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Motiva Enterprises (2719), Convent

Releases of 2% Soda Ash

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

Water treatment facilities - temporary tanks and secondary containment berm system
Cause: At approximately 12:30 P.M. on Wednesday, December 14, 2005 a 2% soda ash (sodium carbonate) solution in water (with a negligible concentration of chlorides), overfilled temporary tanks and the surrounding secondary containment berm system Operations personal were taking the permanent fresh soda ash tank out of service for a planned maintenance inspection and turnaround. The soda ash was being pumped into temporary tanks, where it will be stored during the turned around. The total volume of the temporary tanks, which were provided by a third party, was less than the volume of the permanent tank and less than the volume that Motiva was anticipating when the tanks were ordered. Operations personnel were not physically observing the transfer when the incident began. The soda as overflowed the temporary tanks and the secondary containment berms around the temporary tanks, resulting in the spillage of approximately 20 gallons to the uncontaminated storm water system.

Followup: No

Notes: Upon discovery of the overflow, operations personnel shut down the pump. The soda ash solution, which has a high pH, is normally treated in the wastewater treatment plant prior to discharge. The storm water pond does not discharge water to the S. James Canal continuously. Due to the large volume of water in the pond and the small volume of soda ash solution, tests of the storm water yielded acceptable results and Motiva did not have to treat the storm water prior to discharge.
20.0 gallons