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Motiva Enterprises (2719), Convent

Causal Factor: Maintenance/Procedures

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

Water treatment facilities - temporary tanks and secondary containment berm system
Cause: At approximately 12:30 P.M. on Wednesday, December 14, 2005 a 2% soda ash (sodium carbonate) solution in water (with a negligible concentration of chlorides), overfilled temporary tanks and the surrounding secondary containment berm system Operations personal were taking the permanent fresh soda ash tank out of service for a planned maintenance inspection and turnaround. The soda ash was being pumped into temporary tanks, where it will be stored during the turned around. The total volume of the temporary tanks, which were provided by a third party, was less than the volume of the permanent tank and less than the volume that Motiva was anticipating when the tanks were ordered. Operations personnel were not physically observing the transfer when the incident began. The soda as overflowed the temporary tanks and the secondary containment berms around the temporary tanks, resulting in the spillage of approximately 20 gallons to the uncontaminated storm water system.

Followup: No

Notes: Upon discovery of the overflow, operations personnel shut down the pump. The soda ash solution, which has a high pH, is normally treated in the wastewater treatment plant prior to discharge. The storm water pond does not discharge water to the S. James Canal continuously. Due to the large volume of water in the pond and the small volume of soda ash solution, tests of the storm water yielded acceptable results and Motiva did not have to treat the storm water prior to discharge.
2% Soda Ash: 20.0 gallons

Brine Pit Sump at Sorrento Storage Facility
Cause: Brine Pit Sump leaked rose above normal levels due to maintenance being performed in the brine disposal well.

Followup: No

Notes: Testing of spilled material reflected very low chloride level. Material released and contained in immediate area, collected and returned to brine pit. Repairs of the sump planned for 4/18/05. Future work on the injection well pump will be coordinatored to ensure that the brine pit does not exceed acceptable leve

Flange connection on a reactor that was prepared for maintenance
Cause: Fire occurred during shutdown of HTU-3 unit. Maintenance personnel were cutting bolts with an acetylene torch with a mixture of Nitrogen and Hydrogen was released causing fire.

Followup: No

Notes: Fire immediately extinguished.


Cooling Tower
Cause: One cell of a cooling tower was isolated for maintenance and a second cell could not manage the full additional flow, spilling non-contact cooling water which then entered the in-plant stormwater system. No permit limits exceeded.

Followup: No

Notes: will review event to determine how to prevent a recurrence
Water: 2,400.0 gallons

API Separator No. 2
Cause: AbClean, Inc was vacuuming sludge out of the API separator when some water broke free from the sludge and was sucked into the vacuum box. The vacuum box filled before AbClean could shut down the operation. Once the truck was shut off, the overfill proceeded back down the line and leaked out of the vacuum breaker onto the ground.

Followup: No

Notes: Approximately 2 barrels of dirty oil water/API sludge leaked onto the ground. All clean up activities completed on day of release. No further information given concerning remedial activities. Several measures were put into place to prevent a recurrence: (1) the vacuum box was moved to a level surface, (2) the vacuum hose (and vacuum breaker) was placed inside a concrete containment area, and (3) operations personnel were provided increased awareness and now check the level in the vacuum box at an increased frequency (i.e. every 10 minutes).
Sludge: 840.0 pounds

Tank 20D-33
Cause: Spill occurred during tank cleaning activities

Followup: No

Notes: Letter states that release was BRQ
Heavy Cycle Gas Oil: 288.0 pounds

No information given
Cause: spill occurred during a cleaning operation

Followup: No

Notes: Letter states that release was BRQ


Tank 20D-12 (EIQ 20D-12)
Cause: While conducting demolition activities on the tank 20D-I2 floating roof, a fire began due to cutting of the roof with acetylene torches where residual hydrocarbon remained in the floating roof pontoon.

Followup: No

Notes: Motiva will inspect pontoons and other difficult to access areas that may contain hydrocarbon, and remove any material present prior to resuming demolition activiti

Nitrogen Dioxide: 2.0 pounds


None Reported
Cause: removing the exchanger bundle from its shell resulted in ignition of pyrophoic material in the exchanger

Followup: No

Notes: FIRE. Letter states that emissions were BRQ
No LDEQ Reported

Mississippi River
Cause: While performing maintenance activities on the dock, hydraulic hose ruptured on a barge installing pilings.

Followup: No

Notes: River carried away spill before a cleanup crew could be assembled. Maintenance activities were discontinued and the failed hydraulic hose was isolated. This prevented additional hydraulic oil from being released to the river. The failed hose was replaced. Maintenance crews at dock inspected machinery to make sure all hoses were in acceptable condition.
Hydraulic Oil: 5.0 gallons

None Reported
Cause: planned blowdown of PSA Compressor for maintenance

Followup: No

Notes: Courtesy notification of planned blowdown of Hydro line. Letter states that no RQ's were exceeded.

Sulfur Recovery Unit No. 3 (SRU-3) incinerator stack
Cause: On December 17, 2012, Motiva Entersprises, LLC Convent Refinery (Motiva) reported a potential sulfur dioxide (SO2) release which occurred at the facility due to a regulator malfunction while shutting down Sulfur Recovery Unit No. 3 (SRU-3) for maintenance. The malfunction caused the downstream Tail Gas Treatment Unit No. 3 (TGTU-3) to be bypassed resulting in SO2 emissions from the incinerator stack. The material released to the air did go offsite according to the facility's verbal report.

Followup: No

Notes: The incident was initially reported as a potential exceedance of the 500-lb Reportable Quantity (RQ) for sulfur dioxide (SO2). However, after further calculation, the total sulfur dioxide emissions from this incident were not above the reportable quantity.