident #152732
PDF AvailablePDF
State Police #13-05400
Accident Date2013-12-05
Report Date 2013-12-12
Follow-up Date 2014-01-30
Follow-up: Yes

Pollutants Released

Pollutant Duration Point Source Greenhouse Gas Criteria Pollutant Ozone forming chemical Amount of Release
Benzene13 mHCLA UnitNONOYES17.0 pounds
Flammable Vapor13 mHCLA UnitNONOYES5,073.0 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide13 mHCLA UnitNONONO811.0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide13 mHCLA UnitNOYESNO947.0 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)13 mHCLA UnitNONOYES7,243.0 pounds

Accident Classified As: Reportable Quantity

Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

On December 5, the Recycle Feed pump at the HCLA unit experienced an unplanned shut down, causing material to be released to the site's flare gas system and atmospheric safety valves to lift. The unplanned shutdown occurred while swapping the in-service pump with a spare pump for a preventable maintenance inspection. The Recycle Feed pump was immediately isolated and unit feed rate was safely and quickly decreased to minimize flaring and emissions to the atmosphere. This incident is under investigation to determine the exact root cause and to provide mitigating steps to prevent recurrence. The reportable quantity for flammable vapor, VOC, hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide, and benzene was exceeded as a result of this event. Follow up report submitted 1/30/2014. Investigation of the accident indicated the failure occurred due to a reverse over speed event caused by a failed pump discharge check valve.

Discharge Preventable - Yes

Notes/Remedial Actions

Immediately upon the pump shutdown, unit feed rate was safely and quickly decreased to minimize flaring and emissions to the atmosphere. Installed two new check valves on the common discharge line in this service to mitigate backward flow.