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Motiva Enterprises (1406), Norco

Causal Factor: Equipment Failure

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

Unit Main Air Blower, RCCU Flare (EPN 8-84)
Cause: RCCU experienced instrument protective function shutdown activation of the unit's MAB just prior to the release. There was low oil pressure detected, therefore the MAB shut down automatically. The RCCU is dependent on the MAB for functioning.

Followup: No

Notes: Following the release, all units were secured and steps were taken to minimize emissions to flare resulting from the release. To prevent recurrence, analysis of the dynamics of the MAB lube oil system will take place in addition to implementing mechanical improvements such as: Relocation of pressure transmitters on MAB turbine, reduction of trim on P-7035 governor valve, installation of a time delay in the ICS trip logic for MAB machine, replacement of bearing oil regulation during the next RCCU turnaround, and installation of a new control oil regulator during the next RCCU turnaround.
Nitrous Oxide: 371.0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 3,991.0 pounds
Carbon Monoxide: 2,125.0 pounds
Particulate Matter: 43.0 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): 1,040.0 pounds

OL-5 Ground Flare, FG-101
Cause: Level controller on the BD5 Solvent Column was not functioning properly as solvent recovery column was pressuring up.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Level controller was repaired and returned to service. During the repair there was some flaring.
Nitrogen Oxide: 38.0 pounds
Carbon Monoxide: 22.0 pounds
Particulate Matter: 7.0 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): 28.0 pounds
1,3-Butadiene: 7.0 pounds

Hydrocracker unit
Cause: Flame and pilots failed on the hydrocracker flare during unit decontamination.

Followup: Yes

Notes: The flare was relit and the unit was returned to normal operation.


West Ops Ground Flare (EPN# 9-84)
Cause: Incident due to a process upset at Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process Unit caused by an unexpected shutdown of a process gas compressor.

Followup: No

Notes: No remedial actions; the incident was not under the control of Motiva Enterprises, LLC.
Carbon Monoxide: 3,317.0 pounds

Benzene: 12.0 pounds
Toluene: 6.0 pounds


external mixer on tank F-470
Cause: "An external mixer on tank F-470 developed a leak due to a catastrophic bearing failure, which punctured the mixer's external case. In addition, seal failure allowed the head pressure of the tank to relieve through the damaged external case."

Followup: Yes

Notes: Operations placed containment under leak site and collected spilled material via vacuum truck. The external case leak was sealed with expandable foam sealant that was pumped into the case cavity. Mixer was removed and replaced with a new one. Upon completion of repairs, excavation of visually stained soils with initiated. To prevent recurrence, plans are being implemented to move the mixer to a manway of sufficient height to prevent water impacting seal and bearing life. Finally, a formal preventative maintenance schedule will be adopted in conjunction with the current visual surveillance and operator rounds.
Oil: 275.1 gallons

HCU flare
Cause: Leaking relief valve sent sulfur dioxide to HCU (hydrocracker unit) flare. No detailed description of event given.

Followup: Yes

Notes: No information given regarding remedial actions. Discrepancy regarding duration of leak--Report dated 11/07/07 states start/end time as only 4min; report dated 07/02/08 states that a valve was leaking on 10/06/07 and was not discovered until 10/09/07.


Hydrocracker Flare
Cause: An exchanger flange at the Hydrogen Unit caught fire and nitrogen was used to diffuse fire. Fire on E-11 at the hydrocracker unit--exchanger flange failure and subsequent unit depressurization to the Hydrocracker flare

Followup: Yes

Notes: A nitrogen blanket was used to diffuse fire. The hydrogen cracker was isolated and depressurized. The rest of the product in the cracker was sent to flare.
Hydrogen: 228.6 pounds

Valve near tank F-453
Cause: Relief valve RV-3325 failed; bellows allowed gas oil to run on ground.

Followup: Yes

Notes: The faulty line was isolated and containment was placed under leak. Vacuum truck picked up standing liquid. Workers excavated affected soil and disposed of it at the industrial landfill facility. Motiva's recommended preventive measures are to shorten the inspection interval from 48 months to 36 months and replace the bellows at each inspection. This change will go into effect immediately.
Gas Oil: 149.5 gallons

relief valve at RCCU

Cause: Depropanizer column relief valve (RV-7207) failed at the Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit, prematurely relieving below its set pressure.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Valve was isolated to stop release, "employed proper mitigation steps for alternate relief protection to prevent further environmental impact," valve removed, sent off for repair and reinstalled. It was noted that there was a noise associated with the RV piping at the time of the release--one complaint received.
Flammable Gas: 85,445.0 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): 85,445.0 pounds
Highly Reactive Volatile Organic Compounds (HRVOCs): 64,091.0 

HCU flare
Cause: Control valve 755 malfunctioned, sending hydrogen sulfide gas to flare.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Operations closed instrument air supply line, causing valve to go into fail-safe open position. Faulty instrument air filter was repaired and re-established instrument airflow to valve. To prevent recurrence, instrument air supply filter and parts of controller were replaced.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): 495.8 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide: 49.8 pounds
Flammable Gas: 3,671.6 pounds

Utilities East Flare EPN 3-84
Cause: Release was due to an unexpected leak on the DU-5 Waste Gas Compressor K-1876.

Followup: Yes

Notes: No information given regarding remedial actions.

No LDEQ Reported

CR-2 Unit
Cause: Reactor regeneration section of the CR-2 Unit developed a hole in the side of a rupture disk flange on the CR-2 chlorine system.

Followup: No

Notes: Rupture disks in the CR-2 chlorine system will continue to be replaced at regular intervals, per preventative maintenance guidan
Chlorine Gas: 89.0 pounds
No LDEQ Reported

Transfer header between furnaces F-35 and F-36
Cause: crack in a thermowell which allowed crude to leak out of threads of thermocouple

Followup: No

Notes: Thermowell replaced and DU5 returned to service
Crude Oil: 14.0 gallons

Hydrocracker Unit Rectifier Absorber Column (PV-822)
Cause: A pressure swing at the HCU caused relief valve on the HCU Rectifier Absorber column (PV-822) to open to atmosphere. HCU was in process of being started post-turnaround.

Followup: No

Notes: Motiva has modified a low level alarm on the HCU High Pressure Separator to mitigate the pressure swings on the Rectifier Absorber Column.
Hydrogen Sulfide: 0.8 pounds
Flammable Gas: 63.0 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): 24.7 pounds

Subsurface Crude Dewatering System
Cause: leak in the subsurface crude dewatering system yields release

Followup: No

Notes: Containment and leak repair completed. Soil remediation activity accomplished. Verbal report indicates RQs for benzene and PAH exceeded
Crude Oil: 1,470.0 gallons

HCU Flare (EPN 4-84)
Cause: There were mechanical problems associated the recycle compressor K-2057 that resulted in using the flare to release hydrogen and nitrogen oxide compounds as well as shut down the CR-2 unit.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Troubleshooting of the mechanical problems with the recycle compressor was completed. The thrust-bearing failure was discovered and repaired. Because the compounds released did not exceed reportable quantities, operations returned to normal conditions


sewage pump
Cause: the sewage lift station pump failed causing wastewater to be released and bypass the onsite treatment facility.

Followup: Yes

Notes: the pump was replaced and the site where the spill occurred was washed down with fresh water and was cleaned up using a vacuum truck. It was noted that the spill was contained and no wastewater entered any nearby waterways
Wastewater: 10.0 pounds

Cause: there was mechanical failure in the recycling hydrogen compressor K-2057 at the CR2unit. As a result of this failure a hydrogen flaring event occurred

Followup: No

Notes: there was no report on what remedial actions were taken to fix the mechanical problem associated with the recycling hydrogen compressor. It has just been noted that the event did not result in an emergency nor did the levels of the compound release exceed reportable quantities On 5/29/2009 the LDEQ reporter contacted the site supervisor at Shell Norco as a follow-up to the incident that occurred on 5/28/2009


FLARE: Coker WGC (K-2178), Coker Flare (EPN 2-84)
Cause: Refinery letter states that Motiva experienced a flaring release caused by an unexpected shutdown of the Coker Wet Gas compressor due to power loss. Power loss is attributed to fault in MCC breaker and 4160V buss.

Followup: No

Notes: RQ. Coker Unit shutdown and restarted when flaring stopped. Re-evaluated relay settings and adjusted as needed to reduce potential for future trips.
Sulfur Dioxide: 2,989.5 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide: 46.4 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): 36.0 pounds
1,3-Butadiene: 0.0 pounds
Benzene: 3.5 pounds
Particulate Matter: 8.7 pounds
Highly Reactive Volatile Organic Compounds (HRVOCs): 15.0 pounds

FLARE: RCCU flare (FE-201); Shell GO-1 Flare (EPN 1-90)

Cause: RCCU unit tripped and shut-down. Spend catalyst slide valve was not functioning properly and shut-down occurred during troubleshooting of valve. Shared flaring incident with SHELL CHEMICAL LP [GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90)].

Followup: No

Notes: Initiated study to review current maintenance program. Slide valve failure was also identified as a site threat and entered into Motiva's threats database to be tracked.
Nitrogen Oxide: 109.6 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 24,842.3 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): 273.9 pounds
Hexane: 103.4 pounds


alky unit's tank L-431
Cause: Alky unit's fresh sulfuric acid tank L-431 was leaking from a one inch flange on the north side.

Followup: No

Notes: BRQ. Refinery letter states that "final calculations confirm that no reportable quantities were exceeded." The fresh and spent acid tanks were equalized to reduce the pressure in the fresh acid tank L-431 to slow the leak rate. Bolts on the leaking flange was replaced, however that did not stop the leak. Therefore, a sealant material was pumped into the nozzle of the leaking flange and was wire wrapped in order to provide a permanent seal. No LDEQ report. Refinery letter only.


DU-5 Furnace (F-35)
Cause: SECONDARY CAUSE: PIPING AND TUBING. DU-5 Unit furnace (F-35) was found smoking, releasing unburned hydrocarbons. Initial investigation revealed a tube leak, but follow-up investigation determined that tube leak was a result of "short-term overheating" in the furnace.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Bottom shock tubes and thermocouples were replaced before restarting furnace. No information given regarding amount of hydrocarbons released in follow-up letter.


FLARE - Shell's GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90)
Cause: LDEQ report states, "cat cracker tripped due to main air blower problems." Refinery letter states there was an unexpected shutdown of Motiva's RCCU Process Unit; had to flare dry gas being fed to Shell's GO-1 Process Unity to meet specifications to prevent further contamination to GO-1 and need for additional flaring. FLARE.

Followup: No

Notes: RQ. Reportable quantities exceeded. File includes letters from both Motiva and Shell Chemical. Motiva letter dated 3/8/2010 references submitting a follow-up within 60 day and Shell letter references "a separate letter from Motiva dated 4/28/10," but follow-up letter from Motiva is not included in file.
Sulfur Dioxide: 35,210.0 pounds
Carbon Dioxide: 5,846.0 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide: 1,074.0 pounds
Particulate Matter: 202.0 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): 1,582.0 pounds

Hexane: 146.8 pounds

DU-5 Unit; Valve on tank A-417
Cause: Valve on crude oil tank A-417 did not completely open during DU-5 unit startup; crude line overpressured, leaked in several locations. One gal leaked to Mississippi River, 5 gal leaked to soil in A-416 tank dike, and 94.5 gal leaked to concrete slabs in the DU-5 operating unit and the Logistics area. OFFSITE IMPACT: Mississippi River.

Followup: Yes

Notes: BRQ. Refinery Follow-up Letter states that no reportable quantities were exceeded during this incident. Oil in river and concrete slab in logistics area recovered with absorbent pads and booms & disposed of as industrial waste; crude on concrete slab in DU-5 washed down and routed to the oil and water separator; soil impacted excavated and disposed of at the on-site landfill; faulty valve will be repaired; operator training improved.
Crude Oil: 100.5 gallons

Bleeder Valve
Cause: LDEQ report states that "A bleed valve was leaking utility water with a trace of caustic to the Mississippi River." OFFSITE IMPACT.

Followup: No

Notes: BRQ. The bleed valve was replaced. Same as LDEQ Incident #120671. LDEQ report only. No refinery letter.


GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90); Ground flare (EPN 9-84)
Cause: On 12/22/11, Shell's GO-1 Process Unit experienced a unit upset. This process upset led to flaring at the Motiva's West Operations Ground Flare (EPN 9-84). Shell Chemical operations identified the cause of the unit upset was from problems with the hydrogen purity from the Process Swing Absorption unit (PSA). Shell Chemical operations switched to refinery hydrogen and the unit was stabilized. The cause of the issues in the PSA unit is believed to be several valves that were not functioning correctly. On December 22, 2011 Shell's GO-1 Process Unit had an upset in the de-propanizer column. This incident led to flaring at the GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90).

Followup: Yes

Notes: Repairs to these valves were made and the system was safely returned to normal conditions. The failure of Shell's GO-1 Process Unit's de-propanizer column caused flares to occur in both Shell Chemical Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90) and Motiva's West Operations Ground Flare (EPN 9-84).


Coker Flare FE-401
Cause: While starting the Coker Jet Pump on 9/29/11 at 6:45pm, the electrical breaker at Motiva's Coking Unit tripped de-energizing the Motor Control Center. Consequently, the Coker Wet Gas Compressor tripped offline therefore resulting in unit flaring and operating in hot circulation mode. Hot circulation mode is an operating mode in which the unit recycles feed at high temperatures. This mode of operation lessens the amount of flaring in comparison to a complete unit shutdown. The initial inspection of the Jet Pump revealed that the auto-transformer serving as a soft start for this pump had failed causing the electrical breaker to trip open. Once repairs were completed, the Coker Unit was safely re-started and flaring stopped.

Followup: No

Notes: Immediately, Operations placed the furnace F-125 in hot steam standby and brought the Coker Unit into hot circulation mode to prevent additional flaring of non treated gas. Norco maintenance personnel were called out to troubleshoot the trip of the Coker Wet Gas Compressor and related equipment. The auto-transformer was removed from the circuit. Relay coordination was modified in order to protect the new circuit. After troubleshooting, maintenance personnel determined that operations could safely re-start the Coker Process Unit. During this time the Coker Wet Gas Compressor was restarted and flaring stopped. By 12/31/11 a study will be completed to determine whether the auto-transformer can be permanently removed from the system. After this study is completed, a strategy will be created to address the required changes. This action will be completed by 3/31/12. Calculations confirm that the reportable quantity for sulfur dioxide was exceeded as well as the permitted maximum pound per hour emission limits for carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, VOC's, 1,3 butadiene, and benzene as a result of the release.
Nitrogen Oxide: 63.9 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 8,325.1 pounds
Carbon Monoxide: 347.4 pounds
Particulate Matter: 12.0 pounds
1-Butene: 2.4 pounds
Benzene: 4.4 pounds
1,3-Butadiene: 0.1 pounds
Methane: 88.4 pounds
Ethane: 53.6 pounds
3-Methyl-1-Butene: 0.2 pounds
Cyclohexane: 2.9 pounds
cis-2-Butene: 0.6 pounds
Ethylene: 7.1 pounds
Isobutane: 2.1 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): 1.6 pounds
Isopentane: 1.0 pounds
n-Butane: 5.4 pounds
n-Pentane: 1.7 pounds
Propane: 6.3 pounds
Propylene: 15.7 pounds
trans-2-Butene: 0.7 pounds

8-84 RCCU Elevated flare
Cause: On 9/21/11, Motiva's SBA Feed Prep Process Unit experienced a block valve malfunction during a back flush of exchanger E-809D. A cooling water supply valve for this exchanger failed in the closed position causing the exchanger to leak for five minutes. Consequently, there was not adequate cooling water to the exchanger and the SBA process unit had to be shutdown and depressured to the RCCU Flare (EPN-8-84). The process unit was safely shutdown following all operational safety procedures. The elevated flaring associated with the shutdown activities stopped on 9/21/11 at 11:15pm. Repair work for the cooling water system was completed and the SBA Feed Prep Unit was successfully restarted on 9/21/11.

Followup: Yes

Notes: The feed to the SBA Unit was immediately diverted and the process unit was idled. Due to a lack of cooling water, the SBA unit was then depressured and the unit cooling water system was de-inventoried in order to make the necessary repairs. Motiva replaced the cooling water valves associated with the system in order to prevent a similar recurrence. The maximum lb/hr permit limits for sulfur dioxide and VOCs were exceeded during the unit shutdown and restart activities.
Carbon Monoxide: 2,176.0 pounds
Nitric Oxide: 399.9 pounds
Particulate Matter: 75.3 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 11.9 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): 1,395.9 pounds

Shell Chemical LP Utilities East Flare (EPN 3-84)
Cause: Motiva Norco experienced a malfunction and shutdown of the RCCU refrigerant chiller compressor (K-7200) resulting in a flare at the Shell Chemical LP Utilities East Flare (EPN 3-84) releasing nitrogen oxide and propylene.

Followup: No

Notes: LDEQ provided, but there was no Refinery Report included in the file. Motiva states that "final calculations confirmed no reportable quantities or permit limits were exceeded as a result of the incident".
Nitrogen Oxide: 22.5 pounds

Carbon Monoxide: 122.4 pounds
Particulate Matter: 4.2 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 6.9 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): 7.4 pounds
1,3-Butadiene: 0.0 pounds

Hydrocrakcer unit
Cause: The Hydrocracker unit shutdown due to an electrical failure of the motor on P-1940, the charge pump of the 2nd stage of the Hydrocracker Unit. EPN 4-84 and FE-301

Followup: Yes

Notes: Operations shutdown and secured the 1st and 2nd stages of the Hydrocracker. A temporary onsite replacement motor for P-1940 was used to restore power to the motor control center to support HCU restart.
Benzene: 17.1 pounds
Toluene: 6.7 pounds
Carbon Monoxide: 25,826.5 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide: 5,746.5 pounds
Particulate Matter: 893.5 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 29.0 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): 12,754.7 pounds
Hexane: 51.6 pounds
No LDEQ Reported

Cause: The Hydrocracker Unit shut down due to an electrical failure of the motor on P-1940. the charge pump of the 2nd stage of the Hydrocracker Unit.

Followup: No

Notes: After final calculation, 12.7 pounds of benzene was released, and it is confirmed the the reportable quantity was exceeded. This incident will be referred to the Enforcement Division. LABB only has access to the LDEQ Field Interview Form.
Benzene: 12.7 pounds

Cause: The incident began at Motiva's Convent Refinery on April 15, 2011 at approximately 16:22, when the refinery's Boiler No. 4 shutdown due to an internal tube failure. With the loss of the boiler, the refinery transitioned to steam curtailment and several units were forced to reduce charge rates. As units were being reduced, the excess fuel gas not being utilized was routed to the refinery flare gas system (specifically, Refinery Flares No. 1 and No. 2). The opacity limit was exceeded due to the lack of steam available in the refinery to affectively control the smoke while flaring the excess fuel gas. Also during the transition, the FCCU experienced an upset which caused hydrocarbon to under carry from the high pressure fuel gas knock out drum into the amine acid gas header. As the amine acid gas (and the entrained hydrocarbon carried under from the FCCU) was combusted in the TGTU-4 incinerator, the SO2 and opacity released through the stack was apparently above the permitted limits. The excess emissions ceased when the FCCU stabilized.

Followup: No

Notes: The excess emissions ceased when the FCCU stabilized. No additional information. NOLDEQ or SPOC letter included. Emergency Condition.
Sulfur Dioxide: 500.0 pounds


GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN1-90)
Cause: Faulty Positioner ina control valve caused high levels in a suction drum. This caused the PGC to shutdown. The control valve was tested and returned to service. On March 11, 2011, the Process Gas Compressor (PGC) shutdown due to a high level indication in the fourth stage suction drum. The PGC is designed to shutdown under this condition to protect the compressor. Flaring occurred at the GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN1-90) as a result of the PGC shutdown. Additional flaring as a result of this upset also occurred at Motiva's West Operation Ground Flare and will be addressed in a separate letter.

Followup: No

Notes: The PGC was checked and secured by operations. Feed reductions to the unit were made to minimize flaring while repairs to the PGC were made. After investigating the system, a faulty positioner in a control valve was identified as the cause of the high level in the suction drum that led to the PGC shutdown. Maintenance personnel replaced the positioner and the control valve was tested and placed back in service. The PGC was safely returned to normal operating conditions. Once the GO-1 Process Unit was returned to normal operating conditions the flaring was stopped. An alarm point will be installed to give operations an indication that the control valve is not functioning properly and allow for maintenance inspection prior to failure.
Carbon Monoxide: 40,228.0 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide: 7,393.3 pounds
Particulate Matter: 1,391.7 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 1,152.1 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): 21,784.6 pounds
1,3-Butadiene: 2,287.5 pounds
Benzene: 782.1 pounds
Hexane: 370.3 pounds
Toluene: 264.8 pounds

Coker Flare (EPN 2-84)
Cause: On March 1, 2011, at approximately 1003 hours, Motiva operations initiated a shutdown of the Coker process unit due to a bearing failure on the Coker Inner Stage Cooling Fans (B-2369 & B-2370). This shutdown resulted in flaring at the Coker Elevated Flare (EPN2-84). The unit was safely shut down in a controlled manner utilizing all operational and safety procedures. Additionally, dry gas vent samples were taken prior to shutting down the Coker Wet Gas Compressor (K-2178) to confirm that minimal emissions were sent to the Coker Flare (EPN2-84).

Followup: Yes

Notes: The unit was safely shut down in a controlled manner utilizing all operational and safety procedures. No additional information.


Relief Valve at Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit
Cause: Motiva's Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit (RCCU) experienced a premature opening of a relief valve (RV) on the RCCU debutanizer column. The RCCU was operating under normal conditions at the time of the release, and operational data proves that the associated equipment did not reach the relief valve set point pressure to cause the RV to open. A contract pressure equipment company was called out to help identify any mechanical problems with the RV. Additionally, RCCU operations lowered the debutanizer column pressure 3psig aas a precautionary measure until troubleshooting efforts are completed. An update report was provided by Motiva on September 10, 2012.

Followup: Yes

Notes: A contract pressure equipment company was called out to help identify any mechanical problems with the RV. Additionally, RCCU operations lowered the debutanizer column pressure 3psig as a precautionary measure until troubleshooting efforts are completed. Upon investigation, the reportable quantity for flammable gas was exceeded in this release. 2189 pounds of flammable gas were were reported through the SPOC. The reportable quantity of flammable gas includes 1000 pounds. Refinery's attachment of listed pollutants released is too unfocused/fuzzy to read accurately.

Flammable Gas: 2,189.0 pounds


Shell Chemical's GO-1 Elevated Flare and Motiva West Operations Ground Flare
Cause: There was an unexpected loss of a boiler, causing a steam load shed, causing a unit shutdown, which caused the flaring. There was flaring at both Shell Chemical's 1-90 GO-1 Elevated Flare FE-602 and Motiva West Operations Ground Flare. The unexpected loss of the boiler was a due to a loss of lube oil on the forced draft fan and broken linkage of the trip and throttle valve.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Calculations and investigations confirm that the reportable quantity for 1,3-Butadiene was exceeded during release from the flare. Maximum permitted limits were exceeded for 1,3-Butadiene and Hexane from the West Ops Ground Flare. Ethylene, PAHs, and sulfur dioxide were listed in the written reports as being released but do not have the amounts released in the Permitted Source Emissions tables.
1,3-Butadiene: 4,190.2 pounds
Carbon Monoxide: 67,814.3 pounds
Hexane: 516.5 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide: 12,463.2 pounds
Toluene: 47.0 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): 40,000.0 pounds
Benzene: 726.9 pounds
Particulate Matter: 2,346.0 pounds

Cause: During normal operations, there was an unexpected opening of a relief valve (RV) on the RCCU Main Fractionator, causing a release from the Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit (RCCU). The Naphtha was released to the concrete below the unit.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Operations responded immediately to isolate the RV, and the release was stopped. The Naphtha was cleaned immediately. The main Fractionator column pressure remained steady prior to release. After the investigation was completed, the facility took precautionary measures and reinstalled the relief valve to prevent further occurrence.


RCCU Flare (FE-201)
Cause: Motiva's Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit (RCCU) experienced a perceived flame outage on its elevated flare (FE-201) during planned shutdown and decontamination activities. Alarms on the RCCU Elevated Flare indicated that a flame was not present. Operations personnel went in the field and verified that a flame was actually present and the alarm was incorrect. As a precautionary measure, decontamination efforts stopped. Once flame verification was complete, decontamination efforts were restarted.

Followup: No



Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit
Cause: On July 23, Motiva's Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit (RCCU) discovered a slurry leak on the case of one of the unit's slurry pumps. Operations responded immediately and worked to isolate the pump and start its spare.

Followup: No

Notes: Once this system was secure, Motiva's operations personnel began cleanup efforts. The unit was soaped down and all residual hydrocarbons were washed down to the nearest hub until the area was clean.


1,3-Butadiene Line
Cause: On April 10, 2013 at 1550 hours, operations personnel in Logistics discovered a temporary clamp on a 1,3-butadiene line that was leaking. Immediately after discovery, maintenance began repairs. The leak was stopped at 0330 on 4/11/2013.

Followup: Yes

Notes: The weather conditions at the time of the release were as follows: ESE winds at 10mph, cloudy and a temperature of 78 degrees fahrenheit. Immediately after discovery, the line was depressurized and the clamp was re-pumped with sealant that stopped the leak.
1,3-Butadiene: 26.4 pounds

De-watering sump west of Tank F-501
Cause: On January 22, 2013 at 16:33 the de-watering sump west of Tank F-501 overflowed onto the ground. The check valve failed open with some of the material contained withing the concrete pump pad. Approximately 3 barrels of Crude oil spilled to the ground, with additional oil overflow into nearby surface drains. Follow-up Report: Operations determined that the source of the spill was the result of the check valve of the sump pumps failing open allowing crude oil to flow backwards into the sump and eventually overflowing with some of the material contained within the concrete pump pad.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Clean up efforts were implemented. A pumper truck was staged at the pump pad to remove the oil from the concrete pump pad, sump, drains, and ground. Once the oil was removed from the concrete pump pad the area and drains were water washed to a pumper truck to remove all residual oil. Follow-up report: Immediately after discovering the source, operations personnel closed the discharge block valve of the sump pump to isolate the leak source. Temporary small dikes were quickly set up to stop additional oil flow from entering the storm water drainage. Vacuum trucks were called out to begin picking up free liquid. The underground storm water system was flushed with water and all oil vacuumed up for recovery into the refinery slop system until oil could no longer be detected. The remediation began on January 24, 2013 once all free liquid was collected. This work continued through the weekend until all contaminated soil was removed for inspection. After a final inspection, fresh soil was brought in to restore the area back to its original condition. Liquids were recovered and returned to the site slop oil system. Contaminated soils were excavated and properly disposed of. Material that evaporated during the release and recovery operation was released to atmosphere and dispersed naturally. The following measures will be implemented to prevent this incident from reoccurring: the sump pump discharge block valve was tagged closed to stop such an incident from reoccurring; vacuum trucks are being utilized to remove any water from the pump pads in the short term; operator surveillance in this area has been increased; the pump discharge check valve will be replaced and any deficiencies repaired in the pump pad secondary containment. All impacted soils were excavated and properly disposed of. Motiva has no current knowledge of pollution migration as free product was contained near Tank F-501 and has been recovered. The amount of crude oil initially reported as (3 barrels or 126 gallons), but they actually released 9646.68 gallons (229.68) of crude oil. Motiva also exceeded reportable quantities for benzene, napthalene, PAH, xylene, and toluene.
Benzene: 206.8 pounds
Ethylbenzene: 103.4 pounds
n-Hexane: 426.6 pounds
Naphthalene: 193.9 pounds
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons: 239.2 pounds
Xylene: 568.8 pounds
Toluene: 349.0 pounds
Crude Oil: 9,334.9 pounds

Butane-butylene reactor, emergency depressuring valve
Cause: A malfunction of the solenoid on the emergency depressuring valve caused a release of butylenes and highly reactive volatile organic compounds from the OL5 Ground Flare (FG-101).

Followup: No

Notes: Shell Chemical confirmed that no reportable quantities were exceeded. However, the maximum permitted limits for carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter were exceeded at the OL5 Ground Flare (FG-101). Solenoid was immediately replaced once the emergency depressuring valve was safely isolated from the process.
Carbon Monoxide: 1,434.0 pounds
NOx: 263.0 pounds
Particulate Matter: 50.0 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): 954.0 pounds

Cause: On 2/27/2014, an unexpected leak occured on Motiva's Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit (RCCU) second cyclone dip leg. Due to the location of the leak, the catalyst leak cound not be safely repaired while the unit was fully operations. A partial shutdown of the RCCU was conducted to stop the leak and complete repairs. While the unit was partially shut down, flaring occured intermittently at the RCCU Elevated Flare (EPN FE201) to safely stabilize equipment that was still operational. During the start up of RCCU, untreated dry gas was flared at the GO1 Elevated Flare.

Followup: Yes

Notes: To minimize additional unit upset and to safely repair the catalyst leak , the RCCU Unit was partially shut down in a safe manner. The catalyst leak was stopped and the second cyclone dip leg was repaired. The original report and the first follow up report included in the event description that untreated dry gas was flared at the GO1 Elevated Flare during the start-up of RCCU. This was not included in the final follow up report. Additionally, two follow up reports were sent by Motiva, the first dated 4/24/2014 to provide a 60 day follow up. In this correspondence it is stated that they will provide a second update within 60 days, as data gathering and investigation was ongoing. The final follow up report was received on 6/24/2014.
Carbon Monoxide: 636.4 pounds
1-Butene: 38.3 pounds
No information given
No information given
Ethylene: 9.5 pounds
No information given
n-Hexane: 0.4 pounds
Propane: 58.7 pounds
Propylene: 257.0 pounds
No information given
Isobutane: 111.2 pounds
Isobutylene: 41.0 pounds
1,3-Butadiene: 2.6 pounds
n-Butane: 26.0 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide: 117.0 pounds
Particulate Matter: 22.0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 355.2 pounds
trans-2-Butene: 41.5 pounds
cis-2-Butene: 25.7 pounds
3-Methyl-1-Butene: 3.0 pounds
Isopentane: 16.4 pounds
n-Pentane: 3.9 pounds
trans-2-Pentene: 20.0 pounds

Air control transmitter at Sulfur Plant #3, Incinerator at Sulfur Plant 3, Incinerator at Sulfur Plant #2
Air control transmitter at Sulfur Plant #3
Cause: Main air control transmitter at S3 failed resulting in the plugging of the units quench system. Due to the quench system plugging and the quench system not being able to work as designed, Sulfur Dioxide traveled directly to the incinerator at S3. The Acid gas that was normally sent to S3 was diverted to S2. Due to the rapid swap of gas from S3 to S2, the water in the waste heat boiler at S2 tripped. With both sulfur plants having issues, the pressure in the acid gas header was abnormally high. Consequently the acid gas backed into the SCOT stripper column at S2 and overwhelmed the system causing gas to travel to the incinerator at S2. Additionally the issues at the sulfur plants lead to gas flaring at the OL5 Elevated flare. (subject of another report by Shell)

Followup: No

Notes: Data gathering to perform calculations and investigations are ongoing.


Relief Valve @ Residual Cat. Cracking Unit
Cause: Relief valve on the depropanizer column at the Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit had lifted. Due to the inclement weather conditions, the pilot tubing for the Relief Valve was frozen which caused the Relief Valve inlet block valve to remain closed resulting in the relief valve to fail in the open position.

Followup: No

Notes: A steam hose was applied to the pilot tubing to defrost the tubing. Once the pilot tubing was thawed, the RV inlet block valve was opened and the RV was reseated. Motiva reports they will submit an update within 60 days. That update is not available at this time.


Elevated Flare (FE-201)
Cause: Motiva's RCCU Unit had a relief Valve (RV) on its Debutanizer Column lift and relieve to atmosphere. The RV lifted as its designed pressure setting after a pressure transmitter failed in the unit causing a pressure control valve to fail into closed position. Once this valve did not move to open position, the pressure within the Debutanizer Column built up and over pressured causing the RV to relieve as designed. To help relieve the pressure in the debutanizer column and to stop the RV from relieving the material was routed to the flare. Isobutane, Isobutene, N-Butane, Propane, and Propylene were potentially released from Motiva's Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit's (RCCU) Elevated Flare (FE-201).

Followup: No

Notes: Data gathering to perform calculations and investigation are ongoing. Shell will provide and update within 60 days as required by LAC 33:1:3925.A.3.


1300# steam system at Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit
Cause: "Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit's Elevated Flare as a result of a swing in the steam system." "Motiva's RCCU unit flared processed gas due to a swing in the 1300# steam system"

Followup: No

Notes: The report filed on 1/13/14 indicated that Shell will release an updated report within 60 days as of 9/5/14 the report has yet to be made.