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Valero (26003), Norco

Releases of Heavy Premium Coker Gas Oil

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

Dock 2
Cause: On June 21 at approximately 17:30 while loading to a barge at dock 2, approximately 30 gallons of Heavy Coker Gas Oil was spilled to the Mississippi river due to a malfunction of the loading arm. The failure occurred because the locking pin on the loading arm was engaged while transferring product to the vessel. The loading arm and counterweight could not move freely with the vessel. The locking pin is spring loaded and held out of the path of the counterweight with a small diameter wire. The wire failed and allowed the locking pin to become engaged. As the vessel was filled, the weight of the oil caused it to sit lower in the river and caused the loading arm to separate from the connection to the vessel. A weld failed on a 12" pipe located at the base of the loading arm which caused a 1/5" wide by 5" long hole in the pipe. Coker gas oil sprayed 10 feet from the facility and onto the barge.

Followup: Yes

Notes: All valves were isolated and the transfer was shutdown to prevent additional leakage. Absorbent pads and boom were used to capture any remaining oil. The contracted emergency response vendor was mobilized to assist with the cleanup. The following corrective measures have been or will be implemented to prevent this recurrence: 1) Modify locking pin mechanism so that it is not spring loaded with an engineered connection threaded rod device, 2) Review incident with all Complex 1/SGS (dock operators) personnel for improved hazard recognition, 3) Review inspection procedures with dock personnel including frequency and documentation, 4) Develop a way for SGS operators to have access to input work notifications in SAP, 5) Have a meeting with the North Wind Fab Inc. to incorporate loading arms into the inspection system and ensure all locking pin mechanisms are included in the inspection report.
30.0 gallons