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Motiva Enterprises (1406), Norco

Releases of Benzene

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source(s) Notes Amount of Release
83975

2005-11-18
GO-1 Processing Unit
Cause: No information given

Followup: Yes

Notes: Data gathering to perform calculations and determine root cause is ongoing. Follow-up report promised in initial report from 11/23/05; cannot be located on LDEQ database as of 07/18/13.
83055

2005-10-13
Catalytic Reformer #1 Unit
Cause: During excavation activities with the construction of a new flare knockout pot at the CR-1 unit, liquid hydrocarbons were observed seeping into the excavation.

Followup: No

Notes: The area in question was previously investigated and it was determined that there was a single concentration of Benzene that exceeded the RECAP screening standard but fell below the MO-1 standard; there was a conference on 10 18 05 between Oliver Boyd and someone from the LDEQ division and it was agreed that since the area was being managed under the approved east site groundwater management program, no further assessment or action is warranted.
82376

2005-09-22
Coker Unit
Cause: Relief valve on the coker drum opened venting pollutant to atmosphere.

Followup: No

Notes:
27.0 pounds
81720

2005-08-28
General facility
Refinery Wastewater Treatment System (RWTS), LPDES Outfall 006;
Wastewater treatment facility
Cause: Unanticipated bypasses of wastewater treatment facilities occurred due to Hurricane Katrina.

Followup: Yes

Notes:
81376

2005-08-16
Tank A-410 (EPN 1021-95)
Cause: DU5 was starting up and the HGO routing to A-410 was changed from off-spec to the HGO treaters. During this time the bypass valve was left in the open position causing heavy gas oil to overflow from tank A-410 into the tank dike area.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Remedial actions: Operator immediately closed bypass to LCV-100. Flow to A-410 was stopped and level pumped down. Liquid in tank dike was removed via vacuum truck. Soil excavation was conducted. To prevent recurrence, Motiva plans to develop plans to improve level control scheme and alarm management. They also plan to install a concrete liner inside the tank's secondary containment dike. PDF includes soil analytical data for soil samples tested for extractable petroleum hydrocarbons (EPH).
81012

2005-08-04
RCCU Flare (EPN #8-84), West Operations Ground Flare (WOGF- EPN 9-84)
Cause: "Maintenance was turning a blind when contents of the line began spraying from the line." Flaring occurred at the RCCU flare following the event during the RCCU unit startup. Additional downstream flaring occurred at the Shell Chemical LP GO-1 elevated flare and the Motiva West Operations Ground Flare.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Remedial actions: Vacuum trucks were deployed in attempt to capture the oil in the RCCU drainage system. Feed was immediately diverted from the unit. Flow into the main fractionator column was minimized while isolations were being made to the slurry circulation system. VSERT was activated to make positive isolation of the leak. Concerning recurrence prevention, Motiva's incident investigations group is investigation the incident and recommendations will be addressed.
0
81012

2005-08-04
RCCU Flare (EPN #8-84), West Operations Ground Flare (WOGF- EPN 9-84)
Cause: "Maintenance was turning a blind when contents of the line began spraying from the line." Flaring occurred at the RCCU flare following the event during the RCCU unit startup. Additional downstream flaring occurred at the Shell Chemical LP GO-1 elevated flare and the Motiva West Operations Ground Flare.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Remedial actions: Vacuum trucks were deployed in attempt to capture the oil in the RCCU drainage system. Feed was immediately diverted from the unit. Flow into the main fractionator column was minimized while isolations were being made to the slurry circulation system. VSERT was activated to make positive isolation of the leak. Concerning recurrence prevention, Motiva's incident investigations group is investigation the incident and recommendations will be addressed.
0
80785

2005-07-25
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN #9-84)
Cause: An overhead analyzer and a differential pressure meter that normally monitor and control the propylene producing column were out of service for maintenance and inspection. Without these two indicators operations could not effectively tell if the column was operating properly. The production of unspecified product led to flaring. Flaring by GO-1 at Motiva's West Operations Ground Flare occurred due to Shell Chemical's GO-1 operations being asked to discontinue sending material to OL-5 until the process was back in control.

Followup: No

Notes: Called in by telephone on 07/25/2005 by Shell Chemical. Remedial actions: Material was flared at the West Ops Ground flare. Motiva maintains they were not in control of the incident and that a follow up letter was sent by Shell Chemical.
8.0 pounds
80320

2005-07-06
Coker, HCU, West Op Ground flares
Cause: Power failures due to weather (Tropical Storm Cindy) caused various releases from Motiva sources; led to total loss of electrical instrument air compressors and the loss of several steam boilers that caused the shutdown of the HCU and RCCU process units. A voltage sag caused the Coker processor to shut down which resulted in a flaring event.

Followup: No

Notes: Motiva claims that this was not preventable because of the unforeseeable weather conditions.
3.0 pounds
79812

2005-06-14

Shell Chemical GO-1 Processing Unit, GO-1 elevated flare
Cause: Entergy was in the process of performing a periodic maintenance on relays at the Norco Substation. A relay tip occurred at the Norco Substation unexpectedly. The power outage resulted in the shutdown of two compressors in the Shell Chemical GO-1 Process Unit, resulting in flaring of process gases at the GO-1 Elevated Flare.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Operations personnel took immediate corrective actions to minimize the level of emissions; process gases were flared at West Op Ground flare until the compressors re-started and the G0-1 process units were back under control; Motiva maintained that the incident was not under their control, rather the control of Shell Chemical and Louisiana Holdings LLP
1.0 pounds
76388

2005-01-23
Hydrocracker unit
Cause: Flame and pilots failed on the hydrocracker flare during unit decontamination.

Followup: Yes

Notes: The flare was relit and the unit was returned to normal operation.
No LDEQ Reported

2005-01-03
Tank w-406 (EPN #1086-95)
Cause: No information given

Followup: Yes

Notes: Data gathering and calculations ongoing. Follow-up letter promised.
92925

2006-12-28
West Ops Ground Flare FG-201 (EPN #9-84)
Cause: Flaring due to an unexpected shutdown of a propylene refrigerant compressor in Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process Unit. Shutdown in Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process Unit was due to a high vibration alarm. The compressor is designed to shutdown when it experiences high vibration to prevent damage to the compressor.

Followup: Yes

Notes: GO-1 operations immediately restarted the compressor, but the process unit upset resulting from the shutdown led to flaring at the West Operations Ground Flare. GO-1 operations made adjustments to safely return the process unit to normal conditions. Flaring continued as needed until the unit returned to normal conditions.
21.0 pounds
92470

2006-12-07
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN# 9-84)
Cause: Flaring at West Ops Ground Flare (EPN #9-84) occurred due to a shut down and start up of GO-1 Process Unit to repair a leaking heat exchanger.

Followup: No

Notes: Letter states that emissions were BRQ. Emission point was from Motiva Norco's flares. However, the root cause of the accident occurred in Shell Chemical Plant.
92393

2006-12-02

RGHT Unit
Cause: Release was due to leaking flange on exchanger E-8110B during normal operating conditions.

Followup: No

Notes: No information given.
0.0 pounds
92253

2006-11-25

Cause: Verbal notification on 11/25/06 states flaring was due to starting Motiva Norco unit up from a turn around.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Verbal notification on 11/25/06 states that intermittent flaring occurred from both coker FE-401 and Utilities East flare FE-501, both of which are elevated flares.
91490

2006-10-18
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN# 9-84)
Cause: Shell Chemical's Boiler #7 shutdown unexpectedly due to a tube failure. As a result, several production units has to shutdown to safely stabilize the steam system. The Shell Chemical GO-1 Process Unit had to shutdown the process gas compressor as a result of the boiler shutdown. The shutdown of the process gas compressor resulted in flaring at the Motiva West Operations Ground Flare.

Followup: No

Notes: Process gases were flared a the West Operation Ground Glare at Motiva until the GO-1 compressor at Shell Chemical was restarted and the processes under control.
2.3 pounds
91094

2006-10-03
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN# 9-84)
Cause: An unexpected shutdown of two process compressors at Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process Unit caused flaring at Motiva's West Operations Ground Flare (EPN #9-84).

Followup: No

Notes: Flaring was not continuous throughout start and end dates.
1.3 pounds
91050

2006-10-02
Coker Flare FE-401 (EPN 2-84)
No iCoker Flare FE-401 (EPN 2-84)nformation given
Cause: Flaring resulted from the 3/4" drain line on the case of pump P-1983 breaking off while decon piping was being installed, causing the Coker Unit to be shutdown. Flushing oil was released from the pump casing to secondary containment but there was no release outside of the containment or to soil or water.

Followup: Yes

Notes: The Coker Unit was shut down and PV-901 depressured to reduce leaking while pump was isolated. Further corrective actions are being reviewed by Motiva Enterprises' legal department.
0.4 pounds
90114

2006-08-20
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN# 9-84)
Cause: Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process Unit experienced an exchanger leak, which led to a process unit shutdown and startup in order to complete repairs. GO-1's DEAD treater was also upset. This led to flaring at the Motiva West Operations Ground Flare.

Followup: No

Notes: Process gases were flared at the Motiva West Ops Ground Flare until the GO-1 process unit was restarted and under control. No further remedial actions; the incident was not under the control of Motiva. Flaring was not continuous throughout the start and end dates. The West Ops Ground Flare is owned and operated by Motiva Enterprises, LLC. SCOGI Louisiana Holdings LLC and Shell Chemical LP are the owner and operator of the GO-1 process unit.
151.0 pounds
90100

2006-08-19
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN# 9-84)
Cause: Incident due to an upset at Shell Chemical's GO-1 process unit.

Followup: No

Notes: Letter states that no RQ's were exceeded. Little info given regarding cause and duration.
2.0 pounds
89783

2006-08-06
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN# 9-84)
Cause: Incident due to an upset at Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process Unit that led to an increase in pressure of the pyro-fract column. The increased pressure led to the opening of a relief device used to protect the column. Some of the material from the relief device was flared at the Motiva West Operations Ground Flare.

Followup: No

Notes: Process gases were flared at the West Ops Ground Flare until Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process Unit was under control. The incident was not under the control of Motiva Enterprises, LLC.
0.6 pounds
89388

2006-07-19
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN# 9-84)
Cause: Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process Unit experienced a process upset caused by instrument issues. A severe thunderstorm resulted in lightning strike causing several instrument to malfunction, leading to the upset. This process upset led to flaring at the Motiva West Operations Ground Flare. After mitigating the issues caused by the lightning strike, a malfunctioning level transmitter on the dry gas compressor second stage suction drum caused a compressor shutdown, leading to additional flaring at the Motiva West Operations Ground Flare.

Followup: No

Notes: Process gases were flared at the West Operations Ground Flare until Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process Unit was under control. Flaring was not continuous throughout the start and end dates. The West Ops Ground Flare is owned and operated by Motiva Enterprises, LLC. SCOGI Louisiana Holdings LLC and Shell Chemical LP are the owner and operator, respectively, of the GO-1 process unit.
1.0 pounds
88879

2006-06-24
Subsurface pipeline
Cause: A previously unidentified area of external corrosion on a 20" sub-surface pipeline failed during the unloading of a shipment of crude oil, resulting in hydrocarbons escaping to the surrounding soil.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Operations immediately halted off-loading activities, isolated the line through the use of existing valves, called out additional personnel to begin containment, clean up and repair operations and notified the Norco Site Supervisor. Vacuum trucks were utilized to recover all standing liquids following the release as well as during de-inventorying of the line. Once the line was de-inventoried and prepped, an external weld clamp was installed over the isolated area of corrosion. After removal of the liquid hydrocarbon was completed, excavation of visually stained soils was initiated. The line will be excavated and inspected on a five-year interval. During the release only the near-surface soils and those directly adjacent to the leak were affected. There was no evidence of pollution migration. A copy of the PSI Investigation report is attached in PDF.
10.3 pounds
88507

2006-06-10
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN# 9-84)
Cause: Incident due to a process upset at Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process Unit caused by an unexpected shutdown of a process gas compressor.

Followup: No

Notes: No remedial actions; the incident was not under the control of Motiva Enterprises, LLC.
12.0 pounds
88170

2006-05-26
GO-1 Process Unit ; West Ops Ground Flare (EPN 9-84)
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN 9-84)
Cause: Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process Unit experienced a small pipe leak on a line at the base of a process vessel. The leak developed during an online abrasive blasting job. In order to relieve pressure on this line, operations had to reduce rates at the GO-1 process unit. The reduction of rates caused flaring at Motiva's West Operations Ground Flare (EPN 9-84).

Followup: No

Notes: Shell Chemical installed a clamp to stop the leak then returned operations to normal conditions.
14.0 pounds
87231

2006-04-17
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN# 9-84)
Cause: A power outage caused a process upset at the Shell Chemical facility. This resulted in flaring at Motiva's West Operations Ground Flare.

Followup: No

Notes: No remedial actions; the incident was not under the control of Motiva Enterprises, LLC.
2.0 pounds
87192

2006-04-14
Unspecified light olefin line
Cause: An open bleeder valve was discovered during the commissioning of a 6" light olefin line, resulting in hydrocarbons escaping to the soil.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Operations closed the bleeder valve and notified the Site Supervisor. Vacuum trucks were deployed and contaminated soils were removed. The findings of the investigation were dispersed throughout operations via shift meetings and operational procedures were reviewed. The operator found to be at fault was individually met with and reprimanded by business area management.
0.0 pounds
86806

2006-03-28
HCU ATM RV-1177
HCU Flare (EPN 4-84)
Multiple
Cause: The 13.8 breaker providing power to MCC #1,2,3 in the HUC switchgear opened, resulting in a complete unit shutdown.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Once the unit was completely shutdown, the problem was identified, the breaker was put in the correct position, and unit restarted. Concerning remedial actions, Motiva plans to include key points of policy addressing switchgear access/hazard in Safety Ba'You meetings and to verify/include switchgear access/hazards in contractor site orientation. Point sources for released VOC's and Hexane are the HCU Flare (EPN 4-84) and the HCU ATM RV-1177.
58.0 pounds
85967

2006-02-21
DU-5 Unit
Cause: An atmospheric leak of light naphtha gasoline material was identified in Motiva's Distilling unit due to a piping failure on the crude column overhead line. Initially, operations personnel identified the line dripping in two locations, and vaporizing before reaching grade.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Operations developed a plan to safely remove insulation so that the leak could be stopped. Operations installed barricade tape around affected area and monitored the leak for benzene. A catch tray was fabricated and mounted directly to the crude overhead piping to contain atmospheric emissions while the associated insulation was removed from the crude overhead line. Once the insulation was removed, a pipe clamp was installed to permanently stoped the leak. The overhead piping will be replaced during the next unit turnaround in October 2006.
1,532.0 pounds
101464

2007-12-05

Cause: Leak in pipeline--slop oil header at a point of external corrosion.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Motiva emergency personnel immediately cut feed to reduce pipe flow. Vacuum trucks removed slop oil from ground. Motiva personnel clamped the 4" metal pipe 10" above ground level. Slop oil pickup transported to slop oil Tank 409. Impacted soil removed and disposed of at industrial landfill site. Quantity of slop oil released is initially reported to be 3 barrels (126 gallons). The follow-up report claims that the amount of slop oil released was 0.91 barrels (38.33 gallons).
0.2 pounds
100426

2007-10-23
tank F-493
Cause: Heavy rains caused excessive rainwater weight on roof of tank F-493, causing naphtha to leak out via the roof drains into diked area around the tank. Tank F-509, which shares the containment dike with F-493, had to have its tank dike valve opened to prevent flooding, causing surface water to contact area around F-493 and then escape to the effluent conveyance system. Facility was forced to bypass the stormwater impoundment basin to avoid flooding of the site and the released naphtha then migrated offsite through outfall 006. DEQ interview form states area could not be entered on the first day because of high benzene levels.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Operations immediately closed the roof drain valve of tank F-493, notified the Norco Site Supervisor, and called out additional personnel to begin containment and clean up. Fence line monitoring was initiated to monitor potential off-site impacts upon identification of material migration off-site. Vacuum trucks and absorbent pads were utilized to recover all standing liquid hydrocarbon following the release. Used waste pads were packaged in 55-gallon drums and disposed of off-site at the Phillips Reclamation Facility. Liquid phase material was recovered via the facility's slop oil system. To prevent recurrence, the roof drain will be up-sized during the next scheduled turnaround to 6" from the current 4" configuration to ensure unhindered migration of rainwater from the roof to the dike area. Tank dike draining procedures were reinforced with operations via shift meetings. The 15 gallons of Naphtha that migrated off site through Outfall 006 was collected in the stilling basin upstream of the St. Charles Parish Bayou Trepagnier Pump Station via absorbent material and pads which were once again packaged in 55-gallon drums and disposed of off-site at Phillips Reclamation Facility. Personnel involved in the incident regarding the migration of 15 gallons of Naphtha off site were led through discussions to avoid future recurrence. The findings of the investigation were dispersed throughout operations via shift meetings and Shift Core Team Leaders.
151.1 pounds
100173

2007-10-14
pipe in dewatering system
Cause: A 1/2" diameter previously unidentified area of external corrosion on a 6" sub-surface crude water draw line failed during normal operations.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Operations immediately isolated the line through the use of existing valves, called out additional personnel to begin containment, clean up, and repair operations and notified the Norco Site Supervisor. Vacuum trucks were utilized to recover all standing liquids. After removal of the liquid hydrocarbon was completed, excavation of visually stained soils was initiated. An external clamp has been installed on the line and the repair area re-coated to prevent additional corrosion. A project has been initiated to relocated this water draw piping above ground.
8.7 pounds
97930

2007-07-17
Heat exchanger piping on DU-5 unit
Cause: An "off-spec" section of piping failed and leaked while operators were putting a heat exchanger into service on the DU-5 unit.

Followup: Yes

Notes: No information given.
93241

2007-01-12
Hydrocracker Unit
Cause: Release of benzene, hydrogen sulfide, hexane, and VOC's due to a relief valve release to the atmospheric vent.

Followup: Yes

Notes: No information given regarding remedial actions.
103758

2008-03-08
Tank F-455 rundown line
Cause: A leaking flange on the rundown line of tank F-455 was discovered during refill operations.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Operations personnel halted product transfer, tightened the flange to stop the release, called out additional personnel to begin containment and vapor suppression foaming, began clean up operations, and notified the Norco Site Supervisor. All material released to the ground was picked up via vacuum trucks and stored in fractionation tanks to facilitate source control sampling. All hydrocarbon impacted soil was excavated and disposed of in Motiva's on-site landfill. Regarding remedial actions, each tank within the logistics organization will be evaluated on a case-by-case frequency to determine the need to excavate rundown lines during scheduled tank turnaround activities. The work scope of the tank turnaround process will be revised to include excavation and inspection of all flanges and to include flange make-up requirements that ensure an adequate seal is maintained at the flange interface.
25.5 pounds
102827

2008-02-04
Tank F0458 floating roof
Cause: An air bubble was trapped in a feed line from a recent line flushing, causing material to escaped through the seal on the floating roof of tank F-458.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Lines feeding the tank were immediately shut down and the material was pumped into the tank for recovery.
119992

2009-12-08
compressor
Cause: The chemicals Benzene, H2S, Volatile organic compounds and Nitrogen Oxides were released after two compressors tripped due to an electrical breaker trip. no information given on amounts.

Followup: No

Notes: No remedial action was provided as to how the electrical breaker was fixed and release of chemicals were stopped. Verbal report only, no written report from the refinery.
115844

2009-06-20
Coker Flare
Cause: There was an operational upset with the wet gas compressor at the Coker Fractionator that resulted in the opening of the unit's pressure control valve. The opening of this valve allowed emissions to be sent to the Coker Flare thus allow several compound to be released into the air.

Followup: Yes

Notes: after immediate response the problem was troubleshooted. In the end, the high level increase in the overhead accumulator of the Coke Incinerator was corrected and operations returned to normal conditions
115263

2009-05-27
Cat Cracker debutanizer column
Cause: States that there was a problem with the Cat Cracker Debutanizer column. Propylene, butylene, Benzene, SO2, and H2S were released...there was no cause listed as to how these chemicals were released

Followup: No

Notes: There were no remedial actions listed as to how the problem was corrected with the Cat Cracker and no mention as to how the release of these chemicals were stopped. Verbal report only, no letter from the refinery.
114879

2009-05-12
plug from a line
Cause: during a maintenance operations a plug was blown from its line due to high water pressure levels. This in turn caused the plug to break free and allow the sour water (containing benzene) to be released

Followup: No

Notes: There was not an official verification of what was carried out to remediate the problem. It was noted that vacuum trucks might have been able to handle the spill and that a new valve would be inserted to close off the line and stop the leak. Because the release spilled onto the concrete containment where the PPI separator is, that unit was blocked off.
113913

2009-04-02
3-inch de-watering hose line
Cause: After de-watering a RU gasoline take (F-456) and 2 crude oil tanks (A-413 and A-416) it was noticed that there was a leak coming from a 3 inch de-watering hose. This leak was linked to a corrosion in that 3-inch de-watering line. As a result of the incident, both crude oil and benzene vapor were released

Followup: Yes

Notes: the corroding line was isolated and clamped while booms were put in the ditch as a way to prevent further migration of the released material. A pumper truck was used to recover the compounds released, and these compounds were discharged into the refineries slop oil system. contaminated soil was disposed of sent to an on-site landfill. Waste water that was contaminated received full treatment before being discharged
128035

2010-12-08
FLARE: Coker WGC (K-2178), Coker Flare (EPN 2-84)
Cause: Refinery letter states that Motiva experienced a flaring release caused by an unexpected shutdown of the Coker Wet Gas compressor due to power loss. Power loss is attributed to fault in MCC breaker and 4160V buss.

Followup: No

Notes: RQ. Coker Unit shutdown and restarted when flaring stopped. Re-evaluated relay settings and adjusted as needed to reduce potential for future trips.
3.5 pounds
127976

2010-12-03
FLARE: S-2 & S-3 Sulfur units; Coker flare (FE-401), Shell Go-1 & OL-5 Flares
FLARE:Shell Go-1 & OL-5 Flares
Cause: Motiva's S-2 and S-3 sulfur plants tripped offline while analyzer FI-3677 was being calibrated. During analyzer calibration, air flow was reduced, initiating shutdown of S-2. Acid gas was diverted through to S-3 and pushed into gas knock out drum resulting in shut down of S-3. Acid gas was routed to Coker Flare and Shell's Go-1 flare. Shared incident with SHELL CHEMICAL LP. Emissions included flaring from both facilities.

Followup: Yes

Notes: RQ. Sulfur plants were restarted, operating procedures for safely calibrating instruments will be developed and included in operations training program, training conducted for personnel. Calculations provided confirm that the reportable quantity for sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter was exceeded.
0.1 pounds
127866

2010-11-27
FLARE: West Ops Ground Flare [EPN 9-84]
Cause: Refinery letter states that "Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process unit experienced an upset when the feed to the unit furnaces was unexpectantly shut off. This process led to flaring at the Motiva's West Operations Ground Flare." SHARED INCIDENT WITH SHELL CHEMICAL PLANT. Separate report will be filed for Shell LP Norco Chemical Plant-East Site will be submitted. FLARE.

Followup: Yes

Notes: BRQ. Follow-up reports states that no reportable quantities or permit limits were exceeded. No Information Given regarding remedial actions. Refinery letter states that this information will be included in the Shell Chemical incident report.
125564

2010-08-10
DU-5 Naptha Stripper Reboiler [E-1004]
Cause: A leak in the weld of a pipping elbow of the DU-5 Naptha Stripper Reboiler caused by internal corrosion on the reboiler.

Followup: Yes

Notes: RQ. Reportable quantities were exceeded for 8 chemicals including Ethane, Methane, Toulene, and n-Hexane. Refinery report states that "immediately following discovery of the leak, the site's emergency response team was activated and the naphtha stripper was blocked in and depressurized."
3.3 pounds
125532

2010-08-09
FLARE: HCU elevated flare (EPN 4-84)
Cause: The HCU elevated flare (EPN 4-84) released Benzene, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, toluene, and VOC due to a faulty regulator and an orifice tee which was incorrectly installed by the manufacturer and also a faulty nitrogen regulator supplying the system. SECONDARY CAUSE: noted as equipment failure. FLARE.

Followup: No

Notes: RQ. Refinery later states that reportable quantities were exceeded for benzene. Both the relief valve and the nitrogen regulator were removed from service and repaired. When repaired, they were reinstalled and returned to service.
0.3 pounds
124892

2010-07-16
FLARE: Hydrocracker Unit - relief valve
Cause: Report states that a relief valve on the hydrocracker unit failed causing the release. Valve was found to be improperly assembled by the manufacturer...

Followup: No

Notes: BRQ. Report states that "the valve was repaired on site by Motiva technicians and put back in service. No reportable quantities were exceeded as a result of this release."
124186

2010-06-15
Wharf Berth 1: high sulfur light product line
Cause: LDEQ report states, "Motiva reported a leaking high sulfur light product line at the wharf that released approximately six barrels of naptha to the Mississippi River. Leak was caused by external corrosion, and two contributing factors were identified. First, the line was found to be in contact with the insulation of adjacent piping, causing water accumulation between the lines. Additionally, inadequate coating was discovered on the blistered section of piping." A total of 1,748 pounds of chemicals were released to the air.

Followup: No

Notes: RQ. LDEQ report states that "Motiva took the following measures to prevent reoccurrence of this incident: the blistered section of piping will be replaced so it does not contact near-by equipment and the new line will be adequately coated to protect from external corrosion. Motiva has determined that the release was preventable. This incident is an area of concern with regards to LAC 33:III.905 and LAC 33:IX.501.D."
59.0 pounds
123327

2010-05-08
FLARE: HCU elevated Flare (EPN-4-84)
Cause: "Motiva CR-2 recycle gas compressor (K-2057) tripped due to an expected high level in the CR-2 product separator vessel, which subsequently tripped the CR-2 process unit. A sudden increase in the level in the CR-2 product separator occurred while Motiva operators were placing exchangers (E-1243/44/45) back in service." This subsequently caused the HCU elevated Flare (EPN-4-84) to release naphtha-cyclohexane, ethylbenzene, napthalene,hydrotreated heavy naphtha, hexane, toluene, xylene. FLARE.

Followup: Yes

Notes: BRQ. The refinery letter states that no reportable quantities were exceeded during this incident.
123043

2010-04-25
FLARE - HCU elevated flare
Cause: FLARE. FIRE. Power failure caused rapid shutdown of Hydrocracking Unit due to a valve failure. Moisture had accumulated causing corrosion on the wiring and connections. During troubleshooting, hydroprocessing exchanger E-1057 bottom head caught fire. Fire extinguished with water, no injuries.

Followup: No

Notes: BRQ. No RQs exceeded but did exceed max lb per hour permit limit for SO2. Process unit restarted and conditions returned to normal. Wiring, connector block, and seal repaired to prevent moisture from causing further corrosion.
122119

2010-03-13
HCU absorber surge drum PV-829
HCU oil absorber surge drum PV-829
Cause: Operator on rounds discovered stain on nozzle bottle of vessel of hydrocracking unit. Plug missing, visible vapors, and there is a quarter inch hole leaking.

Followup: No

Notes: BRQ. Refinery letter states that "final calculations confirm that no reportable quantities were exceeded." Steam lanced the leak initially, then got advice from piping inspectors for leak repair. Repaired with nipple and isolation valve with cap.
121815

2010-03-01
FLARE - Shell's GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90)
Cause: LDEQ report states, "cat cracker tripped due to main air blower problems." Refinery letter states there was an unexpected shutdown of Motiva's RCCU Process Unit; had to flare dry gas being fed to Shell's GO-1 Process Unity to meet specifications to prevent further contamination to GO-1 and need for additional flaring. FLARE.

Followup: No

Notes: RQ. Reportable quantities exceeded. File includes letters from both Motiva and Shell Chemical. Motiva letter dated 3/8/2010 references submitting a follow-up within 60 day and Shell letter references "a separate letter from Motiva dated 4/28/10," but follow-up letter from Motiva is not included in file.
121572

2010-02-17
FLARE - HCU Elevated Flare [EPN4-84], Relief Valve [RV1178 & RV1204]
Cause: Loss of electrical breaker powering most of the large motors in the hydrocracking unit caused two columns to "release to atmosphere;" RV-1178 on the Rectified Absorber Column for 30secs, RV-1204 on the Caustic Water Wash column "momentarily." FLARE.

Followup: Yes

Notes: BRQ. Refinery Follow-up Letter states "final calculations confirm that no reportable quantities were exceeded as a result of this release." Breaker loss discovered & repaired, operations returned to normal.
121003

2010-01-22
DU5 Unit
Cause: LDEQ field report states that incident involved a fire and heavy gas oil leak in the DU5 Unit. Resulted in shut down of DU5, SATS, and DIH units. FIRE. LDEQ report states that "facility failed to perform operating procedures to prevent or reduce air pollution as required by LAC 33:III:905 A.

Followup: Yes

Notes: RQ. Reportable quantity for particulate matter and CO were exceeded. LDEQ field report states that according to facility personnel perimeter air monitoring at time of fire was conducted and indicated no off-site impact. As of 1/23/10 approximately 12,000 gallons of skimmed material [oil & water] had been collected. FOLLOW-UP: Resulted in emergency condition. Fire was extinguished. Vacuum trucks and boom deployed to contain spill and firefighting fluid. Soil excavated and transported to landfill.
5.0 pounds
134290

2011-09-29
Coker Flare FE-401
Cause: While starting the Coker Jet Pump on 9/29/11 at 6:45pm, the electrical breaker at Motiva's Coking Unit tripped de-energizing the Motor Control Center. Consequently, the Coker Wet Gas Compressor tripped offline therefore resulting in unit flaring and operating in hot circulation mode. Hot circulation mode is an operating mode in which the unit recycles feed at high temperatures. This mode of operation lessens the amount of flaring in comparison to a complete unit shutdown. The initial inspection of the Jet Pump revealed that the auto-transformer serving as a soft start for this pump had failed causing the electrical breaker to trip open. Once repairs were completed, the Coker Unit was safely re-started and flaring stopped.

Followup: No

Notes: Immediately, Operations placed the furnace F-125 in hot steam standby and brought the Coker Unit into hot circulation mode to prevent additional flaring of non treated gas. Norco maintenance personnel were called out to troubleshoot the trip of the Coker Wet Gas Compressor and related equipment. The auto-transformer was removed from the circuit. Relay coordination was modified in order to protect the new circuit. After troubleshooting, maintenance personnel determined that operations could safely re-start the Coker Process Unit. During this time the Coker Wet Gas Compressor was restarted and flaring stopped. By 12/31/11 a study will be completed to determine whether the auto-transformer can be permanently removed from the system. After this study is completed, a strategy will be created to address the required changes. This action will be completed by 3/31/12. Calculations confirm that the reportable quantity for sulfur dioxide was exceeded as well as the permitted maximum pound per hour emission limits for carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, VOC's, 1,3 butadiene, and benzene as a result of the release.
4.4 pounds
133050

2011-08-05
Hydrocrakcer unit
Cause: The Hydrocracker unit shutdown due to an electrical failure of the motor on P-1940, the charge pump of the 2nd stage of the Hydrocracker Unit. EPN 4-84 and FE-301

Followup: Yes

Notes: Operations shutdown and secured the 1st and 2nd stages of the Hydrocracker. A temporary onsite replacement motor for P-1940 was used to restore power to the motor control center to support HCU restart.
17.1 pounds
132917

2011-08-05
GO-1 Process Unit to West Ops Ground Flare (EPN 9-84)
Cause: The GO-1 Process Unit experienced a unit upset due to the over-pressuring of a column. This process upset led to flaring at Motiva's West Operations Ground Flare.

Followup: No

Notes: There were no remedial actions listed in the report.
No LDEQ Reported

2011-08-05
NIG
Cause: The Hydrocracker Unit shut down due to an electrical failure of the motor on P-1940. the charge pump of the 2nd stage of the Hydrocracker Unit.

Followup: No

Notes: After final calculation, 12.7 pounds of benzene was released, and it is confirmed the the reportable quantity was exceeded. This incident will be referred to the Enforcement Division. LABB only has access to the LDEQ Field Interview Form.
12.7 pounds
132873

2011-08-03
Cat Cracker
Cause: While restarting the cat cracker until, materials flared

Followup:

Notes: No refinery letter.
132264

2011-07-08
9-84 (West Operations Ground Flare, FG-201)
Cause: On July 8, 2011 Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process Unit experienced a unit upset due to issues with re-boilers. This process upset led to flaring at the Motiva's West Operations Ground Flare (EPN 9-84).

Followup: No

Notes: The Go-1 Process unit was safely returned to normal operating conditions. Corrective actions to prevent reoccurrence will be addressed in a separate letter from Shell Chemical.
31.6 pounds
130906

2011-04-28
HCU Elevated Flare (EPN 4-84)
Cause: On April 28, 2011 at 0717, Motiva's Hydrogen Unit experienced a release to the atmosphere from a loss of pilot flame at HCU Elevated Flare (EPN 4-84). Prior to the release, Motiva's Hydrogen Unit was in the process of restarting the unit after a planned maintenance activity. As part of the unit re-start procedure, operators are required to purge process vessels with steam and nitrogen to the HCU flare header in order to remove any excess oxygen that may have been entrained in the process vessels and/or piping as a result of maintenance activities. Following an investigation of this incident, Motiva has determined that steam was introduced into the Hydrogen plant process too quickly, causing a spike in nitrogen to the HCU flare which extinguished the flare pilots for approximately 6 minutes.

Followup: No

Notes: Operations responded immediately to the pilot loss alarm by reducing the steam rate to the flare header and re-lighting the flare pilots. In order to prevent a similar incident in the future, a step will be added to the unit startup procedure to slowly increase the steam purge rate in 50lb increments and hold each rate constant for 30 minutes before increasing to the next flow rate.
129817

2011-03-11
GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN1-90)
Cause: Faulty Positioner ina control valve caused high levels in a suction drum. This caused the PGC to shutdown. The control valve was tested and returned to service. On March 11, 2011, the Process Gas Compressor (PGC) shutdown due to a high level indication in the fourth stage suction drum. The PGC is designed to shutdown under this condition to protect the compressor. Flaring occurred at the GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN1-90) as a result of the PGC shutdown. Additional flaring as a result of this upset also occurred at Motiva's West Operation Ground Flare and will be addressed in a separate letter.

Followup: No

Notes: The PGC was checked and secured by operations. Feed reductions to the unit were made to minimize flaring while repairs to the PGC were made. After investigating the system, a faulty positioner in a control valve was identified as the cause of the high level in the suction drum that led to the PGC shutdown. Maintenance personnel replaced the positioner and the control valve was tested and placed back in service. The PGC was safely returned to normal operating conditions. Once the GO-1 Process Unit was returned to normal operating conditions the flaring was stopped. An alarm point will be installed to give operations an indication that the control valve is not functioning properly and allow for maintenance inspection prior to failure.
782.1 pounds
129562

2011-03-01
Coker Flare (EPN 2-84)
Cause: On March 1, 2011, at approximately 1003 hours, Motiva operations initiated a shutdown of the Coker process unit due to a bearing failure on the Coker Inner Stage Cooling Fans (B-2369 & B-2370). This shutdown resulted in flaring at the Coker Elevated Flare (EPN2-84). The unit was safely shut down in a controlled manner utilizing all operational and safety procedures. Additionally, dry gas vent samples were taken prior to shutting down the Coker Wet Gas Compressor (K-2178) to confirm that minimal emissions were sent to the Coker Flare (EPN2-84).

Followup: Yes

Notes: The unit was safely shut down in a controlled manner utilizing all operational and safety procedures. No additional information.
129239

2011-02-13
HCU relief valve (RV-1178)
Cause: Release caused by a loss of separation in the High Pressure Separator which caused a relief valve to release. HCU relief valve (RV-1178) relieved to atmosphere due to a loss of product separation in PV-816 (HCU High Pressure Seperator). Rectified Absorber Column (PV-822) pressure built and was relieved by opening to the atmosphere.

Followup:

Notes: BRQ. Letter is predated by several months and appears to be a form. Data is accurate to the event and signed on the 17th of february.
145652

2012-12-30
Naphtha vapor return line DU-5 process unit
Cause: On December 30, 2012 a leak was discovered in a naphtha vapor line in the DU-5 Process Unit. The leak was from a pinhole that developed in a weld on the line. The leak on a vapor control line resulted in the release of 1, 3 butadiene and benzene.

Followup: No

Notes: The vapor return line was immediately isolated and a nitrogen purge was established. Plans have been developed to complete repairs to the line before the line is safely returned to service. They initially reported over 10 lbs of both Butadiene and benzene being released. Motiva later reported that no reportable quantities were exceeded.
143684

2012-10-09
Hose from the frac tank
Cause: At 10:01 on October 9, 2012 Motiva Site Supervisor received a call of an odor around the SBA area. After responding to the issue, it was discovered that the odor was coming from the VAT sump. A contractor was in the process of removing material from one of the four frac tanks that were staged in preparation for Hurricane Issac to collect excess oil and water during the storm. During the storm material containing high benzene was mistakenly put into the frac tank. When the contractor disconnected the hose from the frac tank that was labeled oil and water, the material remaining in the hose spilled onto the pavement. The contractor attempted to wash the area, which in turn washed the material into the VAT collection sump.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Industrial Hygiene (IH) and ERT were contacted due to an odor in the area and high levels of benzene were detected. The area were secured and under fresh air, clean up efforts were immediately implemented. To prevent any further release of hydrocarbons, the VAT collection sump was immediately blocked in and the material was pumped into a frac tank. The VAT collection sump was water washed, pumped to a frac tank and cleaned. Air testing was performed and the benzene levels were below the limit. Liquids were recovered and returned to the frac tank. No soils were contaminated. Material that evaporated during the release and recovery operation was released to atmosphere and dispersed naturally. The following requirements were adopted to prevent reoccurence: A MSDS is required before any material can be removed by contractors; Procedures have been updated and include a tracking sheet for all loads. Motiva has no current knowledge of pollution migration as free product was contained to the VAT collection sump and recovered to a frac tank. Motiva exceeded the reportable quantity for benzene.
21.1 pounds
142429

2012-08-28
multiple
Cause: Motiva Enterprises LLC, Norco Refinery is providing a preliminary report for a verbal notification on August 28, 2012 at 1854 hours of a release of 1,3 butadiene, benzene, carbon dioxide, ethylene, flammable gas, hexane, methane, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, propylene and sulfur dioxide from flaring and potential releases to atmosphere from the unexpected shutdown and restart of the site before and during inclement weather due to landfall of Hurricane Isaac. On August 28, 2012, Shell Chemical Norco Site operation was adversely affected by inclement weather due to the landfall of Hurricane Isaac. Several of Shell's Units were un-expectantly shutdown due to safety concerns associated with operating in the weather conditions brought on by the landfall of Hurricane Isaac. All materials were released lo the atmosphere from the associated flare's, and dispersed naturally.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Recovery and preparations for a safe re-start of the site is ongoing (Notification on September 4th). Data gathering to perform calculations and investigation are ongoing. Motiva will provide an update within 60 days as required by LAC 33:1 3925.A.3. The updates were each a word for word copy of the original written notification letter from Motiva. There were also duplicate letters printed on the Shell Chemical letterhead that contained all of the same details from the Motiva reports. At this time (May 22 2013) LDEQ is still processing the update that they claim will have final calculations from their investigation. February 20, 2013 is the most recent follow-up that LABB was able to find (Update May 2013 - we requested the final summary report from LDEQ and received this final report that was published April 25th, 2013). The final report lists completely different pollutants than the list that was being reported in prior written notifications. These inconsistencies are not addressed in the report. Final summary report from Shell chemical 4/25/2013: Shell Chemical operations look the necessary steps to safely shut units down and minimize emissions resulting from the weather associated with Hurricane Isaac. Operations assessed damages, made repairs to equipment and safely return process units to normal operating conditions. RCCU at Motiva Enterprises (from final summary letter dated april 25 2012) On August 29, 2012, Motiva's Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit (RCCU) initiated a shutdown of the process unit due to inclement weather associated with Hurricane Isaac making landfall. During this time, the RCCU experienced an unexpected loss of flare pilot indication at the RCCU Elevated Flare, and a loss of pilot indication on the RCCU CO Heater due to hurricane force winds. An inadvertent catalyst leak developed during this time on level indicator Ll1548. Subsequently, the pH control on the circulation water for the RCCU Flue Gas Scrubber was lost at this time. The reportable quantities for volatile organic compounds and particulate matter were exceeded during this time. Additional details on reportable quantity and permit limit exceedences are listed in the following tables of this report. (also from April 25th report) Shell Chemical Venting to Motiva West Operations Ground Flare On August 29, 2012, Shell Chemical's G0-1 Process Unit flared at Motiva's West Operations Ground Flare due to shutdown and startup activities due to adverse weather conditions associated with the landfall of Hurricane Isaac. Details of the flaring by Shell Chemical are addressed in a separate letter from Shell. A total of the VOCs is given, but report states certain VOCs (carbon dioxide, ethylene, flammable gas, methane, propylene) that do not have breakdown of individual amounts released anywhere. This event did not result in an emergency condition. There were no fatalities, injuries or road closures. Planning and review meetings were held, learning's will be executed in future weather related occurrences as appropriate.
1,993.6 pounds
141583

2012-07-27
Relief Valve at Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit
Cause: Motiva's Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit (RCCU) experienced a premature opening of a relief valve (RV) on the RCCU debutanizer column. The RCCU was operating under normal conditions at the time of the release, and operational data proves that the associated equipment did not reach the relief valve set point pressure to cause the RV to open. A contract pressure equipment company was called out to help identify any mechanical problems with the RV. Additionally, RCCU operations lowered the debutanizer column pressure 3psig aas a precautionary measure until troubleshooting efforts are completed. An update report was provided by Motiva on September 10, 2012.

Followup: Yes

Notes: A contract pressure equipment company was called out to help identify any mechanical problems with the RV. Additionally, RCCU operations lowered the debutanizer column pressure 3psig as a precautionary measure until troubleshooting efforts are completed. Upon investigation, the reportable quantity for flammable gas was exceeded in this release. 2189 pounds of flammable gas were were reported through the SPOC. The reportable quantity of flammable gas includes 1000 pounds. Refinery's attachment of listed pollutants released is too unfocused/fuzzy to read accurately.
140882

2012-06-28
Shell Chemical's GO-1 Elevated Flare and Motiva West Operations Ground Flare
Cause: There was an unexpected loss of a boiler, causing a steam load shed, causing a unit shutdown, which caused the flaring. There was flaring at both Shell Chemical's 1-90 GO-1 Elevated Flare FE-602 and Motiva West Operations Ground Flare. The unexpected loss of the boiler was a due to a loss of lube oil on the forced draft fan and broken linkage of the trip and throttle valve.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Calculations and investigations confirm that the reportable quantity for 1,3-Butadiene was exceeded during release from the flare. Maximum permitted limits were exceeded for 1,3-Butadiene and Hexane from the West Ops Ground Flare. Ethylene, PAHs, and sulfur dioxide were listed in the written reports as being released but do not have the amounts released in the Permitted Source Emissions tables.
726.9 pounds
139564

2012-05-08
OL-5 Elevated Flare, FE-101 (EPN 6-84); OL-5 Ground Flare, FG-101 (EPN 7-84)
RCCU CO Heater and Flue Gas Scrubber (EPN 2-91)
RCCU CO Heater and Flue Gas Scrubber (EPN 2-91); OL-5 Elevated Flare, FE-101 (EPN 6-84); OL-5 Ground Flare, FG-101 (EPN 7-84)
Cause: On May 8, 2012, the Motiva Enterprise's Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit (RCCU) was struck by lightning during a heavy rainstorm event resulting in an unforeseen shutdown of the RCCU CO Heater and Flue Gas Scrubber (EPN 2-91). Consequently, an Instrument Protective Function (IPF) associated with the CO Heater's force draft fans automatically tripped the system's main fuel gas burners to safely secure the heater as per design. Motiva operations then worked to stablize the RCCU process unit and assess the damages to the RCCU CO Heater resulting from the lightning strike. The causal analysis generated from the investigation of this incident revealed simultaneous alarms and IPF shutdowns for multiple pieces of equipment associated with the RCCU CO Heater during the time of the incident. A time stamp taken from the RCCU alarm summary noted that several pieces of equipment simultaneously shutdown at 5/8/2012 17:24:34. The pieces of equipment affected from this incident are listed below: CO Heater Forced Draft Fan Electric; CO Heater Forced Draft Fan Turbine; CO Heater Pilot Gas; RCCU Refrigeration Compressor Lube Oil; RCCU Main Air Blower Flow to Fluffing Rings; RCCU Cooling Water Pump Lube Oil Systems. The data proved that the signals initiating the multiple trips were not generated by the processes themselves, but by a non-process related influence. The investigation team determined that a bolt of lightning struck somewhere in close proximity of the junction boxes for the different pieces of equipment near the RCCU CO Heater. Consequently, this caused an inadvertent energy pulse to either stop current on the analog systems, or provide enough voltage to energize the trip signal and shutdown the equipment listed above. On May 8, 2012, Shell Chemical's OL-5 Process Unit experienced an unexpected shutdown of the OL-5 Process Gas Compressor (PGC) due to weather conditions which led to flaring at the OL-5 Elevated and Ground Flares. Weather conditions in the area caused issues in a Motiva Unit leading to a curtailment of the sites steam supply. As per site load shedding policies OL-5 was instructed to shut down the PGC which is a consumer of steam.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Motiva: The RCCU initiated a unit shutdown in a controlled manner following all operating and safety procedures in order to minimize excess emissions to the atmosphere. As part of the initial shutdown procedure, operating rates were reduced significantly leading up the unit showdown. Simultaneously, a maintenance work plan was developed and executed in a effort to re-establish normal operations of the RCCU CO Heater. At this time electrical inspectors were called in to visually inspect the associated junction boxes for this shutdown system. Additionally, enhanced monitoring of the shutdown system was performed to assure that no damage had occurred as a result of the lightning strike. Once the maintenance work was complete, the RCCU CO Heater was returned to service. Operations then worked to stabilize the CO Heater operations, and began to reverse the shutdown process following all operating and safety procedures. Motiva completed IPF checks to confirm that the instrument protective functions for this system are functioning as needed. Shell Chemical LP.-East: Furnaces in OL-5 were taken off feed after the PGC was shutdown to minimize flaring. The OL-5 process unit was secured until the steam supply was restored to normal conditions to allow for a safe restart of the PGC. In their original final report, Shell Chemical LP - East Site indicated that the permit level for benzene was exceeded; they sent a corrected final report on August 9, 2012 explaining that the permit level for benzene was not exceeded as indicated in the earlier report. As seen on first table Date/Time: 5/8/12 17:25 - 5/9/12 17:25 for section V.a. carbon monoxide was released about reportable quantities. In addition to carbon monoxide being above reportable quantity, benzene was as well although it was not reported as such. The reportable quantity for benzene is 10 lbs with the total amount of benzene being released from Shell Chemical LP - East Site being 967.9 lbs. The LDEQ sent out an emergency responder, Nicole Hardy, who took atmospheric samples from May 8, 2012 at 17:40 to 5/9/12 at 23:30 for a total of 1 day, 5 hours and 50 minutes; all of the samples came back as being below the Permissible Exposure Limits. Although they do not report the pollutant as exceeding reportable quantity - the facility released quantities that exceeded reportable quantities for benzene during the 2 days of this event. The initial verbal notification was made on May 8, 2012. There was an initial written notification (follow up report to verbal notification) made by both Shell chemical and Motiva on July 3, 2012. The first written notification was not made in a timely manner as per state regulations. Since the July 3rd report was their first written notification following the initial verbal notification, therefore they missed the 7 day deadline to make written notification (the deadline would have been May 15, 2013; it would be 48 days late as it was written 55 days after the accident). Another follow up report termed the "final release report" was made by both Shell chemical and Motiva on August 2, 2012. A final follow up report termed the "corrected final release report" was made by by Shell chemical on August 9, 2012 - there was no corrected final report made by Motiva.
967.9 pounds
138076

2012-03-18
Pressure vessel PV-122
Cause: The pressure vessel PV-122 was inadvertently overfilled during refilling, and liquid was released from the vent on top of the pressure vessel.

Followup: Yes

Notes: All material released was contained within the concrete containment dike. Once the release was realized, flow to the vessel was isolated, the inlet valve on the pressure vessel was closed, and the area was secured. A pumper truck was staged at the pressure vessel to remove the hydrocarbons from the containment area. Once all liquid hydrocarbons had been removed from the containment area, the area was washed with water to a pumper truck to remove residual hydrocarbons.
137083

2012-02-09
RCCU
Cause: During normal operations, there was an unexpected opening of a relief valve (RV) on the RCCU Main Fractionator, causing a release from the Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit (RCCU). The Naphtha was released to the concrete below the unit.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Operations responded immediately to isolate the RV, and the release was stopped. The Naphtha was cleaned immediately. The main Fractionator column pressure remained steady prior to release. After the investigation was completed, the facility took precautionary measures and reinstalled the relief valve to prevent further occurrence.
136422

2012-01-09
FLARE: HCU flare (EPN-4-84)
Cause: The HIC on the low pressure separator (PV-817) was opened to the HCU flare (EPN-4-84) because an atmospheric relief valve (RV-4297) on the rectified absorber column (PV-822) at the Hydrocracking Unit relieved prior to its set point. Hydrocracker Flaring

Followup: No

Notes: RV-4297 was isolated and repaired. Flaring stopped once the unit was stabilized.
150814

2013-09-03
4-84 Hydrocracker Flare (FE-301)
Cause: On September 3, 2013, the first and second stages of Motiva's Hydrocracker Unit (HCU) shut down. The shutdown was caused by an instrumentation failure that controlled the lube/seal oil system for the HCU recycle compressors. On September 6, 2013, the Hydrocracker unit began startup operations.

Followup:

Notes: Immediately after the unit was shut down and secured, maintenance and engineering immediately investigated and identified the instrumentation failure. The instrumentation and engineering groups are developing an inspection list for the next planned unit shutdown to look for deficiencies in the unit instrument systems. No reportable quantities were exceeded; however the permitted maximum hourly emission rate limit was exceeded for Benzene and Sulfur Dioixide.
0.9 pounds
149250

2013-07-23
Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit
Cause: On July 23, Motiva's Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit (RCCU) discovered a slurry leak on the case of one of the unit's slurry pumps. Operations responded immediately and worked to isolate the pump and start its spare.

Followup: No

Notes: Once this system was secure, Motiva's operations personnel began cleanup efforts. The unit was soaped down and all residual hydrocarbons were washed down to the nearest hub until the area was clean.
149603

2013-07-12
EPN#1210-95
Cause: On July 12 at 1030 hours, operations personnel in Logistics found spent caustic tank K-558 floating roof to be setting on its legs which caused the roof vents to open. Soon after discovery, the tank legs were reset and the vents were secured.

Followup: Yes

Notes: After discovery, the tank legs were reset and the vents were secured.
148925

2013-05-29
Pump seal
Cause: On May 29, operations personnel discovered a pump seal was leaking.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Operations stopped and isolated the pump to reduce material escaping from containment. Foam was placed on top of the spill to reduce vapors. The material was removed from containment by vacuum truck. To prevent recurrence, the mechanical department is assessing the pump to provide recommendations for changes to the seal to prevent reoccurrences. Recommendations will be implemented as appropriate. The LDEQ report mentions that this incident report number (148925) is linked to incident numbers 149187, 149203, and 149223.
149187

2013-05-29
pump seal
Cause: On May 29, 2013, a pump seal leak was discovered.

Followup: No

Notes: Immediately the pump was secured, leak stopped, spill cleanup and pump repairs started. The event did not result in an emergency condition but the neighborhood was notified. A citizen complaint was submitted. Citizen complained of a chemical smell for 3-4 days. Another complained of a bad small and a burning sensation in the eyes. Another described a strong petroleum odor in the air around the neighborhood. A fourth citizen complained of a strong odor that caused choking and gagging, and stated that the entire family was sick. The LDEQ report mentions that this incident is also linked with incident numbers 148925, 149193, 149203, and 149223.
146682

2013-02-18
4-84 Hydrocracker Flare (FE-301)
Cause: On February 18, 2013 Motiva Enterprises in Norco experienced a relase of benzene, butane, flammable gas, hydrogen, hydrogen sulfide, propane, and volatile organic compounds to the atmosphere due to a release valve on the dubutanizer relieving at the Hydrocracking Unit (HCU) and flaring at the Hydrocracker Flare (EPN 4-84). The flaring was caused by an unexpected shutdown of the second stage of the Hydrocracker Unit. On February 18, 2013 at 0628 hours, the atmospheric relieve valve on the debutanizer at Motiva's Hydrocracking Unit (HCU) relieved, ultimately leading to the second stage of the HCU shutting down. The atmospheric release from the debutanizer column was due to a tube rupture on one of the upright exchangers in the second stage of the HCU. The second stage of the HCU was shutdown to stabilize the unit and minimize safety risks.

Followup: Yes

Notes: This release began on February 18, 2013 and ended on March 13, 2013. The repair of the ruptured tube on the upright exchangers in the second stage of the HCU was completed on March 11, 2013. Start up activities began once a pressure test was completed on the previously damaged exchanger and were completed on March 13, 2013 at 1600 hours. While the repair was being completed, high purity hydrogen was flared and emissions were below the permitted limits. It was determined that the cause of the tube rupture was as a result of stress corrosion cracking. To prevent this accident from reoccuring, the method to decontaminate the exchanger will change. During the next unit turnaound, the exchanger will be decontaminated using a different wash, which will prevent stress corrosion cracking.
13.7 pounds
146217

2013-01-22
De-watering sump west of Tank F-501
Cause: On January 22, 2013 at 16:33 the de-watering sump west of Tank F-501 overflowed onto the ground. The check valve failed open with some of the material contained withing the concrete pump pad. Approximately 3 barrels of Crude oil spilled to the ground, with additional oil overflow into nearby surface drains. Follow-up Report: Operations determined that the source of the spill was the result of the check valve of the sump pumps failing open allowing crude oil to flow backwards into the sump and eventually overflowing with some of the material contained within the concrete pump pad.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Clean up efforts were implemented. A pumper truck was staged at the pump pad to remove the oil from the concrete pump pad, sump, drains, and ground. Once the oil was removed from the concrete pump pad the area and drains were water washed to a pumper truck to remove all residual oil. Follow-up report: Immediately after discovering the source, operations personnel closed the discharge block valve of the sump pump to isolate the leak source. Temporary small dikes were quickly set up to stop additional oil flow from entering the storm water drainage. Vacuum trucks were called out to begin picking up free liquid. The underground storm water system was flushed with water and all oil vacuumed up for recovery into the refinery slop system until oil could no longer be detected. The remediation began on January 24, 2013 once all free liquid was collected. This work continued through the weekend until all contaminated soil was removed for inspection. After a final inspection, fresh soil was brought in to restore the area back to its original condition. Liquids were recovered and returned to the site slop oil system. Contaminated soils were excavated and properly disposed of. Material that evaporated during the release and recovery operation was released to atmosphere and dispersed naturally. The following measures will be implemented to prevent this incident from reoccurring: the sump pump discharge block valve was tagged closed to stop such an incident from reoccurring; vacuum trucks are being utilized to remove any water from the pump pads in the short term; operator surveillance in this area has been increased; the pump discharge check valve will be replaced and any deficiencies repaired in the pump pad secondary containment. All impacted soils were excavated and properly disposed of. Motiva has no current knowledge of pollution migration as free product was contained near Tank F-501 and has been recovered. The amount of crude oil initially reported as (3 barrels or 126 gallons), but they actually released 9646.68 gallons (229.68) of crude oil. Motiva also exceeded reportable quantities for benzene, napthalene, PAH, xylene, and toluene.
206.8 pounds
157955

2014-08-08
Hydrocracking Unit
Cause: On August 8, 2014 Motiva's Hydrocracking Unit (HCU) flared process gas at the HCU elevated flare (FE-301) due to a unit upset. Contractors working in the area inadvertently opened a valve to supply instrument air to their project, but reduced necessary air supply to HCU resulting in loss of instrument air to various pressure relief valved (PRVs). These PRVs, designed to fail in the open position, released process gas to the flare due to loss of instrument air as a safety mechanism causing the unit upset at the HCU.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Report was submitted by Motiva Enterprises, however the AI number provided was for Shell Chemical Plant-East Side. Motiva and Shell Chemical are located on the same lot and share many processes.
0.0 pounds
157959

2014-08-08
Hydrocracking Unit
Cause: On August 8, 2014 Motiva's Hydrocracking Unit (HCU) flared process gas at the HCU Elevated Flare (FE-301) due to the shutdown and subsequent start up of the unit. HCU safely shutdown to repair a ruptured tube on a fin fan cooler. The ruptured tube caused a diesel release that remained in secondary containment. Data gathering and calculations confirm no reportable quantities were exceeded during the release. However, the permitted maximum hourly emission rate limit for benzene, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds were exceeded.

Followup: No

Notes: Operations was able to isolate the fin fan to stop the diesel release. The unit was restarted on August 14.
0.3 pounds
156452

2014-06-01
charge pump, Hydrocracking Unit
Cause: Motiva's Hydrocracking Unit (HCU) flared process gas at the HCU Elevated Flare (FE 301) due to the partial shutdown of the HCU. A seal leak was discovered on the charge pump on the second stage of the HCU. Due to the location of the leak, the unit had to partially shut down to complete repairs. Flaring of hydrogen will continue intermittently to stabilize the remaining operating equipment. Flaring ceased once the charge pump was repaired and the unit returned to stable operating conditions. Flaring occurred on June 1 (367 minutes) and June 7 (1069 minutes).

Followup: Yes

Notes: After the unit was shut down and secured, maintenance and engineering investigated and identified that a seal failure occurred. A repair plan was promptly developed and executed. Due to this incident being a repeat issue in a short period of time, Motiva chartered a full investigation. Findings from this investigation resulted in the installation of additional check valves to control pressure swings and to help manage the integrity of pump seals.
1.7 pounds
154425

2014-03-12
4-84 Hydrocracker Flare (Fe-301)
Cause: On 3/12/2014 Motiva's Hydrocracking Unit (HCU) flared process gas at the HCU Elevated Flare (FE 301) due to the partial shutdown of the HCU. An unexpected seal leak was discovered on the charge pump on the second stage of the HCU. Due to the location of the leak, the unit had to partially shut down to complete repairs. Flaring continued intermittently to stabilize the remaining operating equipment. On 3/29/14 the Hydrocracker Unit began a startup of the unit. Flaring ceased once the charge pump was repaired and the unit restarted. Emitted 0.32 pounds more of Benzene than permitted for.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Immediately after the unit was safely shut down, the problem was investigated and identified. To prevent the reoccurrence of the incident, a new seal was installed on 3/24/14. The seal oil system was checked prior to start up for deficiencies and none were found.
0.6 pounds
153178

2014-01-06
1300# steam system at Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit
Cause: "Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit's Elevated Flare as a result of a swing in the steam system." "Motiva's RCCU unit flared processed gas due to a swing in the 1300# steam system"

Followup: No

Notes: The report filed on 1/13/14 indicated that Shell will release an updated report within 60 days as of 9/5/14 the report has yet to be made.