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Valero (1238), Meraux

Releases of Hydrogen

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

South flare
Cause: Above normal flaring occurred when the naphtha reformer experience an unplanned shutdown. Adjustments were being made to change operating conditions and the unit tripped.

Followup: No

Notes: Recycle gas was vented to the South flare until unit conditions were stabilized. The unit was immediately restarted. No significant sulfur dioxide emissions from the flare due to this event. Large dark orange flare with a much black smoke was seen.

Pressure safety valve in Hydrocracker Unit
Cause: On 7/30/2013, SPOC received a citizen complaint of black smoke released due to flaring from Valero-Meraux. The environmental manager stated that flaring had occurred at the time of the complaint. The flaring (north flare) was a result of a mixture of primarily hydrogen and some VOC's released by a pressure safety valve on the hydrocracker unit. The flaring continued for 16 hours when processes were stabilized at the ROSE unit.

Followup: No

Notes: LDEQ took no further action

South Flare (EQT 0049, EPN 3-77)
Cause: Valero exceeded the reporting threshold for flammable gas emissions at the South Glare due to a loss of flame. Valero had recently shut down a Diesel Hydrotreating Unit and was purging the unit with Nitrogen to the South Flare. The pilot flame sensor alarmed int the Control room and personnel visually inspected the South Flare and discovered that the flame had been extinguished. Valero stopped the Nitrogen flow and attempted to relight the South Flare, but was delayed because electrical power to the ignition system was off. Valero quickly restored electrical power and re-lit the flare. The pilot flame sensor alarmed cleared and visual evidence of a flame was observed.

Followup: No

Notes: Valero stopped the Nitrogen flow and re-lit the South Flare. Valero provided verbal notification within one hour of exceeding the reportable quantity for flammable gas. Valero received no citizen complaints and did not conduct a downwind ambient air monitoring. The incident is under investigation so no specific plan of action has been put into effect to prevent recurrence.
75.3 pounds