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Valero (26003), Norco

Causal Factor: Piping or Tubing

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source(s) Notes Amount of Release
No LDEQ Reported

Acid sewer line
Cause: Crack in the spent acid sewer line sent acid into soil.

Followup: Yes

Notes: The acid sewer has been removed from service. Need to test soil and groundwater and measure quanitity and disclose cause.


T-150-8 pump
Cause: A half inch section of pipe that connects the T-150-8 pump to a pressure gauge had broken off the pump while the pump was in service.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Oil entrained in the soil is being removed by excavation for discposal in a non-hazardous waste landfill. Investigation not complete. Promised to collect soil samples showing the cleanup levels achieved.
Slurry Oil: 2,100.0 gallons

Cause: A possible pipe failure involving crude spraying and spilling on the ground.

Followup: No

Notes: Courtesy Notification. No reportable quantity of crude oil lost. Incident report and letter from refinery included.


Heater 1501 B
Cause: Tube leak at heater H-1501-B

Followup: No

Notes: Courtesy notice. Shutting down unit.

No LDEQ Reported

Reduced crude exchangers
Cause: Old boulder feed water preheat line was inadvertently lined up to the reduced crude exchangers. Water was carried from the exchangers to the crude columns. As result, the crude column and the overhead accumulators overpressured and vented to the flare.

Followup: No

Notes: Locked out and tagged the boiler water feed valves upstream of the reduced crude exchangers. Demolish the old boiler feed water line.
Sulfur Dioxide: 1,980.0 pounds

None Reported
Cause: Millisecond catalytic cracking unit developed a small leak on the reactor inlet line.

Followup: No

Notes: Letter states that emissions were BRQ.

outlet line of the C3C4 KOH Dryers (V-17-05A/B)
Cause: A hole was found in the LPG line that feeds the T-17 bullets. The hole was 1/4 inch.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Valero responded to the leak found by submerging the line with fire water to suppress vapors, isolating the leak, and depressuring the line/vessel to flare. The failed section of the pipe was replaced and the line returned back to service. The isolationand depressurization lasted approximately 1h 15m.
Ethane: 156.0 pounds
Propane: 1,273.0 pounds
Isobutane: 834.0 pounds
n-Butane: 2,596.0 pounds
Isopentane: 409.0 pounds
n-Pentane: 118.0 pounds

No information given.
Cause: A one inch hose on the diesel charge pump had ruptured. The product was being charged from Tank 80-1 which was currently in Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel service.

Followup: Yes

Notes: The diesel pumps were immediately shut down to prevent any additional spillage. A third party emergency response contractor was called onsite to cleanup the spill. About 42 gallons of diesel fuel was recovered from the area via vacuum truck.
Diesel Fuel: 126.0 gallons

Acid line
Cause: Underground leak from a 4 inch fresh acid line; leak was going up out of line onto the road into a process sump.

Followup: No

Notes: All 10 gallons of sulfuric acid that spilled to the ground was
Sulfuric Acid: 10.0 gallons

Refinery Tank Farm
Cause: Steam and acid vapor that emitted from the refinery tank farm were caused by a small leak on a fresh sulfuric acid line. The cause of the leak is under investigation.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Refinery personnel collected the spilled acid and contained it in a concrete ditch in the tank farm. Caustic soda ash was then added for neutralization. Upon neutralization, the pH was confirmed to be 7.8 and the material was pumped to the GATX pond andOutfall 006.
Sulfuric Acid: 9,000.0 pounds

line on c 3/4, LPG area
Cause: While loading a line on the c 3/4 in the LPG area, they found a pinhole leak.

Followup: No

Notes: They put steam on the line (of c 3/4) for the pressure differential.


Coker Unit heat exchange
Cause: Reason not stated.

Followup: No

Notes: Strange letter: Letter states the leak began on Saturday, January 20; however it also states that Ms. Dillon of the St. Charles refinery notified the LA State Police and the NRC of the leak on Friday, January 19. Also, the sample analysis taken on Friday indicated "an unusually large amount of H2S and Total VOCs from the exchanger. However, we determined that the units associated with the lab data were incorrectly reported," and they provide the quantities listed at left. This notification was mto be considered at a courtesy since no quantities exceeded the reportable amounts.
Volatile Organic Compounds: 18.0 pounds

VGO Line
Cause: A VGO line leaked

Followup: No

Notes: Oil booms and vacuum trucks and a small plastic pool used to contain and recover material.
Vacuum Gas Oil: 210.0 gallons

Acid pipleine in the Alkylation Unit
Cause: leak from an acid pipleine in the Alkylation Unit

Followup: No

Notes: Alkylation unit was shut down to release the pressure in the acid pipeline and stop the leak. The line is now repaired.
Sulfuric Acid: 2,831.0 pounds

CT-04-600 Cooling Tower
Cause: leak on a heat exchanger on the recycle gas cooler in the HTHC

Followup: Yes

Notes: Valero routed gases to the Flare Recovery Syste,


Fill line from #1 manifold to T-130-7
Cause: Fill line from #1 manifold to T-130-7 appeared to be leaking VGO

Followup: No

Notes: Absorbent boom and vacuum trucks used to contain and recover material. VGO line was excavated and removed.
Vacuum Gas Oil: 42.0 gallons
120283, 120356

Pipe to Alkylation unit
Cause: An operator discovered a leak from the fresh acid pipeline that feeds the alkylation unit. During the repair attempt residual material leaked out of the pipe and came into contact with two workers. One worker received acid burns on the neck and was treated on-site by the company nurse. the other worker received burns on the neck and face and had to be treated at Baton Rouge General Hospital.

Followup: No

Notes: Unit was shut down. After the leak of residual material, the system was purged with nitrogen, and then gravity drained to a tote tank.
Sulfuric Acid: 230.0 pounds

No information given.
Cause: Leak in the piping on the outlet of waste water Tank 325-1.

Followup: No

Notes: No information given.
Lead: 1.0 pounds
Benzene: 1.0 pounds
Ethylbenzene: 1.0 pounds
Toluene: 1.0 pounds
Xylene: 1.0 pounds
Phenol: 1.0 pounds

MSCCU charge line
Cause: Oily material was discovered in the section 3 Tank Field concrete ditch. It was determined that the MSCCU charge line, which runs parallel to the concrete ditch, had a piping leak and was releasing VGO to the ground. During the incident, the spilled VGO migrated to a low point in the concrete ditch. The material drained into a void in the concrete, pooled, and began resurfacing in a nearby crack. Initial report gives the root cause as being still under investigation. The follow-up report determines the release as being Below reportable quantity and give no further information.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Clean up was mobilized, pipe was repaired, and soil was tested where VGO drained into a void in the cement.
Vacuum Gas Oil: 42.0 gallons

Tank 325-1
Cause: On may 9, 2009 at 8:30pm a refinery operator discovered a leak in the piping outlet of tank 325-1 which serves as the primary equalization tank. 10 gallons of Petroleum refinery primary oil/water/solids separation sludge was spilled.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Refinery personnel contained the spill and the line was repaired.
Primary Sludge: 10.0 gallons

VGO: Tank 425-4
Cause: VGO from Tank 425-4 leaked to secondary containment through a ruptured steam coil.

Followup: No

Notes: The steam coil line that ruptured was cleaned and taken out of service for demolition.
Vacuum Gas Oil: 84.0 gallons


Cause: A Vacuum Gas Oil (VGO) pipe was being placed into service, material escaped from a high point bleeder and caught fire from a nearby ignition source. The fire was quickly extinguished by field personnel and the line was isolated. The incident took place in the Distillate Hydro Treating unit (DHT), which underwent an emergency shutdown. Some VGO material that did not burn fell to the ground inside and outside of the DHT area containment. Deluge water used to control the fire had dispersed some VGO material in the areas around the unit, however, no VGO was carried offsite. Oil absorbent boom was placed in order to prevent VGO from being carried offsite or into our outfalls.

Followup: No

Notes: Valero personnel took measures to stop the leak adn contain spilled VGO. The cleanup contractor mobilized crew to collect and dispose of material.
Vacuum Gas Oil: 336.0 gallons

VGO Pipeline
Cause: A 20" VGO pipeline developed a leak in the West Plant.

Followup: No

Notes: Stopped the leak.
Gas Oil: 2.0 gallons

Dock #2
Cause: Dock #2 - Leak from 3 small holes in 6 inch fresh 98% sulfuric acid line. Sulfuric Acid went into the Mississippi River. RELEASE INTO RIVER: OFF-SITE.

Followup: No

Notes: Still under investigation. Refinery report states they will submit follow-up report. Refinery letter only. No LDEQ report included.
Sulfuric Acid: 4,040.0 pounds

Fresh Sulfuric Acid Pipeline
Cause: Refinery letter states that a leak developed in the fresh sulfuric acid pipeline.

Followup: No

Notes: BRQ. Refinery letter states that less than 1 barrel of sulfuric acid was released. A temporary repair was used to stop the leak. Firewater was used to rinse acid off of the pad, and the acidic wash water was neutralized in a concrete sump.


Tank: piping associated with tank 50-2
Cause: Spill from flange on the piping associated with tank 50-2.

Followup: No

Notes: BRQ. Refinery letter states that "we have determined that the spill amount was...less than the reportable quantity for sulfuric acid." Put soda ash down to neutralize the acid, cleaned up soil, repaired leak.
Sulfuric Acid: 650.0 pounds

Oily Wastewater Sewer Line
Cause: Refinery letter states a leak occurred in the underground oily wastewater sewer line in the crude unit.

Followup: No

Notes: Further remedial action was conducted in the area to properly dispose of all contaminated soil and fill material. Samples will be taken to ensure a proper clean-up. Less than .0001 lbs of CYANIDE were also released.
Benzene: 0.0 pounds
Ethylbenzene: 0.0 pounds
Toluene: 0.0 pounds
m&p-xylene: 0.0 pounds
o-Xylene: 0.0 pounds
Naphthalene: 0.0 pounds
Phenanthrene: 0.0 pounds
Lead: 0.0 pounds
See Notes: 0.0 pounds
Oily Wastewater: 720.0 gallons

Tank 150-25 & Tank 325-5: Expansion Joint
Cause: Refinery letter states that diesel was spilled due to the malfunction of an expansion joint on the inlet piping of to tank 150-1 during the transfer of ultra low sulfur diesel between two tanks.

Followup: Yes

Notes: RQ. Reportable quantities were exceed. Vacuum trucks were used to pump down diesel fuel from the dike containment area of Tanks T-150-1 & 2. The refinery also mobilized a third party contractor for site remedial cleanup efforts. In addition, frac tanks and portable pumps were used to assist in the recovery. The contaminated soil was sent to a landfill. The following actions were taken to prevent a recurrence of the incidence: 1. A refinery guideline will be developed and published describing the steps needed to avoid water hammer when starting pumps in the tank farm. 2. Complete a tank farm survey to prioritize hose and expansion hose replacement. 3. Replace all stainless steel hoses with hard pipe or an engineered expansion hose. 4. Develop, write, and publish to the Right to Know Center, a Standard Operating Procedure to specifically address the transfer that was made during the incident. 5. Provide additional training on the new Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel system for all operators in the tank farm.
Diesel Fuel: 112,890.0 gallons

Tank 130-8
Cause: On 11/1/11 Valero discovered that the suction line to tank 130-8 had developed a leak and had spilled approximately 20 bbls of vacuum gas oil (VGO) to the tank containment dike. A vacuum truck was used to recover pooled fluids, and the damaged section of line was repaired. Tank 130-8

Followup: Yes

Notes: Valero contained the spilled VGO within the tank dike and collected it with vacuum trucks. They verified that the dike drain valves were closed and immediately shutdown the transfer at the tank. They mobilized the onsite vacuum trucks to remove emulsified oil and water from he dike containment area of tank 130-8. A third party OSRO was mobilized to assist in the final cleanup. Also, approximately 86 tons of recovered waste was characterized and disposed of at a non-hazardous landfill. All VGO that was pumpable was collected and returned to the refining process. They developed the corrective following actions to prevent recurrence: (1) Inspect all tanks and piping in the tank farms to confirm no additional expansion joints of this type are in service. (2) Establish an inspection schedule for all hose and expansion joints in the tank farm, Batture, and loading locks. (3) Establish a schedule to replace hoses with engineered metallic expansion joints in the tank farms, batture, and docks.
Vacuum Gas Oil: 840.0 gallons

Hose on Dock 5
Cause: Hose had leak on back dock at hydrocarbon line on Dock 5.

Followup: No

Notes: Sheen observed on river. Less than one barrel of diesel estimated to have been released to the water. One barrel contained on the dock.
Light Cycle Oil: 84.0 gallons

block valve
Cause: On June 13th, 2013 at approximately 12:20 pm, the reserve plant control systems alerted the control systems operator of a high scrubber temperature condition. The board operator followed procedure by monitoring the scrubber for increasing temperatures. At approximately 12:35 pm, the reserve plan control system alerted the control board operator of high-high temperature condition for the scrubber system. The board operator responded by shutting down operations in a controlled manner, after which he began field inspections of the scrubber systems and oxide systems. Upon further investigation the operator identified a block valve for the propylene oxide unloading system not fully closed, allowing propylene oxide to backflow through the low pressure vent line to the scrubber.The block valve was manually closed and propylene oxide flow to the scrubber was stopped. Initial evaluation determined that a block valve pneumatic actuator malfuntioned allowing propylene oxide to flow through the low pressure vent to the scrubber.

Followup: No

Notes: Immediate Corrective Actions: Activation of plant EOC and shutdown of oxide movement valve closure to the propylene oxide unloading block valve N2 blowback of lines to propylene oxide storage tank Maintenance request submitted for actuator and valve replacement Long Term Corrective Actions: Schedule a root cause analysis of incident to identify long term corrective actions intended to prevent re-occurrence Ensure Maintenance replaces block valve actuator Follow up with maintenance to ensure preventative maintenance is preformed on block valve Review other valves and actuators in oxide service for same issue
Propylene oxide: 1,309.0 pounds