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ExxonMobil Chemical Plant (286), Baton Rouge

Causal Factor: Under Investigation

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source(s) Notes Amount of Release
77893

2005-03-30
steam trap
Cause: ExxonMobil had a steam trap on a line that goes into a furnace. Gas oil from the furnace backed into the line and went into the trap. The gas oil, which contained benzene, then went into ExxonMobil. Unknown at this time what caused the material to back through. Steam flow may have been cut off.

Followup:

Notes: Amount of benzene released is over 10 pounds. Exact amount released is unknown.
Benzene: 10.0 pounds
Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons: 2.0 pounds
92930

2006-12-28
#4 Mox Boiler
Cause: Their #4 Mox boiler has a mechanically operated valve that opens at high pressure. High pressure in the line caused it to open, but they do not know what caused the high pressure yet.

Followup:

Notes: It was determined that Ethane, Methane, and Propylene were the chemicals involved in the fire. They believe they exceeded the RQ for VOC's.
Natural Gas: 19,000.0 pounds



105242

2008-04-30
de-coke drum
Cause: They are investigating the root cause of the incident. A furnace at SACC unit was being returned to service. Hydrocarbon gases got into the de-coke drum and vented to the atmosphere.

Followup: No

Notes: No additional information given.



113506

2009-03-19
Under investigation
Cause:

Followup:

Notes: According to the Plant's Shift Supervisor, a trace amount of Benzene was detected in the facility sewer system. Investigation to find the source was conducted and Benzene will be processed through the facility's on site sewer system. No offsite impact was observed and no reportable quantities were exceeded. No further actions was taken by LDEQ. Exxon's report was received on 3/31/09 saying the release did not exceed RQ. Report says that this is not a reportable incident. Air monitoring at the time indicated 7 PPM inside the unit.

121525

2010-02-17
filter
Cause:

Followup: No

Notes: An individual was preparing to change a filter. For some reason a steam of steam, water and benzene was released. All stream was blocked in. The area is isolated and they are beginning to clean up. They said they may call back with the amount of the release.




132248

2011-07-08
BHLA Unit
Cause: There was a leak on a BHLA Unit. An unknown liquid is coming from the unit.

Followup: No

Notes: A shelter was in place for that area and the shelter was confined to the plant. Based on a total release of 10 gallons of water, as well as the solubility of hydrogen sulfide in water, less than one pound of hydrogen sulfide was released.
Water: 10.0 gallons

132209

2011-07-03
Outfall 001
Cause: Wastewater treatment facilities suffered a loss of biological degradation capability at its Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant, which was expected to result in LPDES exceedances through Outfall 001 (treated wastewater). Outfall 001 was discharging treated process wastewater into the Mississippi River. The letter from the refinery dated 7/11/11 states that the root cause of the upset condition was still being investigated, but the letter states a belief that inhibition of biomass began mid-June and was exacerbated by cooling system issues in late June. Effluent permit limits were exceeded on three different days - June 29, July 1 , July 4 - for elevated BOD count above the permitted 4,765 lbs BOD/day as indicated by sampling results. On June 29 the plant released 5,408 lbs of BOD/day. On July 1, they released 5,501 lbs BOD/day. On July 4, they released 12,820 lbs BOD/day.

Followup: No

Notes: At the time of the letter dated 7/11/11, the discharge was still occurring, and mitigation and recovery steps implemented included increased storage of influent wastewater, addition of biomass to AWT, restored cooling tower capability to lower wastewater temperature to optimum, and initiation of significant wastewater load reduction measures.
Wastewater: 130,000,000.0 gallons
145241

2012-12-11
Flare and safety valve
NIG
Cause: ExxonMobil Chemical Plant experience an unanticipated cooling tower water line leak resulting in a shutdown of the Refinery Gas Recovery unit (OLA-1X and EPLA-S) causing 13 pounds of sulfur dioxide, 122 pounds of ethylene, and 29 pounds of propylene to be released as result of flaring. The OLA-1X compressor MC-01 experienced an increased in pressure resulting in an atmospheric safety valve lifting for approximately 45 seconds, released 5,817 pounds of flammable vapos into the atmosphere, 5,506 of which were propylene.

Followup: No

Notes: Unit operating procedures for stabilizing EPLA-S during an unanticipated OLA-1X shutdown were implemented to reduce the environmental impact. Root cause is under investigation. The reportable quantities for ethylene and propylene were exceeded.
Sulfur Dioxide: 13.0 pounds
Ethylene: 122.0 pounds
Propylene: 5,535.0 pounds
Flammable Gas: 282.0 pounds
148949

2013-05-31
NACC "X"Furnace
Cause: ON May 31, 2013, the Baton Rouge Chemical Plant discovered flooding conditions on the NACC "X" furnace. Upon discovery, furnace firing rates were reduced. Furnace flooding conditions occur when there is more fuel gas inside of the furnace than can be completely combusted. The uncombusted fuel gas resulted in RQ exceedances for flammable vapor. Approximately 2,913 pounds of flammable vapor were released as a result of this event. An investigation is underway to determine the root cause.

Followup: No

Notes: Upon discovery, furnace firing rates were reduced. As of December 18, 2013, LABB was unable to locate a follow up letter from the refinery.
Flammable Vapor: 2,913.0 pounds
145693

2013-01-01
cooling tower water chiller UE-07
Cause: On January 3rd a propylene leak was discovered coming from cooling tower water chiller UE-07 to GFLA-3 cooling tower. On January 1st at approximately 3 PM, the Refinery Gas Recovery Unit noticed that the propylene refrigeration inventory was decreasing at an increased rate. Operations immediately began troubleshooting by utilizing the HAWK camera, testing unit safety valves, checking cooling tower gas detectors, and verifying all unit line-ups until the source of the leak was discovered. On January 3rd at 11:06 AM cooling tower water chiller UE-07 was isolated as part of this troubleshooting activity. The propylene inventory levels returned to the normal operating range by 1:00 PM, confirming the leak had been isolated. Inspection of the chiller, UE-07, is being expedited to determine the root cause of the leak. Based on the mechanical inspection results, repairs will be completed and ling-term mitigation plans developed.

Followup: No

Notes: Unknown product is a flammable vapor. An exchanger leaked to the cooling tower, which was blocked in and secured prior to discovering the leak. The site has been secured. Highly reactive volatile organic compounds were released. Material went offsite and air was monitored at the perimeter of the facility. The incident was classified as an unusual event. This facility exceeded the RQ of propylene by more than 64x the reportable quantity. Based on the mechanical inspection results, repairs will be completed and long-term mitigation plans developed. While SPOC was notified of the discharge on January 7th, the Unauthorized Discharge Notification Report, also known as the 7-day letter, was not submitted till January 10th, 2013. While the source of the problem was identified on January 3rd, the problem was recognized on January 1st, which means that the 7-day letter should have been submitted on January 8th, or seven days after the problem was initially recognized.
Propylene: 64,179.0 pounds
Unknown Substance: 1,000.0 pounds
159072

2014-09-27
RLA-1 Unit
Cause: On September 27, 2014 the Baton Rouge Chemical Plant RLA-1 unit experienced an unplanned flaring event during unit start-up. At the onset of flaring, cooling water was increased to unit heat exchangers to control operating pressures and mitigate environmental impact. The incident was under investigation to determine root cause as of 10/3/14. It has been determined that this incident is considered an unauthorized discharge and not part of routine start-up operations.

Followup: No

Notes: At the onset of flaring, cooling water was increased to unit heat eschangers to control operating pressures and mitigate the environmental impact. The incident is under investigation to determine the root cause and provide mitigating steps to prevent ercurrence.
Hydrogen Chloride: 9,824.0 pounds
157434

2014-07-15
thermowell, safety valve at RLA-3 Unit
Cause: RLA-3 Unit experienced a liquid hexane release from a thermowell during routine maintenance. Upon discovery the source of the hexane stream was immediately removed and the section of piping congaing the thermowell was isolated from all hydrocarbon sources. These events are under investigation to determine the root cause and to provide mitigating steps to prevent recurrence. Approximately 1531 pounds of flammable vapor were released as a result of this event and a second incident ( SP#14-03103/LDEQ 157449) combined and the reportable quantity for flammable vapor was exceeded as result of the first release.

Followup: No

Notes: Upon discovery, reactor feed was isolated and hydrocarbon was removed from the vessel. Events were under investigation to determine the root cause and provide mitigating steps at the time of this report. Incident 1 lasted approximately 10 mins and incident 2 started 5 hours later and lasted 1 hr 45 mins. There is no breakdown of the quantities for each incident only a total amount released for both incidents as a whole.
Flammable Vapor: 1,531.0 
157143

2014-06-30
Flare Gas system
Cause: The NACC unit HCO1 compressor experienced a shut down due to low lube oil pressure; causing material to be released to the site's flare gas system. Hydrocarbon feed was safely removed from all furnaces and the compressor was restarted. Air monitoring was conducted on 6/30/14 and all results were below the level of detraction. An investigation is underway to determine the exact root cause of the low lube oil pressure and provide mitigating steps to prevent recurrence.

Followup: No

Notes: Hydrocarbon feed was safely removed from all furnaces and the compressor was restarted. As of 7/7/14 this incident is still under investigation to determine the exact root cause of the low lube oil pressure and to provide mitigating steps to prevent recurrence.
Ethylene: 292.0 pounds