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Shell Chemical East (26336), Norco

LDEQ Accident Report

Accident #153803
PDF AvailablePDF
State Police #14-00676
Accident Date2014-02-06
Report Date 2014-04-03
Follow-up Date 0000-00-00
Follow-up: Yes

Pollutants Released

Pollutant Duration Point Source Greenhouse Gas Criteria Pollutant Ozone forming chemical Amount of Release
1,3-Butadiene17h 35mBD5 UnitNONOYES58.0 pounds
Carbon Monoxide17h 35mBD5 UnitNOYESNO197.0 pounds
NOx17h 35mBD5 UnitNONOYES36.0 pounds
Particulate Matter17h 35mBD5 UnitNOYESNO7.0 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)17h 35mBD5 UnitNONOYES126.0 pounds

Accident Classified As: Reportable Quantity

Cause of Problem: Weather

On 2/6/14, a vent heater from Shell Chemical's Butadiene 5 (BD5) Unit to the OL5 process gas compressor (PGC) unexpectedly froze during inclement weather, resulting in flaring at the OL5 ground flare. Once the header thawed, the unit was safely returned to normal operating conditions on 2/7/14, and the flaring stopped.

Discharge Preventable - No

Frozen vent header was unexpected.

Notes/Remedial Actions

To minimize additional unit upset conditions and impacts, the vent stream from BD5 was routed to the flare until the header thawed. Once thawed, the vent stream was returned to its normal routing and BD5 was safely returned to normal operating conditions. To prevent the reoccurrence of this incident, the use of heat tracing and the development of a procedure to mitigate the frozen header are being evaluated. Both the reportable quantity and permit limit for 1,3 butadiene were exceeded.