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Motiva Enterprises (1406), Norco

Releases of Nitrous Oxide

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

Unit Main Air Blower, RCCU Flare (EPN 8-84)
Cause: RCCU experienced instrument protective function shutdown activation of the unit's MAB just prior to the release. There was low oil pressure detected, therefore the MAB shut down automatically. The RCCU is dependent on the MAB for functioning.

Followup: No

Notes: Following the release, all units were secured and steps were taken to minimize emissions to flare resulting from the release. To prevent recurrence, analysis of the dynamics of the MAB lube oil system will take place in addition to implementing mechanical improvements such as: Relocation of pressure transmitters on MAB turbine, reduction of trim on P-7035 governor valve, installation of a time delay in the ICS trip logic for MAB machine, replacement of bearing oil regulation during the next RCCU turnaround, and installation of a new control oil regulator during the next RCCU turnaround.
371.0 pounds

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.
11.0 pounds

RCCU unit CO heater
Cause: RCCU unit discovered several tube leaks in the CO heater, necessitating a controlled shutdown of the heater and RCCU and the diversion of all regenerator flue gas to the atmosphere and away from the flue gas scrubber to mitigate safety concern. Even went on over 5 days--RQs exceeded. No DEQ report in this file--follow-up only.

Followup: No

Notes: 76 tubes that were in poor condition replaced in the CO heater.
1,694.4 pounds

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.