|About the Database
|LDEQ Accident Number
|Amount of Release
|Cause: There were multiple units that experienced upsets during the shutdown and startup activities surrounding Hurricane Isaac:
In preparation for Hurricane Isaac, the refinery units were at minimum rates anticipating a shutdown condition. As a result of these abnormal conditions, the refinery 150 PSIG steam header pressure was significantly low. The U205 Delayed Coker unit uses steam to purge resid and coke from the switch valve and ball valves on the coke drum structure. the low steam pressure ultimately led to the valve failing due to coke build up on the valve. On 8/28/2012 the unit was forced to go on bypass and internal circulation due to inability to switch feed to the offline drum. After the unit was on bypass the Wet Gas Compressor tripped three times. These trips resulted in releases to the flare. This resulted in a small amount of hydrocarbon material to be routed to the ground flare.
Propane Flaring: Due to atypical operating conditions and the shutdown of our third-party propane pipeline, MPC flared propane starting on August 31 at 06:52 AM intermittently until September 1 at 02:45 AM. The flaring of propane was required to balance refinery operations.
No reportable quantities were exceeded. The release calculations are provided in Attachment 4.
North Stick Flare Flame Outage: On September 1, the North Stick Flare flame was snuffed out with steam for a total of five minutes. This occurred while decreasing the amount of propane flaring mentioned above. No reportable quantities were exceeded. This event was reported verbally on September 1st and a follow-up written report was submitted on September 7, 2012 (see Attachment 5).
North Stick Flare Damage: The North Stick Flare was observed to have some abnormal flame patterns prior to Hurricane Isaac. However, during the hurricane it was noticed that one side of the flare tip had more significant flames. After the hurricane on September 11 th an inspection, via a remote helicopter, observed that a natural gas supply line to the pilots had a broken union.
This was causing natural gas to burn just below the flare tip. It is believed that the high winds experienced during the hurricane caused the union to completely break apart. A repair plan is being formulated to correct this issue.
MPC discharged untreated process area stormwater via Outfall 002 to the Lake Maurepas drainage system beginning on August 30, 2012 at 07:00 hrs intermittently until September 3, 2012 at 13:00 hrs. The amount of wastewater discharged is estimated to be 300,000 bbls (which is 12,600,000 gallons). Samples were collected prior to the discharge and after the start of discharge to verify that the water being discharged was sufficient quality to ensure no harm to environment. The discharge was monitored to ensure that there was no sheen on the water discharged off-site. It should be noted that prior to discharging the untreated process area stormwater, MPC had reached the on-site WWTP storage capacity of 619,995 bbls of water. In addition, MPC placed an out of service crude oil tank (500-2) back into service prior to the hurricane specifically to be used for wastewater and slop oil storage as needed. This tank was used for excess water storage prior to any wastewater being discharged off-site.
Notes: This report is linked to two LDEQ incident numbers: 142430 and 142532. Unit 205 Coker sent to the North Ground Flare. The release was identified at approximately 06:35 hours on August 29. 2012 and lasted for approximately 1944 minutes (1d 8h 24m). The compound of concern was Propylene. Totals of 76.54 lbs and 86.15 lbs were released during the 2 24-hour periods involved. MPC considers these emissions to be covered under the temporary variance issued on August 27 of 2012. That variance authorized the temporary permit for the emissions: Sulfur Dioxide 13.3 tons; Nitrogen Oxide 0.9 tons; Carbon Monoxide 7.03 tons; Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) 8.51 tons; Hydrogen Sulfide 0.73 tons. There was also a variance for 3,750 long tons(8,400,000lbs) of sulfur to be stored on a "sulfur pad". These variances were considered the maximum allowed during that period, therefore they are not included in LABB pollutant totals in this report. As soon as conditions allowed, the compressor was restarted. Missed Monitoring/Repair/Inspections Due to the hurricane, personnel were not available to complete several regulatory required tasks, such as weekly inspections, PMs, monitoring, and repairs. The programs and the specific missed requirements are listed below: LDAR Program 5-day first attempt at repair requirement (five components) 15-day final repair requirement (twelve components) Waste Program Weekly satellite collection area inspection (two locations) Weekly hazardous waste storage area inspection Weekly non-hazardous waste storage area inspection Weekly universal waste area inspection Weekly used oil storage area inspection Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program Weekly refinery inspection Spill Prevention Control & Countermeasures Program Weekly inspection of the Contractor Village area MACT II - NSPS Subpart UUU Weekly PM for the pH meter used for compliance demonstration Benzene Waste Operation NESHAP Carbon Canister monitoring for breakthrough (eight events) 15-day repair requirement (four sumps) There is a separate report on this database for the sinking of the "Big Tuna" response boat. Response Boat Fuel Loss: The oil spill response boat became submerged in the Mississippi River on August 29th, due to a surge in the river level which resulted in the loss of ten gallons of gasoline. The reportable quantity for oil was exceeded. This event was reported verbally on August 31 and a written follow-up report was submitted on September 7, 2012 (See Attachment 3). (Attachment 3 was deleted from this file, and added to the report for this event)
|Cause: False reading on the 66LT0511 level controller caused the two NC4 compressors to trip. The high pressure on the receiver, due to high liquid level, caused the 66PC0507 valve on the receiver to open the RBS flare. Approximately 6.67 lbs of VOCs were released as a result.
Notes: The operator blew down transmitter 66LT0511 and opened the bypass valve on the receiver to send the liquid back to the RBS tank. The faulty level transmitter was taken out of service and repaired.