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Valero (1238), Meraux

Releases of Benzene

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

Tank 250-2
Cause: STORM: The water pushed the tank from its foundation. Refinery report states that 17,962 barrels of oil were recovered from the spilled tank, with approximately 7,031 barrels lost to atmosphere via evaporation.

Followup: No

Notes: RQ. Refinery letter states that all "visibly impacted" soil was removed for off-site disposal. "Murphy Oil continues to clean all neighboring properties, as determined by EPA-monitored sampling activities."
1,801.0 pounds

Tank 200-2
Cause: Lightning strike at a seal on the external floating roof causing a small fire--small fire involving gas vapors in the Tank 200-2

Followup: Yes

Notes: Serc Incident # 06-04168. Refinery quickly isolated the tank and contained the fire. Made plans to transfer the gasoline initiate inspection and repairs to the tanks
<1 lb.

Gasoline Spill to River at Dock - transfer line/hose
Cause: During a test conducted at 188 psi, a rubber loading hose, rated for a pressure of 225 psi, developed a 4 inch long split, allowing gasoline to spray to the Rive

Followup: No Information Provided

Notes: This incident occurred on 8/1/2007 and was not reported by Murphy until 3/11/2008. This incident was not preventable because the rupture of the hose was not a predictable event. At the time of the spill of 30 gallons of gasoline into the Miss. River, MOUSA was conducting annual pressure testing of a hard piped gasoline transfer line, per U.S. Coast Guard regulations. Because MOUSA was not loading gasoline to a vessel, the 8 rubber loading hoses at the Dock had been capped at the loadend, were elevated and suspended from their gantry hangers, and were secured from the loading hoses. During a test conducted at 188 psi, a rubber loading hose, rated for a pressure of 225 psi, developed a 4 long split, allowing gasoline to
7.0 pounds

Tank 20-1 at the MOUSA Meraux Terminal
Cause: this episode was the apparent result of human error. The terminal received a transfer of gasoline from the Refinery via pipeline on 5/15, after which a Terminal Operator failed to follow written procedures to secure two valves that isolate the Terminal from the Refinery. The next evening, while the Refinery was loading gasoline at the river dock on the same pipeline, Tank 20-1 overfilled

Followup: No Information Provided

Notes: There is no information as to whether this incident was preventable or not - I assume it was since it is due to human error that seems preventable. Remedial Measures - St. Bernard Highway and the adjacent rail line were closed until 7:30 (am or pm?) - Approximately 450 barrels of material was released from the tank into the diked containment area. MOUSA immediately shut down the loading operations to the Dock and initiated emergency response actions in accordance with the TerminalSPCC Plan. MOUSA secured the tank, deployed firefighting foam for vapor suppression, recovered free liquids with vacuum trucks, and will remove contaminated soil. Free liquids were returned to the refinery for re-processing. Contaminated spill respon
48.0 pounds

South roof drain of Tank 300-2
Cause: No Information Given - Leak

Followup: No Information Provided

Notes: This was a self report from Murphy to LDEQ regarding a crude oil leak to the ground north of Tank 300-2. the leak was contained inside the diked secondary containment. Steps were taken immediately to block in the roof drain. There was no visible oil on the roof. Murphy Oil recovered the free liquids with vacuum trucks. Soil with signs of visual contamination were scraped from the ground and will be disposed of at an offsite landfill. At the time of this report, Murphy was evaluating the incident toermine how best to repair the roof drain.
1.0 pounds

Floor of Tank 55-7
Cause: No Information Given - Leak

Followup: No Information Provided

Notes: This was a self report from Murphy to LDEQ regarding a gasoline leak to the ground from the floor of Tank 55-7. The leak was discovered at 0815 hours on 9/20/2008. Approximately 2 barrels were recovered by vacuum truck. The leak was contained inside thediked secondary containment. Steps were taken immediately to lower the roof legs in the floating roof of the tank and to transfer product from the tank so that it could be emptied. Water was pumped into the tank to displace the gasoline on the bottomgns of visual contamination has been removed for proper disposal. There was no impact to waterways.
10.0 pounds

Gasoline Tank 200-1
Cause: After heavy rainfall, personnel found gasoline accumulated on the external floating roof of Gasoline Tank 200-1. Root cause is under investigation.

Followup: No

Notes: RQ exceeded. Tanks was isolated and a fire fighting foam was applied to prevent ignition. The discharge was removed from the tank.
616.0 pounds

Facility Fugitives- #2 FCCU
Cause: Leak in the #2 FCCU Reactor manway flange.

Followup: No

Notes: RQ exceeded. Applied steam to disperse the vapors. Attempted to fix the leak by tightening the manway flange bolts, but failed. Shutdown the FCCU because the leak worsened. Placed a clamp and then sealed to stop the leak. Will inculde inspecting and repairing the manway during planned maintenance procedures.
155.0 pounds

#2 FCCU Reactor Vessel
Cause: Refinery letter states that a small hole developed in the #2 FCCU reactor vessel.

Followup: No

Notes: BRQ. The hole was repaired, and the unit was returned to service.
0.0 pounds

OAF Sump at Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP)
Cause: On August 30, 2012, while assessing conditions following Hurricane Isaac, Valero personnel discovered a slop oil spill to the ground in the Wastewater Treatment area, oil and sheen in a storm water drainage ditch along the western edge of the refinery, and a sheen in the 20 Arpent Canal that receives water from this ditch. A few days later, after the water level had dropped several feet, grass stained with oil was discovered along the 20 Arpent Canal. Valero determined the root cause of this spill to be inadequate containment for the heavy rains and high winds experienced during hurricane· Isaac. When the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) shut down during the hurricane, oil collected in the OAF Sump which overflowed when the area was flooded. The primary cause for this event was Weather, but the secondary cause is Equipment Design (inadequate containment at Wastewater Treatment Plant).

Followup: Yes

Notes: Slop Oil, estimated at 1 barrel (42 gallons), was released to the ground and an estimated 5 gallons was released to water. Valero provided verbal notification within 2 hours of discovering the release of material offsite. Valero recovered the oil on the ground and in the ditch using vacuum trucks and absorbent materials. All soils and vegetation with visible contamination were removed for disposal at an offsite commercial landfill. Valero will design and install a fixed roof and wall around the OAF Sump to prevent the OAF Sump from filling up with storm water and overflowing. The last document LABB has for this event is the 60 day follow up on December 21, 2012. Valero shut down their refinery before the storm and did not report any other pollution besides this slop oil (and benzene that volatilized off of the oil). Citizen complaint made 9/1/12 regarding a strong fuel smell present. Would like to know if an emergency by-pass was occurring because of lack of capacity to contain rainwater. Observed high levels of ponds prior to storm. On 8/30/12 Valero reported the release of 1 barrel of slop oil in the Waste Water Treatment area which ocurred during Hurricane Isaac this complaint was recorded by LADEQ by incident number 142484, but was referenced to this incident by Valero.
7.8 pounds

Crude unit heat exchanger
Cause: At approximately 14:09 on 10/25/13, Valero experienced an unexpected release of crude oil when a stopple failed on a Crude Unit heat exchanger while a third party specialty contractor was working to install a bypass. A stopple is a device that isolates equipment for maintenance when a block valve is unavailable. The pressurized crude oil was released in an upward direction for approximately 15 minutes. Although most of the crude oil released remained on site, some of the resulting spray traveled offsite with the wind and was deposited on nearby East St. Bernard Highway and vehicles traveling on the highway. This spray continued in a southwesterly direction and left small spots of crude oil over the exposed sides of Valero buildings and vehicles in the nearby parking lot. Valero's dock facility and a moored ocean-going barge were also covered with a light spotting of small crude droplets. Valero also reported a sheen on the Mississippi River from this release which had largely dissipated by the time containment booms could be deployed. Light spotting has also been reported on some vehicles and structures in the Belle Chasse area. The root cause of the stopple failure was an undersized nose plate. The nose plate is a metal disc slightly smaller than the inside diameter of the pipe that is wedged into the pipe perpendicular to the flow. A gasket is attached to the nose plate that provides a seal along the inner walls of the pipe. In this case, the undersized nose plate did not provide enough support for the gasket and the gasket failed. The stopple fabrication and installation was performed by a third party specialty contractor with extensive expertise in performing this type of work. This contractor also conducted an investigation and determined that the nose plate had been modified in the field on a previous job, but no records of this modification existed. Consequently, this nose plate remained in circulation as a "standard" nose.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Valero immediately took steps to shut off the Crude charge pumps and all nearby unit heaters. The crude oil continued to leak at a much lower rate as the system depressurized, but shortly after the crude pumps were shutdown, oil was no longer spraying off site. A mixture of crude oil and water continued to leak out onto the ground at a reduced rate until all sources of pressure were isolated at 17:20. Valero quickly mobilized contractors to clean up the highway and the barge moored at the dock. The highway was re-opened at 18:21 on 10/25/13 and the barge sailed the next day. Inside the refinery, free oil has been removed by vacuum truck and recovered. Clean-up efforts are on-going in the refinery and south of St. Bernard highway. To date these activities have included: 1) Wiping up visible oil with absorbent materials, 2) Cutting grass spotted with oil and collecting the clippings for disposal, 3) Applying Micro-Blaze Emergency Liquid Spill Control bioremediation agent to affected areas on the ground, 4) Washing spotted vehicles at an offsite location. Valero has provided car washes to the public as well. Air monitoring was conducted on and off site. Valero personnel donned breathing protection (full face respirators) when working in the immediate area of the release. Benzene readings of 0.15 ppm were briefly detected offsite along Valero's property line. Valero has worked closely with the third party contractor to develop corrective actions to prevent a reoccurrence of this event. The third party contractor has committed to: 1) train all stopple set-up technicians to review the findings and reiterate procedures and best practices. 2) inspect all nose plates in use and remove from circulation those that are out of tolerance, 3) implement a receipt inspection requirement to flag field modifications and initiate repair, and 4) modify the Hot Tap Critical step checklist to require the field technician to sigh off on key stopple measurements. Note: During the time of flaring, a citizen complaint was submitted on account of sulfur odor (Incident #151864). According to the environmental engineers from Valero, the odors likely came from Valero's waste water treatment plant, which was operating normally at the time.
70.7 pounds