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Valero (26003), Norco

Causal Factor: Weather

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

Flare 1 EIQ 15-77; Flare 2 EIQ 12-81
Cause: Power failure caused a shut down as a result of tropical storm Cindy.

Followup: Yes

Under Investigation


None Reported
Cause: Due to Heavy rains and rising pond levels, wastewater effluent had to be discharged to the Lake Ponchatrain Basin

Followup: No Information Provided

Notes: Data file did not include Incident Report signed by Valero. Hence no Incident Report #.

Cause: ; controlled refinery start up due to Gustav

Followup: No

Notes: Sent to alert outside agencies of possibility of flaring due to start up


Cause: shutting down some units in anticipation of Gustav

Followup: No

Notes: Report sent in advance of shut down of some units in preparation for Gustav. Some flaring expected.


tank T-04-32
Cause: Due to heavy rains falling onto tank T-04-32 (sour water tank, EQT 099), the tank's external floating roof became imbalanced and began to tilt. This allowed hydrocarbon material to seep onto the rooftop.

Followup: No

Notes: A vapor suppressing foam blanket was applied to reduce the evaporation of hydrocarbons.
Naphthalene: 61.0 pounds
Benzene: 59.0 pounds
Ethylbenzene: 104.0 pounds
n-Hexane: 120.0 pounds
Cumene: 6.0 pounds
Toluene: 455.0 pounds
1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene: 305.0 pounds
m&p-xylene: 514.0 pounds
o-Xylene: 217.0 pounds
Methanol: 1.0 pounds
Ammonia: 1.0 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds: 21,522.0 pounds
1-methylnaphthalene: 37.0 pounds
2-methylnaphthalene: 73.0 pounds

Outfall 006
GATX pond
Cause: Oily material from the GATX pond was discovered discharging through Outfall 006. Due to the severe rain event that was on-going and in an effort to relieve the high level in our primary equalization tank, the refinery bypassed streams qualifying for first flush process area storm-water to the GATX pond.

Followup: No

Notes: Upon discovery of the oily discharge, the outfall valve was closed and waters were allowed to accumulate in the pond. The incident was reported and clean up was mobilized to the GATX pond and the adjacent wetlands.
Crude Oil/Oily material: 42.0 gallons
Crude Oil/Oily material: 42.0 gallons

West Plant process pump adjacent
Cause: West Plant process pump adjacent to the coker was overflowing. Prior to the incident, approximately 3.30 inches of precipitation was received in the area on the day of 12/01/09.

Followup: No

Notes: Vacuum trucks and oil booms were mobilized to clean up and contain the overflowing sump. Pumps upstream of the overflowing pump were shut-off to allow time to bring the process back under control. After the sump was pumped down to a normal operating level, and all visible oil was vacuumed off the soil and fill, operations closed the sump and barricaded off the area
F037 Hazardous Waste: 42.0 gallons

West Plant Sump
Cause: On 3/29/11, Valero discovered that the west plant sump was overflowing. Upon identification of the incident, the on-duty shift superintendent implemented the necessary mitigating procedures. The spilled material overflowed the battery limits of the delayed coking unit during a heavy rain storm accompanied by local flooding. The stormwater runoff carried the spilled material over the refinery's perimeter berms and into the Prospect Road and 8 gallons were captures onsite before it could escape.

Followup: Yes

Notes: NO LDEQ report. Three refinery letters. No SPOC Report. Valero completed an incident investigation for this incident and identified several corrective actions to be implemented in order to prevent recurrence of this event. These include rerouting piping to alleviate hydraulic loading of this sump, evaluating additional oil-water separation projects, and evaluating additional waste water surge capacity. Valero estimates that about 11 gallons of material was spilled. Of the 11 gallons released to the ground, approximately 3 gallons escaped to the ditch along Prospect Road where it was collected by vacuum trucks. Recovered oil was sent to the refinery rerun system for subsequent processing. Absorbent booms used in the spill response will be sent offsite for disposal.
Hazardous Waste: 11.0 gallons

Cause: On Monday September 27, 2012 at approximately 08:30 hrs, we made notification. that we will experience a controlled shutdown due to the proximity of Hurricane Isaac. Any emissions associated with this controlled shutdown were within the allowable permit limits.

Followup: No

Notes: There is no list of pollutants released/calculations table (there should be even when it is within permit limits). Without this there is no proof that the release was within permit limits. From the EPA Facility Report: Storm water collected within diked areas. Some electrical motors got wet; motors were operationally checked prior to startup. Facility is undergoing startup. There was a power outage due to Hurricane Isaac.


Flares 1 and 2
Cause: On January 29, 2014, the Valero St. Charles Refinery (Valero) experienced flaring when the pressure on the Naphtha Surge Drum and the Wet Gas Compressor (WGC) Interstage Drum increased. The pressure controller on the Naphtha Surge Drum malfunctioned due to cold temperatures, which caused the level to rise in the drum. As a result, the level in the Compressor Interstage Drum, which is downstream of the Naphtha Surge Drum, increased and caused the WGC to trip. The pressure controller on the Naphtha Surge Drum was bypassed to the flare header in order to control high levels on additional upstream and downstream vessels with the unit. Flaring stopped after the level in the Compressor Interstage Drum was decreased and the WGC was restarted. Temperatures were below 30degF on the morning of the incident. It was found that the steam tracing on the pressure controller on the naphtha surge drum was not in contact with the valve and insulation blankets were not in place. The lack of steam tracing and insulation exposed the valve to cold temperatures, which caused it to malfunction.

Followup: Yes

Notes: The event was secured by reducing the level in the compressor interstage drum and restarting the WGC. Additionally, the Flare Gas Recovery Unit remained in operation to reduce the amount of flared gas. The following corrective measures have been identified to prevent recurrence: 1. Review this incident with affected personnel. 2. Review and revise as need the freeze protection guidelines. 3-7. Create a pre-winter checklist to identify and correct tracing and insulation issues for Complexes I-V. 8. Repair the steam tracing and insulation for PCV-53-471, LV-53-472, LV-53-020, and LV-53-038. The Reportable Quantity for SO2 was exceeded.
Sulfur Dioxide: 5,784.0 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): 328.0 pounds
Particulate Matter: 1.4 pounds
NOx: 41.0 pounds
Carbon Monoxide: 223.0 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide: 31.0 pounds