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Motiva Enterprises (2719), Convent

Releases of Wastewater

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

Outfall 002
Cause: Upset conditions which led to a LPDES bypass as a result of Hurricane Isaac and the associated internal facility flooding that occurred as a result.

Followup: No

Notes: The bypass consisted of excess stormwater mixed with process wastewater and was made to the LPDES permitted stormwater pond which discharged via Outfall 002 to the Ascension Ditch, to the St. James Canal, and then to the Blind River. The stormwater drainage system was still compromised by flooding conditions and Outfall 002 continued to discharge until 09/01/2012 at 8:30pm. They mention that complete details are provided in a written report submitted on 09/07/2012 but we were unable to find this report. The facility claims that all permit required analytical information for Outfall 002 were within permit limits in august and september. The results show that the bypass didn't cause a water quality violation, exceed any reportable quantity, or exceed any permit limit.

Unit slab
Cause: On March 12, 2012, Motiva Convent Refinery reported an offsite discharge event due to a wastewater treatment bypass where during heavy rains approximately 60 gallons of wastewater overflowed a containment slab and flowed through the facility fenceline to a ditch that (while still on Motiva property) did not discharge through a monitored Outfall. The incident began at 08:05 AM and ended at 11:55 AM on March 12, 2012. The incident was caused when a surface drain could not keep up with the unusually high rainfall rate. A follow-up investigation revealed that the perimeter ditch outside of this fenceline redirects all possible fenceline discharges back into the facility via subsurface drainage for discharge through monitored Outfall 002 (stormwater). The source of the wastewater bypass consisted of contact stormwater from a waste container storage slab, which is normally routed to wastewater treatment for discharge through Outfall 001 (process wastewater), but instead entered the monitored Outfall 002 (stormwater) drainage system.

Followup: No

Notes: The release was halted when the rainfall slowed and the area pump could maintain drainage from the slab. Wastewater which exited the site could not be recovered.
60.0 gallons

Outfall 001
Cause: A sump at the aeration basin overflowed into the gravel area between Clarifiers 1 and 2. The treated wastewater bypassed the clarifiers to the recycle pond. From there, the treated but unclarified wastewater was discharged via Outfall 001 into the Mississippi River.

Followup: No

Notes: Upon discovery of the release, Operations began reducing the flow to the aeration basins, shutdown flow from 37T-314, and slowed flow from 37T-316 and 37T-317. Additional training has been conducted with the Operation's personnel regarding the flow management of the system. Motiva is evaluating additional engineering measures to prevent future incidents of this type.
126.0 gallons

Outfall 001
Cause: Treated but unclarified wastewater was discharged from Outfall 001 at a rate of approximately 800 gpm. Discharging began at 7:50 pm on January 11, 2013 and ended at 4:00 am on January 12, 2013. An upset occurred at the facility due to extraordinary amounts of rainfall brought on by severe slow moving thunderstorms that caused flash flooding. The facility was being operated properly prior to conditions brought on by the severe weather event. Overwhelmed by the excessive amounts of rainfall, treated water overflowed a basin immediately prior to the system's clarifier, which is the final polishing section of the wastewater treatment system, resulting in a bypass of a de minimus amount of treated but unclarified wastewater. Accordingly, this bypass was unavoidable.

Followup: Yes

Notes: The discharge was made to the Mississippi River. As discharged material was treated but unclarified wastewater, it is not expected to have any impact to the water quality of the Mississippi River and no permit limit exceedances are anticipated. The event constituted an overflow of a de minimus amount of treated but unclarified wastewater. As operated prior to the initiation of the event, equipment was continued to be monitored and managed to not cause additional bypasses. The event was resolved as flash flooding diminished. The first written notification found was the final report; LABB was unable to find the online notification Motiva submitted on January 12, 2013.