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ExxonMobil Refinery (2638), Baton Rouge

Releases of Lubricating Oil

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

oil spill
Cause: Piping broke on a compressor.

Followup: No

Notes: Lube oil was released to concrete and sewer system. No reportable quantities were exceeded.

oil spill to soil
Cause: An apprentice operator at West Complex was transferring lube oil from #9 agitator to a product tank. The pump lost suction, the operator assumed the level of oil in the drum was minimal, and the transfer operation was stopped. Per normal procedure, the drain valve was opened to send the remaining residual material to the slop tank via an enclosed sump system. The unattended open valve was found after the shift change. Meanwhile, the sump pumping system was overwhelmed, the lube oil backed up into the agitator basin and spilled over the concrete and entered the sewer.

Followup: No

Notes: The amount of material remaining in the agitator was grossly underestimated and the operator left the valve open while attending to another task. The open valve was immediately blocked to stop the release. A vacuum truck began to pick up the pooled oil from the sewer, concrete, and soil. A project to install a high level alarm on the sump is being considered. This alarm would notify the operator of a high level in the sump such that appropriate actions can be taken to prevent an overfill incident. The employee was counseled to follow appropriate procedures and no leave open valves unattended. The contaminated soil was removed.
25,246.0 gallons

No information given
Cause: Incident report states Hydrocarbon liquid bubbled up from soil. It was later confirmed to be lube oil. Cause was not given in refinery report as it was Below Reportable Quantities [BRQ].

Followup: No

Notes: Release was Below Reportable Quantities. LDEQ follow-up phone call placed on 10/1/10 to request name and quantity of specific substance released on 8/6/10. This information was not included in refinery report form 8/12/10.
37.4 gallons

Broken Valve: Oil mist tank
Cause: On November 16th, 2011, at approximately 1:45 pm, there was a release to soil at the ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Refinery. A controller received a low pressure alarm on the oil mist system, and immediately investigated the source of the alarm. It was discovered that the support structure on the south side of the oil mist tank had collapsed. This resulted in the 1/2 inch bottom valve connection of the level gauge breaking. The level gauge was located on the side of the tank that tilted when the support rack collapsed. Approximately 350 gallons of lube oil was spilled. All material was contained onsite.

Followup: No

Notes: Upon discovery, the broken valve was immediately repaired, and the tank is being temporarily supported until permanent repairs are complete. Soil remediation is complete.
348.6 gallons