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Motiva Enterprises (1406), Norco

Causal Factor: Power Failure

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


Shell Chemical GO-1 Processing Unit, GO-1 elevated flare
Cause: Entergy was in the process of performing a periodic maintenance on relays at the Norco Substation. A relay tip occurred at the Norco Substation unexpectedly. The power outage resulted in the shutdown of two compressors in the Shell Chemical GO-1 Process Unit, resulting in flaring of process gases at the GO-1 Elevated Flare.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Operations personnel took immediate corrective actions to minimize the level of emissions; process gases were flared at West Op Ground flare until the compressors re-started and the G0-1 process units were back under control; Motiva maintained that the incident was not under their control, rather the control of Shell Chemical and Louisiana Holdings LLP
Carbon Monoxide: 89.7 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide: 54.2 pounds
Particulate Matter: 10.2 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): 42.6 pounds
1,3-Butadiene: 3.4 pounds
Benzene: 1.0 pounds
Toluene: 0.3 

West Ops Ground Flare (EPN# 9-84)
Cause: A power outage caused a process upset at the Shell Chemical facility. This resulted in flaring at Motiva's West Operations Ground Flare.

Followup: No

Notes: No remedial actions; the incident was not under the control of Motiva Enterprises, LLC.
Benzene: 2.0 pounds
Toluene: 0.2 pounds
Carbon Monoxide: 2,128.0 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide: 391.0 pounds
Particulate Matter: 74.0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 69.0 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): 579.0 pounds
1,3-Butadiene: 15.0 pounds
Hexane: 1.0 pounds

HCU Flare (EPN 4-84)
Cause: The 13.8 breaker providing power to MCC #1,2,3 in the HUC switchgear opened, resulting in a complete unit shutdown.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Once the unit was completely shutdown, the problem was identified, the breaker was put in the correct position, and unit restarted. Concerning remedial actions, Motiva plans to include key points of policy addressing switchgear access/hazard in Safety Ba'You meetings and to verify/include switchgear access/hazards in contractor site orientation. Point sources for released VOC's and Hexane are the HCU Flare (EPN 4-84) and the HCU ATM RV-1177.
Benzene: 58.0 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide: 278.0 pounds
Carbon Monoxide: 76.8 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): 9,585.5 pounds
Hexane: 1,090.1 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 414.4 pounds