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Placid Refining (2366), Port Allen

Releases of Sulfur Dioxide

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

2005-05-24
Sour Water Stripper
Cause: Fouling in Sour Water Stripper

Followup: No

Notes: No information given on remedial actions or preventive measures. Hazmat incident # 05-3393
3,820.0 pounds
No LDEQ Reported

2005-03-21
Tail Gas Treater Unit (TGTU)
Cause: Catalyst fouling in Placid's Tail Gas Treater Unit (TGTU)

Followup: No

Notes: Requiring a unit shutdown to replace the heat exchanger bundle. Catalyst was replaced. Another multi-day massive Sulfur Dioxide release from the Treater Unit. It seems that the unit was releasing excessive Sulfur Dioxide for 20 days in a row. Hazmat incident # 05-01867
19,940.0 pounds
77564

2005-03-11
Tail Gas Treater Unit (TGTU)
Cause: An internal (not exposed to the atmosphere) heat exchanger tube leak resulted in catalyst fouling in Placid's Tail Gas Treater Unit (TGTU).

Followup: No

Notes: Requiring a unit shutdown to replace the heat exchanger bundle. Hazmat incident # 05-08167
35,860.0 pounds
No LDEQ Reported

2005-03-06
Tail Gas Treater Unit (TGTU)
Cause: An internal (not exposed to the atmosphere) heat exchanger tube leak resulted in catalyst fouling in Placid's Tail Gas Treater Unit (TGTU).

Followup: No

Notes: Exchanger bundle has been repaired. First in a series of major releases of Sulfur Dioxide from the Treater Unit. Hazmat incident # 05-01543
19,456.0 pounds
No LDEQ Reported

2006-02-28
EQT025(1-77) Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit Catalyst Regenerator
Cause: xxxxxxxx

Followup: No

Notes: Placid is continuing its investigation into the preventability of the possible excess emissions. Report states see attached online copy report- however this is not included in the file.
36.0 pounds
No LDEQ Reported

2007-04-21
Discharge
Cause: Turnaround maintenance

Followup: No

Notes: No information given
25,761.8 pounds
No LDEQ Reported

2006-06-08
EQT 016 and EQT 029
Cause: Shut down for unit maintenance

Followup: No

Notes: No information given
755.2 pounds
105780

2008-05-20

Flare at #2 Sulfur Plant
Cause: Instrument failure lead to an upset in Placid's #2 Sulfur Plant requiring acid gas be sent to the flare.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Replaced instrument in question. PLacid's flare does not have a permit limit for sulfur dioxide.
2,606.0 pounds
No LDEQ Reported

2008-05-20
FLARE
Cause: Instrumentation failure caused acid gas to be sent to flare

Followup: No

Notes: Placid's instrument dept. put the failed instrument in question
2,606.0 pounds
117362

2009-08-18
#2 Sulfur Recover Unit
Cause: Water got into the instrument air system which resulted in the diversion of acid gases to the number three sulfur unit that resulted in the excess emissions from the #2 Sulfur Recover Unit.

Followup: No

Notes: Police report only. No letter or follow up from the refinery.
1,054.0 pounds
116624

2009-07-21
FLARE
Cause: Water from the farm tank reached the crude unit, that result in flaring of preflash gas.

Followup: Yes

Notes: No Information Given
116433

2009-07-09
Flare
Cause: The released has been happened as a result of flaring during unplanned FCCU shutdown. On 7/9/09 FCCU experienced an uninterruptible power supply malfunction causing an emergency shutdown valves to go into fail position and flared sour water and wet gas.

Followup: No

Notes: No information given. The release has be contained within few hours.
1,100.0 pounds
116009

2009-06-25
Flare
Cause: Placid#3 sulfur unit experienced a malfunctioning PLC due to overheating. Resulting in the flaring of acid gas and sour water.

Followup: No

Notes: Placid installed a cooler on the PLC panel.
940.0 pounds
115997

2009-06-25
Flare stack, EQT016, EPN 18-74
Cause: No. 3 sulfur unit experienced a malfunctioning PLC, due to overheating, which resulted in flaring of acid gas and sour water.

Followup: No

Notes: No information given
10,520.0 pounds
127940

2010-12-01
Process Unit
Cause: LDEQ states that a loss of hydrogen caused the shutdown of several process units. Sulfur dioxide was re-routed to the incinerator.

Followup: No

Notes: No Information given. As of June 2011 incident is still classified as "open" by LDEQ. LDEQ report only. No refinery letter.
127340

2010-10-28
FLARE: Boiler & Flare Stack (EPN 18-74 EQ016)
Cause: Refinery letter states that due to a low waste heat boiler level, flaring occurred. Fire eye problems caused the plant to be shut down longer than expected. Refinery letter states that "it should be noted that flaring continued for approximately one hour and seven minutes more due to the Flare Gas Recovery System being shut down during acid gas flaring. However, during that time, no sour material was flared." FLARE.

Followup: No

Notes: RQ. Reportable quantities were exceeded. Bridles were cleaned.
4,350.5 pounds
126128

2010-09-02
FLARE: FCCU Unit
Cause: Flaring resulting from planned FCCU start-up. FLARE.

Followup: No

Notes: BRQ. Refinery letter states that no reportable quantities were exceeded. No additional information given.
125988

2010-08-28
FLARE: FCCU Unit
Cause: Flaring due to unexpected FCCU shutdown due to a malfunctioning flapper valve, which caused catalyst carryover. FLARE.

Followup: No

Notes: BRQ. Refinery letter states that no reportable quantities were exceeded. No additional information given.
125903

2010-08-24
FLARE: FCCU Unit
Cause: Flaring of slightly sour stream due to unexpected shutdown of FCCU because of air blower failure. No information given re: what was released. FLARE.

Followup: No

Notes: BRQ. Refinery letter states that calculations determined that no reportable quantities were exceeded. No information given.
124744

2010-07-12
FLARE:Catalytic Hydrotreater, SRU #2 & #3 [EPN 18-74]
Cause: Power failure caused shut down of Catalytic hydrotreater, Sulfur Recovery Units # 2 and # 3 and resulted in flaring acid gas and sour water gas...and 12,681 lb SO2 emissions. ROOT CAUSE was an "errant setting on the Feeder Management Relay for Powerhouse 11. The relate was set to trip on an instantaneous over current to neutral."

Followup: No

Notes: RQ. Refinery letter states that "setting was disabled in the relay to prevent future errant power interruptions." LDEQ report states that incident will "be taken up at the next scheduled inspection. Need calculations and whether it could have been prevented the duration."
12,681.0 pounds
123707

2010-05-25
FLARE: FCCU & sour water stripper
FLARE: FCCU and sour water stripper
Cause: "FCCU shut down to replace packing on Regen Slide valve." Flaring occurred upon restart of unit. FLARE.

Followup: No

Notes: RQ. Incident exceeded reportable quantities for sulfur dioxide. LDEQ report states that incident investigation status is "deferred until next inspection." No information given regarding remedial actions. LDEQ report only. No refinery letter.
727.0 pounds
136143

2011-12-23
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.
4,168.0 pounds
136091

2011-12-22
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.
134.0 pounds
135611

2011-11-30
Flare
Cause: Placid Refining Company operates a flare gas recovery unit that recovers routinely generated gases that would have been otherwise flared in Source ID 18-74. The recovery unit was shut down due to turnaround related unit cleaning activities sending high concentrations of nitrogen and steam into the flare system. This control device bypass was not approved via a variance.

Followup: No

Notes: Report states that no RQ's were exceeded. On the other hand, it also says that mass emission permit limits for the flare were exceeded. Placid has requested a GCXVII activity be added to their permit to cover monthly preventative maintenance on the system but this will only cover 5 hours per month. Operations will notify environmental department prior to shutting down system in the future so it can be addressed properly with the agency prior to activity. Report says to see an attached calculation with the name and quantity of released pollutants. Report shows no sign of such calculation.
0.1 pounds
No LDEQ Reported

2011-11-29
#1 Incinerator
Cause: The Sulfur Plant was shut down during the turnaround to replace the catalyst, as it was no longer active. Residual sulfur must be removed from the reactor beds to prevent the beds from plugging or solidifying. If the reactor beds are not swept of the residual sulfur, it becomes more hazardous to remove the old catalyst. The refinery notes that, even if the catalyst was not being replaced, it is likely that the catalyst would have plugged if the sweeping procedure was not performed, and it would not be able to achieve proper flow through the Sulfur Plant during startup.

Followup: Yes

Notes: The refinery will contact a Sulfur Plant specialist to explore any other possible shutdown techniques for sweeping the catalyst that do not cause a TG incident.
3,695.0 pounds
132689

2011-07-23
FLARE: Tailgas treater unit
Cause: The tailgas treater unit from SRU2 was bypassed due to plugging in quench tower servicing #1TGTU.

Followup: No

Notes: They swept the catalyst bed with sweet gas and washed the quench tower with fresh water. "Malfunction was corrected" No offsite monitoring, no onsite monitoring, not able to determine if offsite was impacted but they note air dispersion.
3,696.0 pounds
142056

2012-08-12
#1 Incinerator
Cause: Notification made that Placid's #1 Incinerator was emitting higher than permitted sulfur dioxide emissions during the start up of the #2 Sulfur Plant.

Followup:

Notes: Refinery rates were being increased from a recent turnaround and excess emissions continued occasionally throughout the early morning before comping back below the 250 ppm concentration permit limit. Placid calculated the excess emissions that occurred during the #2 Sulfur Plant startup and determined that they were less than the established RQ. The sulfur plant was operating at less than 50% of its design load during the incident. Placid will ensure any excess emissions are accounted for in other applicable reports.
141998

2012-08-11
#2 Incinerator
Cause: A notification was made that Placid's #2 Incinerator was emitting higher than permitted sulfur dioxide emissions during the start-up of the #3 Sulfur plant.

Followup: No

Notes: Placid calculated the excess emissions that occurred during the #3 Sulfur Plant startup and confirmed that they were less than the established RQ. Placid will ensure any excess emissions are accounted for in other applicable reports.
141718

2012-08-01
No information given
No information provided
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.
137263

2012-02-16
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
407.0 pounds
137233

2012-02-15
Amines process unit
Cause: A process unit upset caused liquid carryover to the amine treatment unit reducing the H2S scrubbing capacity and a valve was inadvertently left open allowing untreated fuel gas (high H2S) gas to mix with the refinery's fuel gas system.

Followup: No

Notes: The valve was closed and fresh amine was added to restore treatment capacity
3,959.8 pounds
137201

2012-02-14
SRU #2
Cause: The #2 Sulfur Recovery Unit shut down and the product was being incinerated rather than converted.

Followup: No

Notes: No mention of remedial actions mentioned in the report. The Incident Report from the refinery is missing from the file. No refinery letters.
900.0 pounds
No LDEQ Reported

2012-02-03
#1 Incinerator
Cause: The Sulfur Plant was shutdown during thte turnaround to replace the catalyst as it was no longer active.

Followup:

Notes: No additional steps were taken as this activity is part of Placid Refining's standard procedure for shutting down the Sulfur Plant for scheduled maintenance. Residual sulfur must be removed from the reactor beds to prevent the beds from plugging or solidifying. If the reactor beds are not swept of the residual sulfur it makes it more hazardous to remove the old catalyst. Note, that even if the catalyst was not being replaced it is likely that the catalyst would have plugged if the sweeping procedure was not performed and we would not be able to get proper flow through the Sulfur Plant during start up.
3,695.0 pounds
136758

2012-01-27
Incinerator #1
Cause: According to the Inspections Division, "At the time of the incident Placid was in the process of shutting down processing unit operations for turnaround maintenance. The only unit online at the time producing acid gas was the disel hydro treating unit; the Sulfur Plant No.2 shut down unexpectedly. Placid had already shut down Sulfur Plant No.3 and had to send the acid gas stream and the sour water stripper off gas to the flare while restarting Sulfur Plant No.2".

Followup: No

Notes: Both LDEQ and State Police Report included. At 0319, same day, the acid gas was returned back to the sulfur plant and taken out of the flare, according to both the LDEQ and State Police reports. Placid will check electronic and communication systems to ensure that they are functioning properly and perform general maintenance to the operating equipment. Currently writing a Preventative Maintenance and Operational Plan for the sulfur plants as required by Settlement Tracking No. SA-MM-11-0021. reviewing Standard Operating Procedures SOPs and maintenance schedules to ensure work practices are in place to assist in the minimization of Sulfur recovery Units SRU incidents.
511.0 pounds
No LDEQ Reported

2012-01-26
Reactor beds in the Sulfur Plant
Cause: The Sulfur plant was shutdown during the turnaround to replace the catalyst as it was no longer active. Residual sulfur was removed from the reactor beds to prevent the beds from plugging or solidifying. The statement includes a line that says the catalyst was not being replaced anyways. There is a contradiction.

Followup: No

Notes: This was a planned shutdown and a variance was issued by LDEQ Office of Environmental Service. There is no LDEQ report and no SPOC report attached to this file. Residual sulfur must be removed from the reactor beds to prevent the beds from plugging or solidifying. If the reactor beds were not swept of the residual sulfur it makes it more hazardous to remove the old catalyst. Note, that even if the catalyst was not being replaced it is likely that the catalyst would have plugged if the sweeping procedure was not preformed and we would not be able to get proper flow through the Sulfur Plant during start up. Placid's procedure for sweeping the reactor beds is the standard procedure for preparing an SRU for shutdown.
5,047.0 pounds
No LDEQ Reported

2012-01-19
SRU #2
Cause: There was excess SO2 emissions as a result of a plugged quench column. The plugged column was drained frequently to prevent further operational problems but required a temporary bypass of the tail gas treating unit #2 (TGTU 2), which treats gas from the SRU3 and sends it to the Sulfur recovery unit incinerator no. 2 (SRUI2).

Followup: No

Notes: To minimize excess emissions the maximum load possible was shifted to SRU 2 and acid gas production was reduced, feed to the SRU plants, by reducing FCCU and Diesel Hydro-treating processing rates during this period to minimize the load on SRU3. The column was drained frequently due to the timing of the planned turnaround versus longer TGTU2 outage that would have resulted in more overall SO2 emissions and a reportable quantity exceedance. Notification states that the discharges was in exceedance of the SO2 permit level that spanned a 7 day period. Also exceeded the maximum lb/hr permit level (4.25) for the source.
1,177.0 pounds
No LDEQ Reported

2013-09-11

Cause: At approximately 15:50 hours on September 11, 2013, Placid's #3 Sulfur Recovery Unit had shutdown resulting in excess SO2 emissions from the #2 Sulfur Recovery Unit Incinerator. The cause of the shutdown was due to a failed fuse on an Air Blower. Unit adjustments were made to prevent flaring of Acid Gas and to redistribute sulfur load through the #2 SRU.

Followup: No

Notes: At 15:51 #3 SRU was restarted and by 16:42 SO2 emissions from the #2 Incinerator were below 250 ppm. Emissions from #3 SRU upset is 95 lbs of SO2 total during the event. Amount exceeds Placid's maximum lb/hr air permit limits for one hour of operation. Amount is below the established 500 pound RQ for SO2.
95.0 pounds
159660

2014-10-28
FCC Unit
Cause: Placid reported a shutdown of the FCC Unit which was causing heavy flaring at the refinery. It was reported that there was a potential to exceed the reportable quantity (RQ) for sulfur dioxide. The release from this incident did not result in the exceedance of any reportable quantities.

Followup: No

Notes: No remedial actions
159683

2014-10-25
SRU #3
Cause: An electronic level indication in Placid's Sulfur Recovery Unit #3 (SRU #3) was faulty which caused excess sulfur carry over to Talk Gas Treatment Unit NO2 (TGTU #2). The carryover caused the TGTU #2 quench tower to plug. The plugging created excess pressure in SRU #3 and the TGTU#2 was bypassed lining up the SRU #3 off gas directly to the SRU #2 incinerator. The incinerator then shutdown due to the excess load and the acid gas stream going to the SRU #3 had to be flared. At this time operations began reducing rates to the FCC unit to bring the total refinery sulfur production down so SRU #2 could handle the load while trying to re-light and return SRU #3 to service. In approximately 30 minutes SRU #3 and the incinerator was back online and the acid gas stream was removed from the flare. Operations continued to reduce refinery charge rates to reduce sulfur production so SRU #3 and TGTU #2 could be shutdown to clean the plugged tower. During the shutdown of SRU #3 sweet natural gas is used to sweep the catalysts beds to keep the recovery catalyst from solidifying with sulfur. During this sweeping process excess sulfur dioxide emissions occur from the incinerator as the sulfur is swept off the catalyst. Placid is permitted to sweep the catalyst beds once per year to change the catalyst but that one event has already occurred this year. Placid opened the TGTU #2 quench column for inspection and cleaning prior to returning the SRU #3 and TGTU #2 back to service.

Followup: No

Notes: Placid implemented the Preventative Maintenance and Operation Plan (PMO) and procedures to reduce the refinery sulfur production to reduce the duration and amount of excess emissions. Placid will conduct a formal Root Cause Analysis (RCA) and submit a separate report for this incident per a Settlement Agreement with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ). During this process procedures and measures to minimize and prevent recurrence of similar incidents will be evaluated, implemented and reported as required.
8,742.0 pounds
159462

2014-10-16
Crude Unit, crude processing tower
Cause: Operations personnel was changing out a check valve on a line off a crude oil processing tower in the crude unit when reduced crude oil began leaking out of a valve inadvertently left open after preparing the line for service. The oil ignited causing a small fire.

Followup: No

Notes: Operations personnel evacuated persons in the area and opened fire monitors to contain the fire. Placid's emergency response fire team extinguished the fire in approximately 15 minutes and isolated the valves to stop the leak. Water and any residual oil not burned remained within the operating unit containment area and was sent to the wastewater treatment plant. Placid will conduct operator training to prevent recurrence.
37.0 pounds
157166

2014-07-01
Sulfur Recovery Unit
Cause: The Sulfur Recovery Unit process was upset. Subsequent downwind readings were executed to measure ambient air , but no values were recorded. Placid calculated the excess emissions that occurred during the #3 Sulfur Plant startup and confirmed they were less than the established reportable quantity.

Followup:

Notes:
1539992

2014-02-19

Cause: Placid notified State Police Hotline of a release of an unknown quantity of sulfur dioxide. The release was reported to have occurred due to a false level that occurred while in shutdown mode. This caused an upset condition on incinerator 1.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Approximately 20 lbs above Placid's permitted emissions of SO2 were released from emission source 6-77.
31.9