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Motiva Enterprises (1406), Norco

Releases of Toluene

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source(s) Notes Amount of Release
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.
1.0 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
0.3
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.
4.7 pounds
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
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.
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.
0.1 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.
82.0 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.
0.4 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.
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.
6.0 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.
1.0 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.
0.2 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.
1,266.0 pounds
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."
22.4 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.
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."
95.0 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.
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.
6.7 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.
2.0 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.
264.8 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.
1,207.7 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.
47.0 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.
681.6 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.
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.
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.
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.
2.1 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.
349.0 pounds