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Valero (1238), Meraux

Causal Factor: Piping or Tubing

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

Fugitive Emissions
Cause: Failed tubing to a pressure guage in the Distillate Hydrotreater Unit caused a fire

Followup: No

Notes: The report says hydrocarbons were released but does not say which one.
Volatile Organic Compounds: 125.0 pounds


South Flare (EPN #20-72)
Cause: #3 SRU Malfunction- the ## TGT Bypass Valve opened intermittently to the S. Flare, releasing Sulfur Dioxide. Resulting from a malfunction in the Air Demand Analyzer, b/c of a loss of steam due to pluggage in the steam line.

Followup: Yes

Notes: SERC incident # 06-4881. Immediately looked for the cause and when discovered plugged the line, cleared this small diameter steam line. Solids removed from the line suggest corrosion from Katrina. Looking at the possibility that re-routing this steam line may help prevent recurrence.
Sulfur Dioxide: 1,540.0 pounds
No LDEQ Reported

#2 FCC Main Air Blower Lub Oil Cooler
Cause: -the cause of the release was a leak that developed in the #2 FCC Main Air Blower Lube Oil Cooler - leaking tube


Notes: There is no information as to whether this accident was preventable or not. Remedial Measures -Sorbent booms were deployed in containment activities and a vacuum truck was used to recover the oil in the retention pond. According to Murphy, there was no adverse impact to wildlife in the area. Murphy Oil provided verbal notification to the SERC, USCG, and the NRC. This incident also involved the refinery's once-through cooling water discharge into the Mississippi River - the facility's cng water enters a retention pond prior to discharging into the Miss. River via Outfall 001. The leak was discovered by visual inspection of the retention pon
Lubricating Oil: 1.0 gallons

Underground PVC drain collection system
Cause: The source of the spill was a crack in the underground PVC drain collection system that has since been repaired.

Followup: No

Notes: Three barrels of crude oil were released inside the secondary containment area of Tank 250-1. There is no information given as to whether or not this accident was preventable or not. Remedial Measures - A preventative maintenance work order will be created to insure weekly vacuum truck service to pump out the north tank farm sump. Murphy Oil deployed contaminant booms and recovered the free liquids with vacuum trucks. Soil with signs of visual contamination is being removed for proper disposal.
Crude Oil: 126.0 gallons

Weld in the Isostripper Side Cut Receiver overhead line of the Alkylation Unit
Cause: malfunction of a weld (0.1 inch diameter hole) in the Isostripper Side Cut Receiver overhead line of the Alkylation Unit.

Followup: No Information Provided

Notes: This was a report from Murphy to LDEQ and according to Murphy no reportable quantities were exceeded. MOUSA applied water to the line as a precaution, and shut down the unit to repair the line.
Butane: 149.0 pounds

Tank 250-1
Cause: Valve at the 24" fill line leaked into Tank 250-1 and out of an open manway.

Followup: No

Notes: RQ exceeded. Tank is out of service for cleaning and inspection. Spilled material recovered with vacuum trucks and contaminated soil will be removed.
Crude Oil: 12,600.0 gallons

trim condenser
Cause: Leak from trim condenser. Material discharged into cooling water return pond that leads to the Mississippi River.

Followup: No

Notes: Company letter missing. Verbal report only. Leak isolated and repaired.
Gasoline: 42.0 pounds

Tank 250-1
Cause: Leak in the roof drain line within the east side of Tank 250-1 into secondary containment area.

Followup: Yes

Notes: RQ exceeded. Vacuum trucks recovered spilled material and contaminated soil will be removed. Spill was secured. In follow-up, the tank is out of service pending cleaning, inspection, and repair.
Crude Oil: 5,460.0 pounds

Facility Fugitives- #2 FCCU
Cause: Leak in the #2 FCCU Reactor manway flange.

Followup: No

Notes: RQ exceeded. Applied steam to disperse the vapors. Attempted to fix the leak by tightening the manway flange bolts, but failed. Shutdown the FCCU because the leak worsened. Placed a clamp and then sealed to stop the leak. Will inculde inspecting and repairing the manway during planned maintenance procedures.
Hydrocarbon: 44,000.0 pounds
Benzene: 155.0 pounds

Labratory Sump
Cause: LDEQ report states that hydrocarbon mixture (oil/water/hydrocarbon) discharged into ditch along Colonial Pipeline, south of Jacob drive. Release occurred due to a crack in a sump discharge pipe fitting causing the suction problems with the two pumps that drain the sump. This resulted in sump fluids leaking from the sump vent pipe and possibly the cracked fitting.

Followup: No

Notes: LDEQ report states that refinery flushed storm drain, removed contaminated water in ditch and sent to facility's waste water treatment plant, removed contaminated soil and sent to River Birch for disposal. Installed alarm system on lab sump and and extended sump vent pipe 8 feet in air to prevent reoccurrance.
Hydrocarbon: 10.0 gallons


OIL LINE - 2" slop oil line
Cause: Slop oil spilled into the river due to a leak at a threaded connection on a short section of a 2" slop oil line. Cause of leak was not provided.

Followup: No

Notes: BRQ. Refinery letter states that no reportable quantities were exceeded. The spill was immediately cleaned up with absorbent pads. No additional information about how/when they fixed the leak was provided.
Slop Oil: 0.1 gallons

Cause: Release from a crude oil pipeline that transfers crude oil from barges to the Murphy Oil refinery. The pipe is buried near the Mississippi River levee. Report states that date/time/duration of release is unknown, but was discovered on 9/27/10. Report submitted.

Followup: No

Notes: LDEQ reports states: "The pipe was repaired on 9/27/10. Contaminated soil has been profiled as oily dirt and will be disposed of at Woodside Landfill in Walker, LA...On 4/7/11, it was learned that the remediation work has been halted because of the high level of the Mississippi River. She also stated that the ground water was impacted by the oil. A referral to the Remediation Division will be made." FOLLOW-UP: Remediation action plan submitted to LDEQ, but as of September 2011 report does not include amount of oil released.


Tank 80-6: Kerosene Line
Cause: Refinery letter states that approximately 2 barrels of kerosene was released before the line depressurized.

Followup: Yes

Notes: The area was cleaned, and the line was repaired/clamped. Follow-up letter states that approx 2 yards of soil was removed from the area and has been profiled as "oily dirt" by the Chemical Waste Facility, Walker, LA.
Kerosene: 82.0 gallons

Tank 55-7
Cause: Crude oil spilled from underground transfer line. Unclear/unknown how long spill lasted before discovery.

Followup: No

Notes: RQ. Reportable quantities were exceeded for crude oil. Line flushed with water and permanently removed from service; free liquids vacuumed, visibly contaminated soil removed.
Crude Oil: 84.0 gallons
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): 8.0 gallons

discharge piping of #2 HiJet
discharge piping of #2 HiJet and North Flare
North Flare
Cause: Valero experienced excess emissions of hydrocarbon vapors and H2S from a pin-hole leak on the discharge piping of the #2HiJet. The #2 HiJet collects low pressure sour gas from several units in the refinery, compresses it, and routes it to amine treatment for use in the refinery fuel gas system. In the final written notification dated March 11, 2013, Valero determined the root cause to be inadequate system design for corrosion prevention. The leak was caused by pitting corrosion on a piping elbow that was installed in 2010. This short service life indicates an aggressive corrosion mechanism that was not originally anticipated by Valero. Valero conducted ultrasonic and radiography surveys of this line and discovered lower than expected wall thickness in some areas and debris or sludge building obstructing flow in several locations. Low points allowing moisture and solids buildup can cause areas of aggressive corrosion in wet, hydrogen sulfide service. Valero also believes that the pipe metallurgy in this case, carbon steel, should be re-evaluated for fitness for service under these particular process conditions.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Valero quickly diverted the gases normally collected by the #2 HiJet to the flare and shut down the #2 HiJet. Valero then reduced charge rates of the affected units to minimize SO2 emissions at the flare and began the process of transferring some of the diverted gases to the #1 HiJet for recovery. The #1 HiJet has a lower capacity than the #2 HiJet and cannot take all the gases collected by the #2 HiJet. The Vacuum Unit Hotwell Offgas remained in the flare and lean amine to the Hotwell Offgas Scrubber was maximized to reduce SO2 emissions at the flare. Valero discovered that the valve separating the leaking pip and the #1 Amine Low Pressure Knock Out Pot was leaking by and sour gas continued to leak to the atmosphere. Valero installed a temporary hose upstream of the leak to allow the leaking section of the piping to be pressurized with Nitrogen and swept to the flare from a point downstream of the leak. Within minutes of starting the Nitrogen sweep, H2S was no longer detected in the area and the Total Sulfure Analyzer on the flare indicated a significant increase in the flare line. This caused SO2 emissions at the North Flare to exceed RQ. Valero installed a clamp on the leaking section of the pipe and restarted the #2 HiJet Valero issued a second and final follow up report to this incident on March 11, 2013 in which Valero determines the root cause of the release to be inadequate system design for corrosion prevention and believes pipe metallurgy should be re-evaluated.
Flammable Gas: 594.0 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide: 131.0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 861.0 pounds


North Flare
Cause: Units were in a start up after a leak on a refinery fuel gas line required a shutdown.

Followup: No

Notes: According to the notification report submitted by the facility, the facility reported a release from the fuel gas system. The fuel gas leak did not release a reportable quantity of flammable gas, however sections of the fuel gas system had to be isolated to perform repairs. Valero completed the start up of the Reformer and NHT according to procedure. Fuel gas leak happened 9/22/12. Sulfur dioxide release during Reformer/NHT startup happened 9/23/12.
Sulfur Dioxide: 788.0 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide: 3.0 pounds

#3 sulfur recovery unit
Cause: Leak on the tubing location in #3 sulfur recovery unit.

Followup: No

Notes: Refinery submitted official letter to DEQ rescinding the verbal report that was given on 4/20/2014. The letter indicates that the release of sulfur dioxide fell below the 500 pounds per day threshold indicated in their environmental permit. No other reportable quantities were released.