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Valero (1238), Meraux

Causal Factor: Seal or Gasket

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

Frick Compressor (Area 4 Chiller)
Cause: Failed gasket on flange on the compressor station. cause a spill and release to the air at the Frick Compressor in area 4 Chiller.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Will repair the unit. Replaced faulty gasket.
Freon: 4,000.0 pounds

Loading like gasket
Cause: The gasket on the loading line was defective and released material to the dock containment. A small amount of gas oil "misted" into the Mississippi River and created a sheen.

Followup: No

Notes: LDED and Refinery Letter inluded. The incident is closed based on the information provided by Murphy Oil. "As vacuum gas oil was being transferred, oil leaked from the flange on the hose." The barge crew launched a skiff with boom, according to Murphy Oil.
Vacuum Gas Oil: 0.1 gallons
No LDEQ Reported

Cause: The responsible party for the spill was the transportation firm, where the spill originated from a flange on their barge.

Followup: No

Notes: Valero deployed a boat and booms to mitigate as much of the spill as possible. The RQ for crude oil is 42 gallons.
Crude Oil: 2.0 gallons

Cause: Odor is due to detached seal on tank. LADEQ references incident # 141523 in attached report for this specific incident, but LABB could not locate any additional documentation for incident 141523. The LADEQ report also references incident 141477 in relation to plant operations in relation to this specific instance. While no information is provided indicating what pollutants were released by the detached seal, Valero does admit that the smell reported by the citizen complaint is in relation to the detached seal.

Followup: No

Notes: Citizen complaint made on 8/9/12 in regards to observations made on 8/8. Complaint included: Noises that sounded like a helicopter drowned out the TV. A flare was noticed. Has been experiencing flu like symptoms since early in the evening of 8/8/12. This is becoming a routine as far as feeling sick when Valero is supposedly starting up units, which is quite often. Things should be improving, not reverting backwards to the old Murphy way. Survey conducted on 8/10 of the surrounding area around the facility. No odors noted on the west side of the facility in the neighborhoods. On the east side of the property an odor similar to burnt hydrocarbons was noticed near the tank area. DEQ database revealed two additional citizen complaints.


flange on crude slop line
Cause: On December 8, 2013, a leak was discovered on a flange on a crude slop line in a ground level pipe rack. Valero has determined the root cause of this release to be an improperly tightened flange. Over time, the bolts securing the flange had become loose, allowing the flange faces to separate, and materials to be released. A Reportable Quantity was exceeded but no emergency condition existed. No material escaped beneath the immediate pipe rack. Due to the small size of the spill and cool temperatures, volatilization was negligible.

Followup: Yes

Notes: The leaking flange was tightened, stopping the release. Valero has since inspected the rest of this length of piping, and is working to correct any deficiencies noted in the inspection report. A vacuum truck was dispatched to remove the oil and water beneath the pipe rack. Recovered liquids were transferred within the refinery for separation and treatment and the contaminated soil was moved to a roll off bin for off-site disposal.
Slop Oil: 84.0 gallons