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Valero (1238), Meraux

LDEQ Accident Report

Accident #151215
PDF AvailablePDF
State Police #13-04190
Accident Date2013-09-22
Report Date 2013-09-27
Follow-up Date 2013-11-14
Follow-up: Yes

Pollutants Released

Pollutant Duration Point Source Greenhouse Gas Criteria Pollutant Ozone forming chemical Amount of Release
#6 Oil15mPump at Tank 200-7NONONO210.0 gallons

Accident Classified As: Reportable Quantity

Cause of Problem: Equipment Design

While collecting a sample from Tank 200-7, a laboratory technician observed 6-Oil under a pump and on the surrounding ground. He immediately notified Operations personnel who determined that the pump seal had failed. They proceeded to isolate the pump and stop the leak. It was determined that six barrels had spilled within the pump's concrete containment basin and another five barrels overflowed onto the surrounding grassy area. The root cause of this spill to be an improper pump seal flush design. Due to the improper design, variations in product density and low levels in Tank 200-7 may have reduced seal flush supply pressure and flow, allowing the seal to run dry and ultimately fail.

Discharge Preventable - No

The seal flush had operated without incident since Valero acquired the refinery in October 2011. Valero had no reason to suspect its non-optimal configuration until this failure occurred.

Notes/Remedial Actions

A vacuum truck was dispatched to remove as much of the 6-Oil as possible and shovels and a backhoe were used to remove the remaining material in the grassy area. Recovered liquids were transferred to the refinery for separation and treatment and the contaminated soil was moved to a roll off bin for off-site disposal. All soils and vegetation with visible contamination was removed for disposal at an offsite commercial landfill. Valero will modify the pump seal flush piping to allow for adequate seal flushing.