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Valero (26003), Norco

Causal Factor: Under Investigation

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

Flare 1, flare 2, thermal oxidizer
Cause: Under Investigation

Followup: Yes

Notes: Combustion products were rapidly dispersed. There was no apparent offsite impact from the unit shut down.
Under Investigation

GHT flaring (fire)
KHT flaring (fire)
NHT flaring (fire)
DHT liquid burnoff
Coker flaring (fire)
Coker flaring (SD)

Followup: Yes

Notes: Emissions were minimized by shutting down the affected units and the fire was extinguished.
Carbon Monoxide: 108.0 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide: 50.0 pounds
Particulate Matter: 1.0 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds: 19.0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 4,663.0 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide: 12.0 pounds
Carbon Monoxide: 123.0 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide: 57.0 pounds
Particulate Matter: 1.0 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds: 22.0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 1,429.0 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide: 4.0 pounds
Carbon Monoxide: 172.0 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide: 80.0 pounds
Particulate Matter: 1.0 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds: 31.0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 2,686.0 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide: 7.0 pounds
Carbon Monoxide: 145.0 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide: 463.0 pounds
Particulate Matter: 58.0 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds: 6.0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 705.0 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide: 2.0 pounds
Carbon Monoxide: 38.0 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide: 18.0 pounds

Volatile Organic Compounds: 7.0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 1,954.0 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide: 5.0 pounds
Carbon Monoxide: 30.0 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide: 14.0 pounds

Volatile Organic Compounds: 5.0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 796.0 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide: 2.0 pounds
Carbon Monoxide: 91.0 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide: 42.0 pounds
Particulate Matter: 1.0 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds: 16.0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 2,367.0 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide: 6.0 pounds

FLARE: flare #1
Cause: Elevated sulfur compounds at Flare #1. FLARE.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Ongoing testing/monitoring of elevated sulfur compounds in the flare during the week. Unclear if emissions had ceased at time of LDEQ report.
Sulfur Dioxide: 2,870.0 pounds


pump connected to tank 80-1
Cause: Portable diesel-powered transfer pump caught fire. Releases include Acetaldehyde 0.0284 lbs and Acrolein 0.0034 lbs. FIRE.

Followup: No

Notes: ERT extinguished fire in 20 mins.
Diesel Fuel: 20.0 gallons
Nitrogen Oxide: 163.4 pounds
Sulfur Oxides: 10.7 pounds
Carbon Monoxide: 35.2 pounds
Particulate Matter 10: 11.5 pounds
Benzene: 0.0 pounds
Toluene: 0.0 pounds
Xylene: 0.0 
Propylene: 0.1 pounds
1,3-Butadiene: 0.0 pounds
Formaldehyde: 0.0 pounds
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons: 0.0 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): 0.2 pounds

wet gas compressor
Cause: The wet gas compressor in the delayed coking unit had malfunctioned resulting in excess SO2 emissions at flares 1 and 2.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Gas from coker was combusted in Flare 1 and Flare 2 and the resulting combustion byproducts rapidly dispersed. Emissions were minimized by restarting the wet gas compressor. This incident is still under investigation. No procedures or preventative measures have been identified at this time. A "30 day follow up report" was submitted on February 28, 2013 citing that the root cause failure analysis report had been submitted for the incident. The document only lists 3 actions Valero plans on taking: "1. We will communicate this incident to all affected personnel. 2. Operations will implement a guidance document to reduce set points by 15 degrees Fahrenheit on loss of LCO charge heater. 3. Improve cracking beds operation stability by limiting the temperature delta. Add a high priority alarm to the DCS." The February 28th letter does not provide the root cause of the accident.
Sulfur Dioxide: 1,214.0 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide: 3.0 pounds
Carbon Monoxide: 65.0 pounds
NOx: 12.0 pounds

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): 25.0 pounds

No information given
Cause: The 1600 Sulfur Recovery Unit (16 SRU) tripped and went offline for about 2.5 hours. It is suspected that SO2 and H2S levels were elevated at the associated thermal oxidizer (1600 TOX-EQT241). The exact cause is under investigation.

Followup: Yes

Notes: These emissions will be reported in the Refineries Title V permit compliance reports. In the first written follow up report, it is suspected that the rate and reportable quantities of SO2 and H2S were exceeded. The SO2 concentration limit may have also been exceeded. The opacity standard may have been exceeded for 2 hours and 34 minutes. In the follow up report sent May 3, 2012, the values were calculated as below reportable quantity.
Sulfur Dioxide: 320.0 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide: 25.0 pounds

Flares 1, 2, and 4
Cause: On April 14, 2013, at approximately 07:Sl, the Coker WGC malfunctioned, resulting in a unit shutdown and a release to the flare of approximately 47,S36 pounds of sulfur dioxide and 144 pounds of hydrogen sulfide. The WGC tripped offline and could not be restarted due to a malfunction of the compression thrust bearing. Monitoring of the compression thrust data did not indicate prior degradation of the bearing. The bearing is believed to have failed from steam condensation due to a boiler malfunction approximately 2S minutes before the WGC tripped. The boiler malfunction caused the steam temperature to drop to the saturation point. Additionally, there was missing and damaged insulation found along the steam header upstream of the WGC. The missing insulation along with the heavy rain that was in the area during the time of the incident could have contributed to the drop in steam temperature to the saturation point. Emissions were minimized by reducing the crude rate by approximately SO percent and by shutting down the delayed coker unit.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Emissions were minimized by reducing the crude rate by approximately 50% and by shutting down the delayed coker unit. Follow up report details procedures or measures which have or will be adopted to prevent recurrence: 1. Communicate this incident to all affected personnel 2. Replace missing or damaged insulation on the steam header 3. Evaluate Mud Legs for performance and adequacy 4. Evaluate the need for an inline separator on the 650-lb steam to the WGC 5. Perform an infrared (IR) camera scan of the 650-lb steam header
Sulfur Dioxide: 47,536.0 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide: 144.0 pounds
NOx: 662.0 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): 27.0 pounds
Carbon Monoxide: 3.0 pounds
Particulate Matter 10: 22.0 pounds

30 TOX stack
Cause: The 30 SRU malfunctioned resulting in excess sulfur dioxide emissions to the atmosphere. Excess emissions were emitted from the 30 TOX stack to the environment and rapidly dispersed.

Followup: Yes

Notes: The permitted SO2 rate was exceeded and reportable quantity were exceeded for the reporting hour of 11:00. Total SO2 emissions for the reporting hour of 11:00 were approximately 666 lbs., and total SO2 emissions in excess of the permitted limit were 551 lbs.
Sulfur Dioxide: 670.0 pounds
No LDEQ Reported

EMS-321 barge
Cause: While connecting Loading Arm #3 to the EMS-321 barge on Dock 3, less than two gallons of Light Cycle Oil (LCO) spilled into the river and dissipated.

Followup: No

Notes: The remaining material was contained in a drip pan on the barge, approximately one gallon. Absorbent pads and booms were used to capture any remaining oil. No usable material was recovered; recovered wasted will be characterized and disposed of properly.
Light Cycle Oil: 2.0 gallons