Home Search Emissions Pollutants About the Database

Valero (1238), Meraux

Causal Factor: Weather

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

Tank 250-2
Cause: STORM: The water pushed the tank from its foundation. Refinery report states that 17,962 barrels of oil were recovered from the spilled tank, with approximately 7,031 barrels lost to atmosphere via evaporation.

Followup: No

Notes: RQ. Refinery letter states that all "visibly impacted" soil was removed for off-site disposal. "Murphy Oil continues to clean all neighboring properties, as determined by EPA-monitored sampling activities."
Benzene: 1,801.0 pounds
n-Hexane: 10,448.0 pounds
Cyclohexane: 3,603.0 pounds
Ethylbenzene: 1,441.0 pounds
Toluene: 4,683.0 pounds
Xylene: 7,205.0 pounds
Oil: 1,049,706.0 gallons

Fugitive Emissions
Cause: Power interruption because of severe weather. Untreated waste water routed to #2 API Separator

Followup: No

Notes: They say it was unpreventable, as
Volatile Organic Compounds: 344.0 pounds

North Flare
South Flare
#2 Sulfur Recovery Unit Incinerator #1-93
#3 Sulfur Recovery Unit Incinerator #5-00
No information given
Cause: On 7/6/05 Murphy Oil experienced a refinery-wide power interruption. During the shutdown and ensuing startup, the refinery experienced elevated sulfur dioxide and intermittent particulate emissions at the flares and the Sulfur Recovery Unit incinerator stacks. The power outage was apparently the result of high winds generated by Tropical Storm Cindy.

Followup: No

Notes: Immediate action was to safely get the units stabilized and try to avoid damage to equipment during the emergency shutdown. To ensure a safe restart, the refinery purged rich amine from #1 and #2 Amine units and the #2 Sour Water Stripper to the flares. The refinery minimized SO2 emissions during startup by having the #2 and #3 SRUs pre-heated prior to introduction of acid gas. Received two citizen complaints. Took steps to minimize emissions for the re start.
Sulfur Dioxide: 11,804.0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 12,816.0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 53.0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 226.0 pounds


#3 Sulfur Recover Unit Incinerator (#5-00)
Cause: Makeup gas compressor in the Hydocracking Unit malfunctioned due to a lightening strike

Followup: Not Applicable

Notes: Followed standard procedures to re start operations.
Sulfur Dioxide: 288.0 pounds
No LDEQ Reported

Outfall 003
Cause: During a heavy rain, the refinery ran out of stormwater storage capacity.

Followup: No

Notes: BELOW REPORTABLE QUANTITIES. The oil went into the 20 Arpent Canal. They deployed containment booms and closed Outfall 003.
Oil: 1.0 gallons

Tank 200-2
Cause: Lightning strike at a seal on the external floating roof causing a small fire--small fire involving gas vapors in the Tank 200-2

Followup: Yes

Notes: Serc Incident # 06-04168. Refinery quickly isolated the tank and contained the fire. Made plans to transfer the gasoline initiate inspection and repairs to the tanks
Volatile Organic Compounds: 54.0 pounds
<1 lb.
No LDEQ Reported

MOUSA - 20 Arpent Canal
Cause: the sheen was a result of approximately 6-8 of heavy rainfa

Followup: No Information Provided

Notes: The spill may have been less than 3 gallons because in Murphy's report they say it was 2-3 gallons of oil. The spill was located in the 20 Arpent Canal, west of the Meraux Canal. The offsite impact was below reportable quantities. Murphy deployed containment booms across the 20 Arpent Canal and recovered the free liquids with vacuum trucks. Murphy also notified the National Response Center and the U.S. Coast Guard on 10/22/2007 (NRC # 852-35
Oil: 3.0 gallons

Secondary containment area of Tank 80-7
Cause: the spill was discovered on 5/5/2007 at 7:30. As a result of heavy rainfall on the afternoon of 5/4/2007, rainwater flowed into an open tank man way which had been removed for maintenance. The rainwater displaced some of the oil remaining in the tank resulting in the spill

Followup: No Information Provided

Notes: There is no information as to whether this incident was preventable or not. Remedial Measures - Murphy Oil recovered the free liquids with a vacuum truck. Soil with signs of visual contamination is being removed for proper disposal. According to the LDEQ report, Stephen Faller of Murphy Oil stated that no material left the site and that a vacuum truck was used to remove the water/oil for proper treatment/disposal and any impacted soils were removed by a contractor for disposal at Woodside Lanl.
#6 Oil: 168.0 gallons

FLARE - South Flare
Cause: the incident occurred shortly after a line of sever storms swept through the area. MOUSA experienced a malfunction (loss of flame) at the South Flare.

Followup: Yes

Notes: This was a self report to LDEQ from Murphy. At the time this report was made the incident was under investigation and a root cause analysis was not available. Bucket Brigade was not provided with a copy of the follow up report.
Hydrogen Sulfide: 104.0 pounds
Light Hydrocarbons: 2,000.0 pounds

Outfall 003
Cause: Prolonged rainfall caused sewage overflow. Release occurred at Outfall 003.

Followup: No

Notes: RQ exceeded. Pressurized water moved material to oil skimmers for vacuum trucks to recover material. Absorbent and hard booms were also deployed. Murphy Oil will review storm water management procedures.
Diesel Fuel: 840.0 gallons


Cause: Heavy rainfall- sewage capacity inadequate caused Outfall 006 to discharge

Followup: No

Notes: RQ not exceeded. Discharge was followed according to procedure.


Tank 250-1
Cause: HEAVY RAIN. Crude oil spill from contractor equipment employed to clean tank. Multiple problems intersecting: liquid level in skimming tank rose too high and flowed out of inspection window that had been left open. Level setting of tank set too high, tank no longer level due to a month of heavy rains so sensor was out of position, containment pan compromised by pipe lying across it, tank system left unattended. SECONDARY CAUSE: Human Error.

Followup: No

Notes: Contractor will monitor skimming tank & containment more closely, provide refresher training for water wash operations.
Crude Oil: 126.0 gallons
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): 5.8 gallons

OAF Sump at Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP)
Cause: On August 30, 2012, while assessing conditions following Hurricane Isaac, Valero personnel discovered a slop oil spill to the ground in the Wastewater Treatment area, oil and sheen in a storm water drainage ditch along the western edge of the refinery, and a sheen in the 20 Arpent Canal that receives water from this ditch. A few days later, after the water level had dropped several feet, grass stained with oil was discovered along the 20 Arpent Canal. Valero determined the root cause of this spill to be inadequate containment for the heavy rains and high winds experienced during hurricane· Isaac. When the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) shut down during the hurricane, oil collected in the OAF Sump which overflowed when the area was flooded. The primary cause for this event was Weather, but the secondary cause is Equipment Design (inadequate containment at Wastewater Treatment Plant).

Followup: Yes

Notes: Slop Oil, estimated at 1 barrel (42 gallons), was released to the ground and an estimated 5 gallons was released to water. Valero provided verbal notification within 2 hours of discovering the release of material offsite. Valero recovered the oil on the ground and in the ditch using vacuum trucks and absorbent materials. All soils and vegetation with visible contamination were removed for disposal at an offsite commercial landfill. Valero will design and install a fixed roof and wall around the OAF Sump to prevent the OAF Sump from filling up with storm water and overflowing. The last document LABB has for this event is the 60 day follow up on December 21, 2012. Valero shut down their refinery before the storm and did not report any other pollution besides this slop oil (and benzene that volatilized off of the oil). Citizen complaint made 9/1/12 regarding a strong fuel smell present. Would like to know if an emergency by-pass was occurring because of lack of capacity to contain rainwater. Observed high levels of ponds prior to storm. On 8/30/12 Valero reported the release of 1 barrel of slop oil in the Waste Water Treatment area which ocurred during Hurricane Isaac this complaint was recorded by LADEQ by incident number 142484, but was referenced to this incident by Valero.
Slop Oil: 47.0 gallons
Benzene: 7.8 pounds

North Flare, South Flare, #2 SRU Incinerator, #3 SRU Incinerator
Cause: A lightning strike affecting Entergy's power distribution network caused a power interruption at the refinery, causing units to undergo safety shutdowns that included venting high rates of gases to both flares. The power interruption affected a significant portion of St. Bernard Parish.affected the north and south flare.

Followup: No

Notes: Power to the refinery was quickly restored, but the interruption tripped several units. The refinery established emergency procedures for the units. After stabilizing unit and refinery-wide conditions, the refinery methodically restarted each unit. The refinery received one citizen phone call for noise on the evening of the event. Reportable Quantity was only exceed for sulfur dioxide during this event, but the refinery will report emissions from this event for other pollutants in the annual Emissions Inventory.
Sulfur Dioxide: 2,364.0 pounds