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Valero (1238), Meraux

Releases of Particulate Matter

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source(s) Notes Amount of Release
80945

2005-07-31
#2 Sulfur Recover Unit Incinerator (1-93)
No information given
North Flare 20-72
Cause: Malfunction in the power supply to the control panel's Process Logic Controller card

Followup: No

Notes: Followed procedures for emergency shutdown.
80857

2005-07-28
Fugitive Emissions
Cause: Failed tubing to a pressure guage in the Distillate Hydrotreater Unit caused a fire

Followup: No

Notes: The report says hydrocarbons were released but does not say which one.
80591

2005-07-18
South Flare - EPN # 3 - 77
Cause: Solids in the #2 SWS Overhead Receiver plugged the vessel's suction line

Followup: No

Notes: They steamed the lines to clear them.
80323

2005-07-06
#2 Sulfur Recovery Unit Incinerator #1-93
#3 Sulfur Recovery Unit Incinerator #5-00
No information given
North Flare
South Flare
Cause: On 7/6/05 Murphy Oil experienced a refinery-wide power interruption. During the shutdown and ensuing startup, the refinery experienced elevated sulfur dioxide and intermittent particulate emissions at the flares and the Sulfur Recovery Unit incinerator stacks. The power outage was apparently the result of high winds generated by Tropical Storm Cindy.

Followup: No

Notes: Immediate action was to safely get the units stabilized and try to avoid damage to equipment during the emergency shutdown. To ensure a safe restart, the refinery purged rich amine from #1 and #2 Amine units and the #2 Sour Water Stripper to the flares. The refinery minimized SO2 emissions during startup by having the #2 and #3 SRUs pre-heated prior to introduction of acid gas. Received two citizen complaints. Took steps to minimize emissions for the re start.
79999

2005-06-21
No information given
South Flare
Cause: Wire shorted

Followup: No

Notes: There was also a power failure - seem to be 2 causes of the problem. The release took place on two days - 6/21 and then 126 lbs on 6/23 when they re started. There were seven complaint calls.
77051_a

2005-02-19
North Flare 20-72
Cause: Hydorbarbon breakthrough from the Amine Unit to the SRU due to plugging in the Tail Gas Treater (TGT)

Followup: No

Notes: Replaced packing and a valve in the Tail Gas Treater
05-BB013-3696

2005-02-11
#2 Sulfur Recover Unit Incinerator (1-93)
#3 Sulfur Recovery Unit Incinerator (5-00)
North Flare 20-72
South Flare - EPN # 3 - 77
Cause: Power failure due to Entergy's loss of power

Followup: No

Notes: There are two state police numbers on this report thought only the 00969 one seems to be discussed. I have thus listed only that #. This is a follow up report for the power failure on 2/11. It does say smoke was intermittent, perhaps all releases were. The report also notes a re start date of 2/20 but there are no emissions listed for that date. The report on 4/4/05 details the emissions amounts for S02."
05-BB013-3696

2005-02-11
#2 Sulfur Recover Unit Incinerator (1-93)
#3 Sulfur Recovery Unit Incinerator (5-00)
North Flare 20-72
South Flare - EPN # 3 - 77
Cause: Power failure due to Entergy's loss of power

Followup: No

Notes: There are two state police numbers on this report thought only the 00969 one seems to be discussed. I have thus listed only that #. This is a follow up report for the power failure on 2/11. It does say smoke was intermittent, perhaps all releases were. The report also notes a re start date of 2/20 but there are no emissions listed for that date. The report on 4/4/05 details the emissions amounts for S02."
109460

2008-09-22
FLARE - Boiler Feed Water Pump B-P-022A
Cause: the event was apparently triggered by the loss of boiler feed water pump B-P-022A due to high bearing temperatures after loss of cooling water to the bearing housing. The lack of water was due to plugging (Zebra mussels) of the cooling water line. MOUSAhad the pump on a temporary cooling line (once-through cooling water from the Mississippi River) because the Area 6 Cooling Tower was shut down on 9/21 due to a planned maintenance turnaround of the Hydrocracker Unit.

Followup: Yes

Notes: This incident was not preventable because MOUSA could not anticipate that the temporary cooling line would plug. Remedial Measures - for future events when the Area 6 cooling tower is shut down, MOUSA will run B-P-022B on conditioned city water. Subsequent to this event, MOUSA installed connections to enable the use of a temporary cooling tower to supply high quality cooling water if the conditioned city water is unavailable.
108122

2008-08-16
FLARE - Boiler Feed Water System / #2 SRU Startup / Hydrocracker
Cause: corrosion damage in B-V-454 - the control systems did not allow B-V-453 and B-V-454 to run reliably in parallel, as the level controllers attempt to work independently operators were unaware that the north and south BFW systems were operating on a common BFW line because a seldom used valve was open. Operating procedures did not address the potential for imbalance in the system when B-P-006B was shut down. in order to overcome the aforementioned design flaw, operators run the level control bypass on B-V-454 on manual. MOUSA found that existing procedures did not address all potential failure events in this operational mode.

Followup: Yes

Notes: This was an incident that involved three separate incidents. It is listed as preventable because the Boiler Feed Water trip on 8/16/2008 was found to be the result of faulty design, equipment malfunction, and operator and procedural error. Emissions from the startup of the #2 SRU were part of the normal startup procedure. The hydrocracker trip on 08/20/2008 was found to be the result of operator and procedural error. REMEDIAL ACTIONS -MOUSA repaired the trays in deaerator B-V-454. They modified prores regarding boiler feed water pump operations and is investigating engineering changes to improve controls on the deaerators. Also, they are developing procedural updated regarding the startup of the Hydrocracker. They completed repairs on MUG Comp
102854

2008-02-05
FLARE - Fuel gas regulator to Boiler B-6 / North and South Flares
Cause: root cause may have been contaminants in the fuel gas regulator to Boiler -B-6 which caused an automatic safety shutdown of Boiler B-6. As MOUSA attempted to restart the boiler and enact our Steam Shedding Olant to conserve steam, a steam deficit forcedBoiler B-5 and more units into safety shutdowns, resulting in large flares with smoke. A contributing factor was the inability to quickly restart Boiler B-6, which could not achieve startup permissive in the control system due to improper inlet airdamper position.

Followup: No Information Provided

Notes: This incident was self reported by Murphy who described it in their first report to LDEQ as, smoking flares going off due to loss boiler and emissions from the hydrocracker and cat cracker…unknown chemical. The LDEQ report says the incident lasted several hours yet does not include any information regarding what type of chemical was released. The verbal update from Murphy (with no date) says that small amounts of sulfur dioxide were released and small amounts of nitrogen - maybe 10 pounds - was reed. It also states that, Smoke is particulates is unknown. This incident was not preventable because the failure of the fuel gas regulator was not a predictable event. Remedial Measures - MOUSA replaced the fuel gas regulator on Boiler B-6 and instal
4,000.0 pounds
114001

2009-02-25
stacks from #2 FCCU
Cause: #2 FCCU had an upset in the system called FCC reversal. This involved an imbalance of pressure in the system creating yellowish smoke that was released from the stacks.

Followup: No

Notes: RQ exceeded. Secured and re-started #2 FCCU.
1,750.0 pounds
121438

2010-02-10
Platformer Charge Heater (#17-72a, b, c)
Cause: Emergency Notification Occurrence forms states that liquid inadvertently entered the refinery fuel gas system, causing poor combustion in the heater and resulting in smoke emissions.

Followup: No

Notes: BRQ. Refinery letter states that no reportable quantities were exceeded, but also describes the release as an "unquantifiable amount of particulate matter." The heater was shut down. Automated level controls were installed on Area 2 fuel drum to expedite the removal of excess liquids from that vessel.
141477

2012-07-22
Crude Unit Fire
North Flare, South Flare, #2 SRU Incinerator Stack, Vacuum Tower Bottoms
North Flare, South Flare, #2 SRU Incinterator Stack; Vaccuum Tower Bottoms
Cause: Valero experienced a fire in the Crude Unit. Valero reported excess emissions of sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and particulate matter from the fire, flaring at the North Flare and South Flare and excess emissions at the #2 Sulfur Recovery Unit (SRU) Incinerator Stack. Valero was in the process of starting up the Crude Unit following an electrical transformer failure which occurred in the Vacuum Unit on July 20. Incident number 141430 associated with the power failure describes details about the power failure and emissions released directly related to the event on that date. An 8 inch piping elbow in the Crude Unit failed, releasing Vacuum Tower Bottoms (VTB) onto adjacent piping and equipment. The hot product ignited, creating a fire in the pipe rack and a pool fure beneath the Crude Unit desalters and several nearby heat exchangers. The crude unit fire began at 0130 hours on July 22, 2013. The fire was "contained" at 0330 hours, and was extinguished at 0650 hours. The total time duration of the fire was 5.4 hours. The total flaring duration lasted 40.5 hours. Valero concluded that the triggering event was the failure of a piping elbow which resulted from a thinned wall due to high-temperature sulfidation corrosion. The elbow was of carbon steal construction, in a service requiring chrome alloy construction. Valero concluded that the root cause was that poor quality control practices and procedures were utilized when the elbow was installed in 1990 by the previous owner of the refinery.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Shutdown procedures were quickly initiated for all refinery units while the Valero Emergency Response Team responded to the fire. During the event and for part of the day, periodic flaring occurred as units were placed in safe condition. The fire lasted for a duration of 5 hours 24 minutes. Flaring associated with the refinery shutdown occurred for a duration of 40 hours 30 minutes. Sulfur dioxide, estimated at 2534 pounds, and hydrogen sulfide, estimated at 27 pounds, was released at the North Flare, South Flare, and the #2 SRU Incinerator Stack. Sulfur dioxide, estimated at 3382 pounds, and hydrogen sulfide, estimated at 5 pounds, was released from the uncontrolled burning of Vacuum Tower Bottoms in the fire. Before Completion of the repairs and startup of the Crude Unit, Valero conducted PMI testing of all piping circuits potentially subject to sulfidation corrosion in the Crude and Vacuum Units. During this process, some pipin and one additional carbon steel elbow were discovered and replaced. Valero will increase the inspection frequency from once every ten years to once every 2-3 years, which is more frequent than the 5-year inspection interval specified by industry standards for Class 1 piping.
2,274.0 pounds