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Valero (1238), Meraux

Releases of Propane

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

South Flare
Cause: Excess propane was intermittently discharged to the South Flare when the Depropanized on the Alkylation Unit was shut down for repairs.

Followup: No

Notes: Citizen complaint on 9/28/12. On 9/27 complainant observed flaring and steaming. Observed a very deep orange flame, black streaks and some smoke after a heavy rain event. There was a flaring and steaming noise. Both flares were in use. Could hear steaming noises in house. The South Flare was large and bright orange with a noise continuing throughout the night and flaring during the early morning hours of 9/28. The flaring was a deeper orange flame and had an associated noise. Sunrise lighting made the black smoke of the flare more easily visible. The material is very low in sulfur. No reportable quantities were exceeded and there was no upset conditions at the plant.

South flare
Cause: Startup of the alky unit and depropanizer were the source of increase flaring. Propane and butane were being flared during the startup.

Followup: No

Notes: The event will be reported in the semi-annual Title V deviation report. Reportable quantities were not exceeded during the start up. Note: A citizen complain initiated this incident report. The caller reported large flaring, noise, and vibrations at her home.

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.