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Placid Refining (2366), Port Allen

Releases of Benzene

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

Tank No. 946
Cause: Due to excess rainfall associated with Hurricane Isaac on August 31, 2012, Placid diverted excess storm water from a permitted wastewater tank No. 940 to an unpermitted out of service clean open top tank No. 946. Approximately 4,200 barrels of water was transferred to prevent an overflow of tank No. 940 an/or tank No. 17, Placid's two permitted wastewater tanks. Placid's process units were in hot circulation mode and feed was removed from the process units due to the storm. The suction line used to transfer the water from tank No. 940 to tank No. 946 was located in the middle of the tank to minimize carryover of sludge or floating oil.

Followup: No

Notes: The water was transferred back from tank No, 946 to tank No. 940 on September 5, 2012. Movement of storm water into tank No. 946 was necessary to prevent a bypass condition in the Refinery waste water plant and to prevent potential adverse environmental impact and.or severe property damage. Placid's current LPDES permit provides for prohibition of bypass where feasible retention of untreated wastes is an alternative. Stormwater was diverted to a wastewater tank and therefore the pollutant becomes wastewater rather than stormwater. An attached document provides water emission calculations for Tank 946 and shows a total of 5.88 lbs/day daily emissions for total VOC released. No emissions were reportable quantity.
20.0 pounds

electric fan/blower motor on Placid's internal vapor combustor
Cause: At approximately 1315 hours on 1/21/13, an electric fan/blower motor on Placid's internal vapor combustor failed (source ID 1-91, EQT 0041). A complete shutdown of the vapor combustor resulted from the fan motor failure. The official root cause of the incident is mechanical failure.

Followup: No

Notes: At the time of the combustor shutdown emissions from barge loading of sour naptha, truck rack loading and applicable storage tanks were being controlled by the combustor. As designed, upon loss of the combustor, all loading activities were automatically interrupted. Placid switched control of the truck rack and barge loading emissions to the carbon unit and resumed loading. However, switching storage tank emissions to the carbon unit was not possible. Placid discontinued nonessential movements through tankage during this period, however, VOC emissions did occur as a result of this mechanical failure and the RQ for total VOCs, benzene, and 1,3 Butadiene were exceeded. During the time of the combustor outage Placid personnel conducted perimeter air monitoring. All readings were non-detect. Placid expedited removal and repair of the applicable motor and had it back in service at 1815 on 1/23/13. They admit that there was off-site impact in the form of air dispersion. Placid repaired the motor in question and review PM procedures to ensure they are adequate. There were no injuries or emergency conditions.
51.6 pounds

drain valve

Cause: On May 23, 2014 water and alkylate (a gasoline blending component) was discovered around the parameter of Placid's above ground tank number 16. The tanks floating roof drain valve was found to be leaking. The valve was blocked in to stop the leak and cleanup of approximately four barrels of alkylation and water was conducted. On May 24, 2014 additional alkylate was discovered and further investigation revealed the tank developed a small leak from a bottom side wall. Air pumps were set up to capture and pump the leaking alkylate to storage. A water heal of approximately 6 inches was pumped into the bottom of tank 16 to prevent product from leaking while the tank was de-inventoried. Area air monitoring was conuducted for LEL, VOCs, and benzene. On May 25, 2014 at approximately 10:00 hours the floating roof on tank 16 landed. De-inventorying continued until 18:00 hours when low suction was lost. The remaining product and water was removed (stripped) via air pumps. On May 26, at 9:30 hours the stripping was completed and a third party vendor began a controlled vapor degassing of the tank using a thermal oxidizer. On May 29, cleaning the floor of any residual sludge began so the tank could be inspected for needed repairs. Additionally, evaluation of any contaminated soil will also be addressed and the tank will remain out of service until repairs are completed. Report states that while the reason for the leak is still under investigation, it is expected to be corrosion related.

Followup: No

Notes: Release materials was recovered and returned to storage. Potentially impacted soil will be evaluated upon entry into the tank. A water heal was added to the tank, the tank was de-inventoried and degassed. Product was recovered and returned to storage. Soil to be tested and removed if contaminated. Air pumps captured leaking Alkylate.
0.0 pounds

internal vapor combustor (source ID 1-91, EQT 0041)
Cause: Placid's internal vapor combustor (source ID 1-91, EQT 0041) was not operating upon an inspection conducted by an Environmental Engineer. The combustor was serviced upon notification. During the outage, only Placid's Tank Farm was routed to the combustor. Placid has no known reason why the combust or failed other than this was through a period of abnormally cold weather. VOC emission did occur as a result of this failure and the Benzene RQ was exceeded at 21lbs. Root cause was determined that operator error. Shut down alarm was not acknowledged.

Followup: No

Notes: 3,205.63 lbs of VOC were released. Placid's Engineering and Terminal Departments are currently reviewing adding alarms to the terminal control system. In one part of the report, Placid states that the root cause of the failure was operator error. However, later they cite that the accident was the result of mechanical failure.

Internal Vapor Combustor (source ID 1-91, EQT 0041)
Cause: During a review of trends on control equipment on 1/8/2014 it was noticed that Placid's internal vapor combustor (source ID 1-91, EQT 0041) was not operating. The combuster has the ability to control emissions from barge and/or truck loading from Placid's Tank Farm, however only Placid's Tank Farm was routed to the combustor during the outage. Placid has no known reason why the combustor failed other than abnormally cold weather. Placid has assessed the root cause as operator error as the shutdown alarm was not acknowledged.

Followup: No

Notes: Placid's engineering and terminal departments are currently reviewing adding alarms to the terminal control system. Report states that actual engineering calculations will be maintained by Placid and are available for review upon request. Additionally, this report was filed in conjunction with another incident of the same DEQ number and State Police number. The cases to not appear to be related and occurred at different times with different materials discharged. No State Police Report was included for either case. Second case with the same DEQ and LSP number is included in database with DEQ#1532250 to differentiate them.
21.1 pounds