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Motiva Enterprises (1406), Norco

Releases of Hexane

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source(s) Notes Amount of Release
83068

2005-10-12
GO-1 Elevated Flare
Cause: Flaring due to a process upset associated with the GO-1 Diethanolamine (DEA) treater tower.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Remedial actions: untreated dry gas sent to the refinery fuel gas system and flared; it is not yet known whether this was preventable because the cause is unknown.
5,014.0 pounds
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.
1.0 pounds
78205

2005-04-13
RCCU Flare (EPN #8-84)
Cause: No information given.

Followup: Yes

Notes: No listed remedial actions
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.
4.0 pounds
92519

2006-12-09
GO-1 Elevated Flare
OL-5 Elevated Flare
Cause: Incident began at Shell Chemical's facility. Boil #9 at Shell Chemical shut down when wet steam was supplied to the pumps from the steam header. Wet steam caused the pumps to slow down, shutting down the boiler. To prevent shutdown of the plant, a planned sequence shut certain units down, causing a larger flaring incident. The root cause of the wet steam is stated as under investigation as of 10/05/09.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Flaring continued until Boiler #9 could be returned to service and steam production returned to normal. The process units were then safely returned to normal operation conditions once steam capacity was back to normal. An investigation will be conducted to determine the cause of the wet steam and appropriate preventative measures will be put in place. Flaring occurred at both the Motiva Norco facility and Shell Chemical facility. Flaring was not continuous throughout the incident start and end dates.
1.0 pounds
91641

2006-10-25
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN# 9-84)
Cause: Operational issues at the Marathon Refinery caused them to send off-specification dry gas, high in hydrogen sulfide, to Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process Unit.

Followup: No

Notes: Flaring was not continuous throughout the start and end dates. A portion of the off specification dry-gas from the Marathon Refinery was flared at the Motiva West Operations Ground Flare to prevent contamination of downstream catalysts and an operational at GO-1 with potential for subsequent flaring. The West Ops Ground Flare is owned and operated by Motiva Enterprises, LLC. SCOGI Louisiana Holdings LLC and Shell Chemicals LP are the owner and operator, respectively, of the GO-1 Process Unit. Marathon is the supplier of dry gas to Shell Chemical.
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.
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.
38.0 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.
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.
1.0 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.
1,090.1 pounds
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.
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
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.
85.0 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.
126371

2010-09-14

FLARE: RCCU flare (FE-201); Shell GO-1 Flare (EPN 1-90)
Cause: RCCU unit tripped and shut-down. Spend catalyst slide valve was not functioning properly and shut-down occurred during troubleshooting of valve. Shared flaring incident with SHELL CHEMICAL LP [GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90)].

Followup: No

Notes: Initiated study to review current maintenance program. Slide valve failure was also identified as a site threat and entered into Motiva's threats database to be tracked.
103.4 pounds
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."
115.0 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.
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.
146.8 pounds
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.
134190

2011-09-26
8-84 RCCU Elevated flare
GO-1 Elevated Flare
Cause: On 9/26/11, Motiva's RCCU Process Unit identified smoke exiting the insulation on the process unit's reactor stripper overhead piping, indicating a leak of hydrocarbon. Consequently, the RCCU process unit had to divert feed causing flaring to occur at the RCCU Flare (EPN 8-89). The process unit safely diverted feed and continued to maintain catalyst circulation in order to avoid additional flaring. All operational and safety procedures were following at this time. Immediately after stabilizing the unit, insulation was removed from the overhead piping to determine the source of the leak. the leak was identified as a set of flanges on the reactor stripper overhead piping. Attempts were made to re-torque the flanges and stop the leak. However, the re-torquing efforts were unsuccessful and a decision was made to fabricate and install a blade clamp to permanently stop the leak. As of 9/28/11, the blade clamp was installed and the leak on the overhead piping had stopped. The RCCU had been restarted following all operational and safety procedures and remained at steady operation. the RGHT had not been restarted at that time. On 9/26/11 Motiva Enterprises LLC RCCU unit was shut down to do some maintenance work. Flaring occurred at the GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 9-84) as a result of the restart of Motiva's RCCU Unit. Untreated dry gas from the RCCU is flared during the restart of the RCCU at the GO-1 Elevated flare before the dry gas can be introduced to GO-1 as a feed.

Followup: Yes

Notes: The RCCU diverted feed and continued to maintain catalyst circulation in order to avoid additional flaring and stabilize the unit. Operations worked to identify the source of the leak and made preparations for repair. The flanges associated with the leak source were re-torqued in an attempt to stop the leak. A box clamp was fabricated and installed to encapsulate and stop the leak. Maximum lb/hr limits were exceeded for sulfur dioxide and VOC's, because the incident release was spread out across close to 3 days no reportable quantities were exceeded. Two follow up letters were received.
123.3 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.
51.6 pounds
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.
22.5 pounds
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.
370.3 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.
566.8 pounds
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.
516.5 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.
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.
13.4 pounds
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.
16.0 pounds
145719

2013-01-05
1-90(GO-1 Elevated Flare, FE-602)
RCCU Elevated Flare (EPN 8-84), 1-90(GO-1 Elevated Flare FE-602)
Cause: On January 5, 2013, Motiva's Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit (RCCU) discovered a catalyst leak from a section of piping on the unit's West Secondary Cyclone Dip Leg. Operations responded immediately and worked to isolate this section of line. However, due to the location of the leak it was determined the line could not be isolated without shutting down the RCCU process unit. RCCU Operations then initiated a controlled unit shutdown following all operating and safety procedures. As part of the RCCU shutdown process, catalyst circulation within the West Secondary Cyclone Dip Leg was halted and the leak stopped. During this event, GO-1 flared RCCU Dry Gas at the GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90) on January 6, 2013, January 9, 2013, and January 10, 2013. The GO-1 flaring resulted in reportable quantities exceeded during the release for Sulfure Dioxide and permit limit exceeded of Hexane on January 9, 2013 and January 10, 2013. Emission Calculations were performed using process data and appropriate AP-42 emission factors. Final update report 4/10/13 corrects cover letter of 3/7/13 report, which inaccurately stated that no reportable quantities were exceeded.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Immediate remedial actions: Operations worked to identify the source of the leak and made preparations for a repair. RCCU operations initiated a controlled unit shutdown to allow for maintenance repairs. As part of the RCCU shutdown process, catalyst circulation within the West Secondary Cyclone Dip Leg was halted and the leak stopped. Once this system was secure, Motiva contract maintenance personnel began welding repairs at the catalyst leak point. On January 8, 2013, the weld repairs on this system were completed and the system was returned to service. Motiva operations restarted the RCCU process unit following all operational and safety procedures on January 14, 2013. Additionally, there were no reportable quantities exceeded during the release. However, the maximum pound per hour limit for sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds and particulate matter were exceeded. All materials routed to flare were combusted with an appropriate destruction efficiency of 99.5%, released from the RCCU Elevated Flare to the atmosphere, and dispersed naturally. To prevent recurrence of the incident, a field weld was made as a final repair to the leak. A release at Shell Chemicals resulted in flaring at the Shell facility as well as the Motiva facility. Motiva states that the flare release was not a reportable quantity, while Shell's release was.
72.7 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.
0.5 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.
1.8 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.
10.9 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.
11.9 pounds