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Valero (26003), Norco

Releases of Nitrogen Dioxide

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source(s) Notes Amount of Release
103521

2008-02-29
Flare
Cause: while initiating corrective actions for another incident the WGC tripped.

Followup: No

Notes: Emissions minimized by immediately restarting WGC.
39.0 pounds
102905

2008-02-08
East Plant
Cause: East Plant coming down for a scheduled maintenance turnaround

Followup: No

Notes: Courtesy notification of scheduled turnaround
115395

2009-07-02
Flares 1, Flare 2
Cause: While performing a preventative maintenance check. While checking voltage output levels on the power supplies in the control cabinets an arc was created that shut down both power supply #1 an #2. The loss of both power supplies caused the redundant controllers to power down, which shutdown the Coker Wet Gas Compressor sending material to the flare.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Wet gas compressor was immediately restarted
19.6 pounds
115515

2009-06-09
Fire
Flare 1 and 2
Cause: High temperature sulfide corrosion caused a pipe in vacuum tower bottom service to fail. The leak combusted, process units were upset, and ultimately shut down. Shutdown caused emission from flare.

Followup: Yes

Notes: After the fire was discovered, crude/vacuum/coker processes were suhut down and the units were depressurized to flare.
1,419.0 pounds
115515

2009-06-09
Fire
Flare 1 and 2
Cause: High temperature sulfide corrosion caused a pipe in vacuum tower bottom service to fail. The leak combusted, process units were upset, and ultimately shut down. Shutdown caused emission from flare.

Followup: Yes

Notes: After the fire was discovered, crude/vacuum/coker processes were suhut down and the units were depressurized to flare.
24.0 pounds
121805

2010-02-27
FLARE: Flare #1 & #2, MSSCU, SRU, 3700 TOX
Cause: Flaring caused by difficulty starting up the Millisecond Catalytic Cracking Unit (MSCCU), as well as the Sulfur Recovery Unit (SRU) and its related thermal oxidizer (TOX) after a maintenance shutdown. Some emissions exceeded visible emissions and opacity permit limits as well.

Followup: Yes

Notes: RQ. Refinery letter states that reportable quantities were exceeded for sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and hydrogen sulfide. Initial refinery letter, plus two additional follow-up reports included in file. Remedial actions: "Maximized steam to flares to mitigation visible emissions...and adjusted feed rates and other process parameters in order to complete startup and stabilize the MSCCU and 3700 SRU units." "A minimal amount of waste gas is expected to be flared during process startup. Currently this activity is permitted for expected losses of criteria pollutants and hydrogen sulfide. Since the loss of propylene is not permitted under startup emissions, but is expected, Valero will request propylene allowances in a future application for a permit modifications. Additionally, we are planning to install flare gas recovery compressors on Flares 1 and 2 in the year 2011. These compressors will have the ability to capture waste gasses generated from startup activities and return them to the refinery fuel gas system."
150290

2013-08-09
6d 14hr 24m
Coker No. 2 Steam Vent
Flares 1,2,3,4&5
Flares 1,2,3,4&5; 30, 1600, & 3700 TOX; FCCU; GDU; Boilers B-401C, B-401D, & 401-E
Flares 1,2,3,4&5; Coker no. 2 Steam Vent
Flares 1,2,3,4&5; Coker No. 2 Steam Vent; Boilers B-401C, B-401D, & 401-E
Flares 1,2,3,4&5; FCCU; GDU; Boiler B-401C, B-401D, & 401-E
Flares 1,2,3,4&5; FCCU; GDU; Boilers B-401C & B-401D
Flares 1,2,4&5; 30, 1600, & 3700 TOX; Coker No. 2 Steam Vent
Flares 1,2,4&5; Coker no. 2 Steam Vent
Cause: On August 9, 2013, at approximately 22:51 hrs, Valero experienced an interruption in power supply caused by a surge arrestor electrical fault. The interruption caused the shutdown of multiple process units and resulted in excess emissions from the boilers, Sulfur Recovery Units (SRUs), Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit (FCCU), Gasoline Desulfurization Unit (GD), Coker Unit, and refinery flares. During recovery process of the power loss event, shutdowns occurred to both the Hydrocracker unit (HCU) and Ultra-low sulfur diesel unit (ULSD) resulting in flaring. Both unit shutdowns were related to the shutdown of their recycle gas compressors. The HCU's recycle gas compressor malfunctioned due to a low steam pressure which was directed related to the power loss event. The ULSD shutdown due to a malfunction of the recycle gas compressor's primary lube oil pump, and a delayed response for the startup of the secondary lube oil pump. We are unable to determine if the shutdown of the ULSD was directed related to the power loss event. However, the emission contributed to the HCU and ULSD shutdowns are considered as part of the same power loss event and are included herein.

Followup: Yes

Notes: The power loss caused the Crude Unit and Vacuum Unit to shut down immediately, thus preventing the manufacture of intermediates that feed subsequent process units. Downstream units were placed in circulation mode through manually closing valves, lowering reactor temperature and restarting tripped equipment such as compressors and pumps. Steam production was also increased as available to allow units to continue in circulation mode until power was restored. The HCU and ULSD units were re-started to reduce excess emissions. In addition, the flare gas recovery unit remain in operation during the entire incident to reduce the amount of flared gas. To prevent recurrence, the following procedures will be adopted: 1) Perform thermal scans of the surge arrestors in the Prospect and Good Hope Substation yards. 2) Perform routine thermal scans of the surge arrestors in the Prospect and Good Hope Substation yards. 3) Complete the evaluation of all existing Valero owned surge arrestors in the Prospect and Good Hope Substation yards to determine if they are of the same age and model of the T3 arrestors that have shown signs of degradation. To data, the surge arrestors on T4 transformers have been identified as being of the same vintage and design as the failed arrestors and will be the first targeted for replacement as will all arrestors of this design. 4) Evaluate one of the non-failed surge arrestors removed from service to determine if any degradation has started to occur. 5) Develop a plan to routinely replace all surge arrestors in 230KV service at 10 year intervals. 6) Review this incident and emergency procedures with affect personnel. 7) Evaluate raising the autostart pressure setting on the auxiliary lube oil pump. 8) Evaluate increasing the trip time delay on the low-low lube oil shutdown. 9) Consider installing a valve on the make-up hydrogen at the ULSD unit battery limits to prevent fresh hydrogen from being introduced to the unit during a period of malfunction. 10) Add to existing Emergency Operation Procedure to account for Diamond Green Diesel, which is connected to the ULSD. 11) Contact corporate hydrocracking specialists to determine if the logic should be modified to initiate high rate depressurization upon loss of recycle gas compressor. Reportable quantities were exceeded for H2S, SO2, NOx, and VOCs.
8,065.0 pounds