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Chalmette Refining (1376), Chalmette

Causal Factor: Process Upset

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source(s) Notes Amount of Release
84723

2005-12-22
Dip-leg of SRUTR1
Cause: At approximately 0200 hours on 12/22/05 plugging on a dip-leg SRUTR1 was identified and the unit was shut down. During shutdown and hot stand-by of the unit emissions occur via the THOX.

Followup: No

Notes: The Chalmette Refinery notified regarding malfunction of the refinery sulfur recovery unit train 1 (SRUTR1), including release of sulfur dioxide (S02) beginning 12/22/05 and continuing intermittently until 12/25/05 during the shutdown and preparation of impacted equipment. Sulfur dioxide released to atmosphere through the Refinery Sulfur Recovery Unit Thermal Oxidizer (THOX) Stack. Operations were conducted in order to minimize emissions while maintaining a safe and orderly shutdown of the impacted unit. The refinery has initiated an investigation into the cause of this incident. Based on the result of that investigation, appropriate measures will be taken in order to prevent a recurrence due to the same cause. The SO2 emissions of 33,375 lbs exceed reportable quantity. This amount is a part of the total SO2 emissions found in LDEQ incident #84745-84794. This Incident is closely related to LDEQ incident # 84745-84794 in our database.
Sulfur Dioxide: 33,375.0 pounds
84745-84794

2005-12-22
Sulfur Recovery Unit Train 2
Cause: Instrument malfunction caused the automatic shutdown of the refinery sulfur recovery unit train 2, resulting in the routing of refinery acid gas to the flare system (No. 1). Equipment malfunction on SRU 2...leak ongoing...NOX, SO2, H2S. Siting the related incident, ldeq # 84794: According to the refinery, an electrical supply malfunction on the Rich DGA Pump G-8291 caused the automatic shutdown of the refinery Sulfur Recovery Unit Train 2. The shutdown resulted in routing of refinery acid gas to the flare system Loss of one of the amine circulating pumps #g8291 on SRU train 2...NOX, NO2, SO2, H2S

Followup: No

Notes: The following details are for LDEQ incident # 84745, but there is another event (ldeq 84794) which will be discussed in further detail in the 2nd section below: Operations were conducted in order to minimize emissions while maintaining a safe and orderly stabilization of refinery operations and restart of the impacted process unit. Repairs were made to applicable instrumentation and SRU Train 2 was restarted, ending the incident. The refinery has initiated an investigation into the cause of this incident. Based on the result of that investigation, appropriate measures will be taken in order to prevent a recurrence due to the same cause. SO2, H2S, nitric oxide, NO2 released to atmosphere through the refinery number 1 flare and to a lesser extent via the refinery sulfur recovery unit thermal oxidizer stack. Operations were conducted in order to minimize emissions while maintaining a safe and orderly stabilization of refinery operations and restart of the impacted process unit. Repairs were made to applicable instrumentation and SRU Train 2 was restarted, ending the incident. In a separate but related incident report that is linked to the event detailed above (LDEQ # 84794) the following details pertain to that release, but the pollutant totals have been combined: pollutants from incident number 84794 have been combined in the pollutant totals in the table below, but the original report for 84794 had listed these quantities which have all been added to the totals mentioned in report 84745: Hydrogen Sulfide 273.0 pounds Nitric Oxide 239.0 pounds Nitrogen Dioxide 27.0 pounds Sulfur Dioxide 103,560.0 pounds Operations were conducted in order to minimize emissions while maintaining a safe and orderly stabilization of refinery operations and restart of the impacted process unit. Repairs were made to applicable electrical equipment and SRU train 2 was restarted, ending the incident. The refinery has initiated an investigation into the cause of this incident. Based on the result of that investigation, appropriate measures will be taken in order to prevent a recurrence due to the same cause. The Sulfur recovery unit train 1 (SRUTR1) which included the release of 33375 lbs of sulfur dioxide to the atmosphere through the facility's Refinery Sulfur Recovery Unit Thermal Oxidizer Stack. The emissions occurred intermittently from 12/22-25/05 over 35 hour time frame. The unit was shutdown over this timeframe to make necessary repairs. An investigation concluded that a dip-leg of srut1 unit was identified and the unit had to be shutdown. Further investigations revealed that SRUTR1 unit was shutdown prior to katrina and was brought back on line on 12/22/05 when the incident occurred. The shutdown to the SRUT2 resulted in the routing of refinery acid gas to the flare system from 12/22-23/05 for 13.5 hour timeframe. The unit was shutdown over this timeframe to make necessary repairs. Operations were conducted in order to minimize emissions while maintaining a safe and orderly stabilization of refinery operations and restart of the impacted process unit. Repairs were made to applicable electric equipment and SRU Train 2 was restarted, ending the incident. Appropriate measures will be taken in order to prevent a recurrence due to the same cause. These releases of sulfur dioxide exceed reportable quantity. Incident #84745 occurred 12/22 to 12/23 and Incident #84794 occurred from 12/24 to 12/25. The two reports here are also linked to a third report, LDEQ Incident #84723 which is separate on our database.
Hydrogen Sulfide: 1,017.0 pounds
Nitric Oxide: 888.0 pounds
Nitrogen Dioxide: 99.0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 381,000.0 pounds
84681

2005-12-19
Hydrocracker (HCU) Second Stage Make-up Hydrogen Compressor (K-2302)
Cause: Operation personnel determined that the Hydrocracker (HCU) Second Stage Make-up Hydrogen Compressor (K2302) alignment and unit conditions were causing a pressure safety valve (PSV) to relieve refinery grid hydrogen to the flare.

Followup: No

Notes: A notification was made regarding a release of Nitric Oxide (NO) on 12/19/2005. At approximately 1758 hours on 12/19/05, excess flare volume was identified and a search of process units was initiated to locate the source. At approximately 2224 hours the source of the flaring was identified and isolated. Upon identification of the flaring source emissions calculations were completed and agency notifications made. A search located the source of excess flare gas. The situations which caused the PSV to relieve the flare were modified, ending the incident. Normal procedures for HCU startup will be reviewed in order to evaluate line-ups that could result in flaring and modify them if appropriate.
Nitric Oxide: 79.0 pounds
84247

2005-12-02
Pressure Safety Value
Cause: Unexpected blockage caused backpressure in the unit causing a PSV to relieve to the flare.

Followup: No

Notes: A relief valve failed..NOX The refinery reported a release of Nitric Oxide (NO) on 12/2/05 at approximately 0743 hours causing flaring. The cause of the flaring was identified and isolated at approximately 0923 hours. Total duration was approximately one hour and 41 minutes. Excess flare volume was identified and a search of process units was initiated to locate the source. At 9:23am the source of the flaring was identified and isolated. Operations personnel determined that an unexpected blockage (liquid and/or hydrate) caused back pressure in the unit, causing a Pressure Safety Valve (PSV) to relieve to the flare. Upon identification of the flaring source, emissions calculations were completed and agency notifications made. The search located the source of excess flare gas. The PSV which relieved to the flare was isolated, ending the incident. The incident will be reviewed with affected operations personnel to make them aware of the potential implications of unusual line-ups and their potential environmental implications.
Nitric Oxide: 57.0 pounds
80865

2005-07-22
Hydrocracker
Cause: Hydrocracker overpressured

Followup: No

Notes: BELOW REPORTABLE QUANTITIES
Sulfur Dioxide: 4.0 pounds
Nitric Oxide: 2.6 pounds
Nitrogen Dioxide: 0.3 pounds
80568

2005-07-17
Wet Gas Compressor K 2800 shut down and went to the No. 2 Flare
Cause: Coker 1 wet gas compressor (K2800) shut down due to high knock-out drum level. Resulted in flaring of process gasses until it could be re-started.

Followup: No

Notes: Process adjustments were made in order to minimize the likelihood of fractionators liquid carryover and high knock-out level, prior to the re-start of the compressor. K2800 was re-started, ending the incident.
Nitric Oxide: 22.0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 155.0 pounds
80288

2005-07-04
Hydrocracker Light Ends Plant Butane Splitter Tower & LEP Depropanizer
Cause: LEP Butane Splitter Tower began to overpressure. Moves in operating temperature and pressure on LEP Depropanizer, actuated by the refinery advanced controls system, allowed propane to exit via Depropanizer Bottoms, to the Butane Splitter, which is not designed to off-gas light materials such as propane. Personnel mode moves to lower tower pressure, including the venting of Propane in the Butane Splitter, to the refinery flare system in order to lower the pressure of the tower to safe levels.

Followup: No

Notes: Cooler back flushing was conducted in order to ensure that maximum cooling was available. Refinery personnel made operational adjustments that ended the incident. Various level controllers and analyzers associated with the LEP Depropanizer and Butane Splitter were checked for proper operation. The refinery has initiated an investigation into the cause of this incident.
Nitric Oxide: 19.0 pounds
79529

2005-06-02
Hydrocracker Light Ends Plant Butane Splitter Tower
Cause: The Hydrocracker Light Ends Plant (LEP) Butane Splitter Tower began to overpressure; moves in operating temperature and pressure on the LEP Depropanizer, actuated by the refinery advanced system controls system, allowed propane to exit via Depropanizer Bottoms, to the Butane Splitter, which is not designed to off-gas light materials such as propane.

Followup: No

Notes: Cooler back flushing was conducted in order to ensure that maximum cooling was available. Refinery personnel made operational adjustments that ended the incident. Various level controllers and analyzers associated with the Lep Depropanizer and Butane Splitter were checked for proper operation.
Nitric Oxide: 11.0 pounds
78900

2005-05-08
K-4301
Cause: After starting the propane compressor the first and second stage releif valves opened to the flare.

Followup: No

Notes: Below reportable quantities. Initial report said 12 lbs/hour released; report states that incident occured at 14:35 hours and was secured at 15:00 hours.
Nitric Oxide: 4.5 pounds
76595

2005-01-30

Pressure Safety Valve (PSV) on the Hydrocracker Light Ends Plant (LEP) A stripper as the source of the increased flame at number 2 flare
Cause: An abrupt increase in light material to the LEP A Stripper exceeded the tower overhead condenser cooling capacity, causing tower to overpressure.

Followup: No

Notes: After identifying the LEP A Stripper PSV flaring, cooling water in the A Stripper overhead was increased which condensed additional light materials in the tower; this lowered the pressure on the tower to end the incident.
Nitric Oxide: 15.0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 1.0 
91273

2006-10-10
Thermal Oxidizer and Flare 1 - AE-AOA-05-0109 EPN 46
Cause: Discharges came from THOX and Flare 1. The Amine and Sulfur Recovery Units were upset. It was determined that hydrocarbons contaminated the Diglycolamine (DGAš) and required both units to be taken offline. The upset caused excess emissions from the SRU 1 Thermal Oxidizer (THOX). Sulfer Plant feed was diverted to the refinery safety flare system while the conditions which cause the upset were isloated and remedied. CRLLC reduced the rates of acid gas productin units to minimum and lowered total sufer content of remaining feed, within refinery capability.

Followup: No

Notes: CITIZEN COMPLAINT COINCIDES WITH INCIDENT - all acid gas producing units were cut back to minimum rates. The source of hydrocarbon in the DGA system was isolated and then purged. The refinery has initiated an investigation into the cause of this incident. Based on the result of that investigation, appropriate measures will be take in order to prevent a recurrence dut ot the same cause.
Nitrogen Dioxide: 352.0 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide: 2,917.0 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide: 3,198.0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 1,068,405.0 pounds
89699

2006-08-03
AE-AOA-05-0109 EPN 29
Cause: gas compressor tripped due to a sudden change in feed composition and or compressor suction pressure

Followup: No

Notes: refinery has initiated an investigation into the cause
Sulfur Dioxide: 695.0 pounds
89555

2006-07-27
No information given
Cause: upset on amine unit.

Followup: No

Notes: Letter written to rescind notification of 7/27/06
Sulfur Dioxide: 25.0 pounds
87256

2006-04-18
No information given
Cause: Cat Feed Hydrotreater Compressor tripped on overamp

Followup: No

Notes: Letter states that emissions were BRQ
Nitric Oxide: 7.0 pounds
85834

2006-02-15
Waste Gas Compressor
Cause: process equipment allowed light ends to enter Tank 75 during an upset. The tank vent ignited briefly during this period.

Followup: No

Notes: Letter written to rescind notification of 2/15/06



85454

2006-01-29
Thermal Oxidizer AE-AOA-05-0109 EPN 46
Cause: steam leak into SRUTR1 prcoess necessitated shutdown and transfer to another unit

Followup: No

Notes: refinery has initiated an investigation into the cause. Operations were conducted to minimize emissions. Safe and orderly shutdown to reduce impact.
Sulfur Dioxide: 3,141.0 pounds
101895

2007-12-21
Flare
Cause: upset of FCC; overhead pressure opened to flare

Followup: No

Notes: No information given

98232

2007-07-29
Flare
Cause: upset on hydrocracker

Followup: No

Notes: No information given

97539

2007-06-25
Flare
Cause: LPG Compressor tripped and K-3304 compressor R/V had over pressured resulting in some excess flaring and SO2 emissions

Followup: No

Notes: CITIZEN COMPLAINT.

97334

2007-06-23
Flare
Cause: LPG Compressor tripped and K-3304 compressor R/V had over pressured resulting in some excess flaring and SO2 emissions

Followup: No

Notes: No information given

95667

2007-04-26
None Reported
Cause:

Followup: No

Notes: No information given
110391

2008-10-25
#1 Flare
Cause: upset condition in a process unit

Followup: No

Notes: Letter states that emissions were BRQ.



102818

2008-02-04
#2 Flare
Cause: excess light material in the feed stream caused the Depropanizer Tower to experience processing difficulties that resulted in a pressure increase in the Tower.

Followup: No

Notes: Operators reduced the feed rate to the Debutanizer Tower and cut back the production of overhead liquids from other units supplying the Light Ends Plant
Sulfur Dioxide: 1,205.0 pounds
No LDEQ Reported

2008-01-24
WWTP Clearwell
Cause: WWTP in upset condition causes release of effluent through Outfal 110

Followup: No

Notes: CRLLC immediately shut down discharge pumps and diverted the WWTP Clearwell effluent back to the API. The sheen dissipated immediately. CRLLC is performing additional visual and chemical analysis of the feed to the API. Once a shift CRLLC is collecting and analyzing samples and has reduced the drain rate of the feed to the WWTP.
Oily Effluent: 1.0 pounds
118643

2009-10-09
Waste Gas Compressor
Cause: Waste Gas Compressor lost high pressure and failed. Sent gas to FLARE #1.

Followup: No

Notes: RQ not exceeded. Flare gas recovery system prevented excessive flaring.

118324

2009-10-01
tank 1203
Cause: Plastic bag lodged in the vacuum while emptying a tank 1203 which caused overfill of drain pan.

Followup: Yes

Notes: RQ not exceeded. All discharges contained and recovered.
Benzene: 23.9 pounds
114985

2009-05-14
flare
Cause: High differential pressure across gas oil feed filters to Cat Feed Hydrotreater (CFHT) prevented feed from entering the unit. Loss of feed to CFHT combined with malfunctioned level indicator (instrument failure) in hot separator resulted in the total loss of liquid level in the hot separator. This created high pressure vapor from the hot separator that was fed to the fractionator. This result in the overheating and over pressuring of the fractionator and increased gas rates to the fractionator overhead.

Followup: Yes

Notes: RQ exceeded. CFHT rates reduced to a minimum and stopped using propane to minimize temperature and pressure excursions. Level indicator malfunction ocrrected by replacing the anti-freeze.
Sulfur Dioxide: 2,138.0 pounds
126170

2010-09-07
Fin Fans
Cause: LDEQ report states the event released hydrogen sulfide and VOC for 163 minutes. CRLLC had a tube failure on the inlet side of an exchager at the hydrodesulfurization unit. Gas was released into the atmosphere. Follow-up report states that the leak was the result of thermal cycles on the fin fans which occurred during a power interruption. The unit was shutdown and fin fan exchanger was purged with nitrogen.

Followup: Yes

Notes: RQ. Unit was shutdown and exchanger purged with nitrogen. LDEQ report states that DEQ database was checked several times for a 60 day follow-up notification but no report was sent within 60 days. When contacted they stated no knowledge of 60 day notification requirement. The facility then submitted the second follow-up report notification with root cause analysis. According to the report, the event was not preventable. This facility referred to circuit rider for not submitting the second follow-up notification in accordance with LAC 33.I.3925.A.3
Hydrogen Sulfide: 383.0 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): 2,714.0 pounds
132721

2011-07-23
Flare
Cause: On July 23, 2011 at approcimately 23:33 hours, a safety valve on the propane/polypropylene mix drum, D9007 relieved to the No. 1 Flare, resulting in intermittent flaring, and consequently resulting in emission of sulfur dioxide in excess of the reportable quantity of 500 lbs. Incident 11-04337 occurring on July 21, 2011 caused a buildup of hydrocarbons in the compressor seal water decreasing the capacity of the compressors which normally have the capacity to contain this volume.

Followup: No

Notes: The seal water on the FRM compressors was changed out as the hydrocarbon buildup contributed to the flaring. Pressure build up in the spheres occurred before the seal water could be changed out in the compressors causing intermittent flaring. The venting could not be delayed as it would have been a process safety issue. Flaring does not normally occur from these procedures.
Sulfur Dioxide: 1,010.0 pounds

132609

2011-07-20
Flare: Unspecified location
Cause: A sphere over pressured and dumped to the flare. Pressure safety valve lifted and went to flare.

Followup: No

Notes: The sphere was isolated away from the flare.

130963

2011-04-27
No. 2 Coker and Cat Feed Hydrotreater (CFHT)
Cause: Unscheduled outages of the No. 2 Coker and Cat Feed Hydrotreater resulted from a temperature change due to operating on combustion air resulted in the release of sulfur dioxide.

Followup: Yes

Notes: RQ. EPA Consent Decree report included. Immediate remedial actions taken: Upstream unit rates were reduced, the Sour Water Stripper unit was shut down, and SRU conditions were adjusted. Further action: 1)Refresher training has been conducted with increased emphasis on the importance of monitoring the No. 1 Converter temperature closely during train transitions to combustion air with pit vapor to prevent recurrence. 2)Procedure to switch from O2-mode to air-mode was modified. 3)MDEA lean loading field testing to be moved to refinery lab, with upgraded analysis procedures 4)Evaluate project to operate SRU units in partial O2-enrichment mode to reduce environmental vulnerability On January 6, 2012 the refinery sent follow-up notification that all action items related to the April 27, 2011 Tail Gas Incident has been completed.
Sulfur Dioxide: 1,150.8 pounds
149927

2013-07-25
Flare #1
Cause: On Thursday, July 25, 2013, the flare gas management (FGM) compressors began to lose suction and stopped pumping resulting in the staging of the #1 Flare. Prior to this even, a planned venting of pump G7908 occurred and is suspected to have caused an increased flow of higher molecular weight material to the compressor system. Concurrently, waste gas compressor (K406) was out of service from a prior malfunction causing waste gas to be routed to the FGM system. The increased flow of the waste gas caused an overpressure of the recovery system and staged the #1 Flare.

Followup: No

Notes: Emissions were minimized as much as possible and the FGM compressors were returned to normal operation as soon as possible. K406 was repaired and returned to service to reduce the gas being routed to the recovery system. An evaluation of the equipment during the event revealed the flare gas recovery water purge capability was restricted. This resulted in increased unreliability of the compressors due to the reduced discharge rate of the high molecular weight water recirculating in the system. The water purge capability was restored on 7/29 and should result in faster recovery times from unplanned high molecular weight gas events. Waste gas system compressor reliability and water purge capability will be reviewed to identify and evaluate improvement options. LDEQ conducted "onsite discussions" with Chalmette Environmental and business supervisor related to three accidents related to the FGC and WGC units between 7/25-7/28 (149927, 149989, 150004) on 8/28/2013.
Sulfur Dioxide: 10,860.0 pounds
148358

2013-04-26
FGM compressor
Cause: On Friday, April 26, 2013, at approximately 14:33 hours, the flare gas management (FGM) compressors stopped pumping during the startup of the fluidized catalytic cracking (FCC) unit due to high molecular weight in the system. The FGM compressors are not able to pump correctly with high molecular weight in the water interface. There was also the potential to cause long-term damage if the FGM compressors continued to be used during this process which would result in the recovery system being out of service for an extended period of time.

Followup: No

Notes: The compressors were returned to service after equipment preparation and maintenance activities were completed on April 27, 2013 at 15:49 hours. All efforts were taken to minimize emissions as much as possible during the compressor outages. Community monitoring was conducted during the events and all results were non-detect. Steps were taken to minimize emissions as much as possible and operations are being adjusted to return the FGM compressors to normal operation.
Sulfur Dioxide: 6,866.0 pounds