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Shell Chemical East (26336), Norco

LDEQ Accident Report

Accident #148977
PDF AvailablePDF
State Police #13-02427
Accident Date2013-06-01
Report Date 2013-06-06
Follow-up Date 2013-07-29
Follow-up: Yes

Pollutants Released

Pollutant Duration Point Source Greenhouse Gas Criteria Pollutant Ozone forming chemical Amount of Release
Benzene4d 5h 17mOL-5 Exchange Unit E1970NONOYESBRQ
Naphthalene4d 5h 17mOL-5 Exchange Unit E1970NONOYESBRQ
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons4d 5h 17mOL-5 Exchange Unit E1970NONOYESBRQ
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)4d 5h 17mOL-5 Exchange Unit E1970NONOYESBRQ
Gas Oil4d 5h 17mWWTP systemNONONOBRQ

Accident Classified As: Below Reportable Quantity (BRQ)

Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

On June 1, a release of Benzene, Naphthalene, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, and Volatile Organic Compounds occurred. The release was due to an unexpected leak on an OL-5 process unit 20lb Steam Regenerator Exchanger. The Norco Site Supervisor was notified by a st. Charles DEP deputy of an odor detected along highway 61. The leaking steam condensate entrained with CLGO (cracked light gas oil) hydrocarbon entered the storm water drain and the refinery conveyance system.

Discharge Preventable - No Information Given

The refinery letter states this accident was caused by an "unexpected leak", but they do not classify it as not preventable.

Notes/Remedial Actions

At the time of the LDEQ verbal notification, in house monitoring levels of Benzene were 5.0 ppm. The material was removed from the storm water drains and conveyance systems and disposed of properly. Mr. White stated the product was being routed to an oily/water separator, thence to their WWTP system for treatment. They were "slabbing" the condensate as of approximately 1415 hours. Gas oil release is now ongoing and is going to effluent system and being picked up at their separator. The material was reported to have gone offsite - released to the air. Inside the facility air monitoring was between 6-10 ppm. There was no offsite protective action. The 24 hour update states the exchanger 1970 was taken off line which is what was leaking. Have contractors picking up the oil out of the F1 system.