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Valero (1238), Meraux

Causal Factor: Human Factors

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

North Flare (EPN #20-72)
Cause: Unintentional Trip of #2 SRU when console operator inadvertently entered an incorrect set point for the Main Air Valve Positioner.

Followup: No Information Provided

Notes: SERC Incident # 06-14134. Acid Gas was routed to the North Flare until #2 SRU was returned to service to cut down env. impact.
Sulfur Dioxide: 1,282.0 pounds

Tank 20-1 at the MOUSA Meraux Terminal
Cause: this episode was the apparent result of human error. The terminal received a transfer of gasoline from the Refinery via pipeline on 5/15, after which a Terminal Operator failed to follow written procedures to secure two valves that isolate the Terminal from the Refinery. The next evening, while the Refinery was loading gasoline at the river dock on the same pipeline, Tank 20-1 overfilled

Followup: No Information Provided

Notes: There is no information as to whether this incident was preventable or not - I assume it was since it is due to human error that seems preventable. Remedial Measures - St. Bernard Highway and the adjacent rail line were closed until 7:30 (am or pm?) - Approximately 450 barrels of material was released from the tank into the diked containment area. MOUSA immediately shut down the loading operations to the Dock and initiated emergency response actions in accordance with the TerminalSPCC Plan. MOUSA secured the tank, deployed firefighting foam for vapor suppression, recovered free liquids with vacuum trucks, and will remove contaminated soil. Free liquids were returned to the refinery for re-processing. Contaminated spill respon
Benzene: 48.0 pounds
n-Hexane: 26.0 pounds
Cyclohexane: 24.0 pounds
Isooctane: 9.0 pounds
Toluene: 123.0 pounds
Ethylbenzene: 32.0 pounds
Xylene: 168.0 pounds
1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene: 47.0 pounds
Gasoline: 18,900.0 gallons

Tank 200-7 exchanger / Tank 450-2
Cause: a vacuum truck driver loaded the noted mixture from Tank 200-7 exchanger and proceeded to Tank 450-2 to offload. After connecting the discharge line to the tank and pressuring the vacuum truck, the driver realized he had attached the hose to the suctionvalve on the truck rather than the discharge valve. In an attempt to connect to the correct valve, the material released onto the ground and the driver when the cam lock fitting was removed from the vacuum truck discharge line. It was determined that the discharge valve had not been fully seated due to the presence of a small rock

Followup: No Information Provided

Notes: There is no information as to whether this incident was preventable or not. Remedial Measures - the driver was taken to West Jefferson Hospital and treated for nausea and released. Murphy Oil recovered the free liquids with a vacuum truck. Soil with signs of visible contamination has been removed for proper disposal......so what happened to the soil that may have been contaminated but showed no visible signs?????
#6 Oil, Crude Oil, Diesel: 126.0 gallons

DAF Sump Line / Holding Tank X-V-021
Cause: contract personnel responsible for flushing DAF lines. Murphy Meraux Refinery experienced a spill of DAF float onto the ground while flushing the DAF Sump Line to Holding Tank X-V-021. Approximately 10.5 pounds of the EPA listed hazardous waste was windblown out of the containment area and onto the ground. Spilled material was immediately collected via vacuum truck and the remainder was scraped from the ground for disposal at a hazardous waste landfill.

Followup: No Information Provided

Notes: This was a self report from Murphy to LEDQ. It was not preventable because it was the result of human error. Remedial Measures - contract personnel responsible for flushing DAF lines were counseled. Personnel will gauge volume in Tank X-V-021 before flushing lines. Details of the incident were made available to all refinery personnel. This release was over the LRTK reportable quantity which is 10 pounds.
Dissolved Air Floatation (DAF) Float (EPA listed hazardous waste K048): 11.0 pounds
No LDEQ Reported

Spill from tank truck
Cause: The top hatch of the tank truck carrying N-Methyldiethanolamine from the refinery to the north tank farm via Judge Perez Drive had not been properly secured.

Followup: No Information Provided

Notes: This was a self report from Murphy to LDEQ. The chemical sloshed out of the unsecured hatch and spilled onto the roadway. Spilled material was absorbed with sand and collected for disposal at a non-hazardous industrial facility. The clean- up required that the highway be shut down for approx. 70 minutes. It was preventable because it was due to human error. Remedial Measures - Contract personnel responsible for the loading and transportation of the material were counseled. Both parties will assure tall truck openings are secure prior to transportation of the material. The incident was discussed at refinery safety meetings. Details of the incident were made available to all refinery personnel.
n-Methyldiethanolamine: 87.0 pounds

FLARE - # 3 TGT Quench Tower Water Pump
Cause: the damage to the quench pump was a result of inadequate monitoring of the caustic addition system and the miscommunication that allowed the quench water pHto of off specification. MOUSA adjusts the pH if the circulating quench water by adding caustic to the loop. At the time of this incident, the caustic tote ran empty (the tote did not have any external level indication devices on it). Due to a miscommunication, MOUSA idd not refill the tote in a timely manner, leading to an 18-hour period of lowpH quench water that resulted in corrosion damage to the quench water pump

Followup: Yes

Notes: The final report from Murphy states that remedial measures include: In October, MOUSA replaced the TGT catalyst as part of a planned maintenance turnaround on the #3 SRU complex. MOUSA plans to install a second tote as a spare, and add sight glasses to both for quick verification of liquid levels. MOUSA will conduct preventative maintenance inspections on the quench water system. MOUSA will issue a Safety Alert to educate employees of this episode and its causes. NOTE: LDEQ investigations intoidents 108144 and 108122 both revealed control facilities not installed and/or properly maintained. The facility has been referred to the LDEQ Enforcement Divisio
Sulfur Dioxide: 1,700.0 pounds

FLARE- instrument air dryer and plant air headers
Cause: The root cause was determined to be inadequate labeling and operator understanding of the instrument and plant air utilities system.

Followup: No Information Provided

Notes: This incident was listed as preventable because MOUSA did not maintain current labeling and P&IDs for the utilities section, and did not provide adequate training on the system. Remedial Measures - MOUSA will upgrade the labeling on pipes and valvesin the plant and instrument air utilities, update P&ID's for the air systems, install chain locks on critical valves, and provide operator training of the air systems. The report from Murphy states, MOUSA experienced automatic safety shutdowf several units following the loss of instrument air. As MOUSA attempted to restart units and restore balanced operations, the C3/C4 Splitter experienced a malfunction, resulting in a large flame with smoke emissions at the North Flare. MOUSA had sta
Nitrogen Oxide: 43.0 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds: 308.0 pounds
No LDEQ Reported

flange on barge
Cause: Spill of crude oil from a barge at the refinery's Mississippi river dock.

Followup: No

Notes: The responsible party for the spill was the transportation firm, where the spill originated from a flange on their barge. Valero deployed a boat and booms to mitigate as much of the spill as possible.
Crude Oil: 2.0 gallons

North Falre, #2 SRU Incinerator, & Area 2 Fuel Drum
Cause: On 2/7/2014, Valero exceeded the reporting threshold for sulfur dioxide (SO2). While attempting to identify the source of the increased odor in the North Flare header, the #2 sulfur recovery unit (SRU) shutdown. Valero determined the root cause of the elevated sulfur in the North Flare and the unexpected shutdown of the #2 Sulfur Recovery Unit (SRU) to be open block valve(s) on the Flare Knockout Blowcase [i.e. operator error]. This blowcase is used to periodically drain liquids from either a nearby flare knockout pot or the sour water offgas line feeding the #2 SRU. Liquids are drained into the blowcase and are then pressurized out with natural gas to the #1 Sour Water Stripper. With one or more of the block valves out of position, H2S passed from the sour water offgas line into the North Flare header. Later, to remove the accumulate liquids, the blowcase was pressurized with the block valve(s) still open causing a surge in pressure and flow and possibly entraining liquids through the sour water offgas line to the #2 SRU main burner. The resulting disturbance in the flame pattern was detected by the SRU fire eyes and the unit shutdown.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Valero conducted a search for the source of sulfur in the North Flare as soon as it was detected. Valero initiated the refinery's sulfer shedding procedure and shifted sulfur loads to the #3 SRU after the #2 SRU shutdown. This incident is similar to an incident that occurred on 5/7/12. Valero discovered that one corrective action from this earlier event has not yet been completed. This action was to install check valve(s) on the lines that drain the sour water offgas line to the blowcase. These check valve(s) could have prevented the shutdown of the #2 SRU, but not the elevated H2S in the North Flare. In addition to installed these check valves, Valero will review the procedure for operating the blowcase and conduct refresher training with the operators. Valero will also modify the current piping configuration that allows water to accumulate in the sour waster offgas line, thereby eliminating the need to periodically drain this line using the blowcase. This work will occur during the next turnaround.
Sulfur Dioxide: 731.0 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide: 6.0 pounds