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Placid Refining (2366), Port Allen

Releases of Hydrogen Sulfide

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source(s) Notes Amount of Release
No LDEQ Reported

Seam tear in tank roof
Cause: Inadequate procedures for handling unstable gasoline.

Followup: No

Notes: Placid refinery has reivse Standard Operating Procedures and has instituted training for all operations and terminal personnel to prevent reoccurence.
162.1 pounds

incinerator 2 at sulfur plant #3
Cause: The #2 SRU tripped causing the air shutdown valve to close, forcing operations to shift the feed from the #2 SRU to the #3 SRU. The catalyst in the #2 TGTU became overloaded from the excess feed and breakthrough occurred causing sulfur to carryover to the #2 TGTU Quench Tower. The #2 TGTU Quench Tower became plugged with Sulfur and could not run at full capacity. The #2 TGTU had to be bypassed in order to clean the #2 TGTU Quench Tower. Reached RQ at 18:45 on the 23rd due to bypassing the #2 Tailgas unit. Normal was not reached until the 25th. The facility goes on to report that the shutdown was caused by a malfunction of a safety shutdown inherent to the technology of the design of the unit.

Followup: Yes

Notes: In an effort to reduce the quantity of sulfur dioxide emissions from this incident, the refinery reduced the charge rate to the FCCU, discontinued processing LCO through the Diesel Hydrotreater and put the Sour Water Gas to the #2 SRU. These steps allowed them to keep the #3 SRU at minimum feed rates while the Quench tower in the #2 TGTU (which served the #3 SRU) was being cleaned. The shutdowns on the #2 SRU were tested and found to be in good working order. If it is shutdowns again, their alternative will be to divert the feed to the #3 SRU or flare Acid Gas. Placid does not feel that design, operational, or maintenance changes are required because shutdowns are tested during every turnaround. They classify this incident as unusual and rare, therefore, it is not expected to have a significant probability of occurring again. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was greater than 20.0 pounds per hour continuously for three consecutive hours or more. Placid Refinery then pushed more pollution out of SRU #3. Sulfur component releases from SRU #3 production from the start of the incident on 12/23/11 to 12/25/11 were approximately 1,380 lbs.

Sulfur plants #2 and #3
Cause: Sulfur Plant No. 2 Shutdown causing the No. 1 Incinerator to exceed the CEMS 500 ppm sulfur dioxide span until all of the acid gas load was shifted to Sulfur Plant No. 3. The increased load cause the No. 2 Incinerator to exceed the CEMS 500 ppm sulfur dioxide span until Sulfur Plant No. 2 was restarted. Both of the incinerators are permitted sources.

Followup: No

Notes: Restarted Sulfur Plant No. 2.
5.3 pounds

Cause: The main air blower tripped in the FCC unit. Because the feed was pulled from the unit there was potential for a release.

Followup: No

Notes: They were bringing the unit back up and waiting for stabilization.

No information provided
No information given
Cause: There was leak in a line that was being taken out of service for a turnaround, causing the facility to experience an exceedance of its 12-hour average for hydrogen sulfide.

Followup: No

Notes: No remedial actions were stated. The State Police Hazmat report identifies sulfur dioxide as the released chemical, but does not mention hydrogen sulfide. The LDEQ report identifies hydrogen sulfide as the released chemical, but does not mention sulfur dioxide. No explanation is given for this discrepancy. The report also states that the RQ for H2S is 500 lbs, which is presumably why they state that the 100 lbs released was below the reportable quantity. Notification made that #1 Incinerator was emitting higher than permitted sulfur dioxide emissions. Placid's engineering department determined less than the established RQ was actually released from this event. Placid will ensure any excess emissions are accounted for in other applicable reports. SPOC report states material did go offsite.
100.0 pounds

SRU incinerator #1
Cause: A plugged quench tower in TGTU #1 that operated in conjunction with SRU #2 had to be taken out of service for cleaning resulting in a TGTU bypass which caused an increase in SO2 emissions from the SRU incinerator #1 on SRU#3.

Followup: No

Notes: The maintenance cleaning activity on the plugged Quench Tower was performed quickly as possible and reduced acid gas production by reducing processing unit charge rates and shifting the maximum acid gas load possible to the SRU #3. Operator training is being conducted to prevent the initial incident earlier in the week. Offsite air monitoring occurred throughout the duration of the incident.Additional operator training and any findings or corrective actions that stem from the formal Root Cause Analysis

Tank 15
Cause: According to the Courtesy Notification of release from Tank 15 thay is ongoing, "the fixed roof tank over pressured and caused a bulge in the roof. Several holes developed along the seams allowing the tank to vent emissions to the atmosphere instead of the vapor combuster". Venting fumes directly to the atmosphere.

Followup: No

Notes: "The tank is storing heavy No.6 oil and a plan to repair or take the tank out of service for repairs is being developed and will be implemented as soon as practical",according to the refinery report. Tank is cooled and emptied. The tank will be cleaned in 30 days and repairs will be made but due to the heavy contents, this may last 6 months conservatively. SPOC states that emissions for VOCs were less than 1000 lbs and less than 10 lbs for H2S. Follow-up letter states that a discharge was in excess of of permit levels and will cause a deviation that will last longer than 7 days, but there is no indication of which pollutant they might be referring to. Tank 15 must be cleaned to repair the tears on the roof. This operation requires a completely sealed tank, therefore, breathing emissions are now going to the atmosphere and will continue until the tank is de-inventoried. Unsure of how long it will take to clean and repair the tank due to heavy storage contents, and conservatively assumes it will take at least six months to complete.
10.0 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.