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ExxonMobil Chemical Plant (286), Baton Rouge

Releases of 1,3-Butadiene

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source(s) Notes Amount of Release
98264

2007-07-31
compressor
Cause: A compressor tripped resulting in the emission of the gases to the air.

Followup: No

Notes: They have restarted the compressor.
20.0 pounds
93345

2007-01-16
Exchanger
Cause:

Followup: No

Notes: SPOC report intital release says that the rate of release of 1,3-Butadiene had exceeded the RQ during the 24 hour period. Release from exchanger first calculated on 1/16/17 to be around 3 lbs per day. Routine sampling and measuments indicated that the rate of release was then around 11.5 lbs/day. Estimated to continue for at least a day or two. Just SPOC report. Raining at the time of the incident.
11.5 pounds
110384

2008-10-26
Ethylene Purification Unit
Cause:

Followup: No

Notes: Exxon believes that RQs were exceeded for all products released. Due to equipment failure, there was an unplanned shutdown of the Ethylene purificaInitial report says that they may exceed for RQs for Ethylene, propylene, nitrogen oxide, and opacity. Exxon's report was received on 11/5/08, and it said that no RQ exceedences occurred. The activity associated with this is covered under the Sp. Condition 2 of the operating Titile V permit for the Main train unit.
317.0 pounds
109352

2008-09-19
Caustic scrubber
Cause:

Followup: No

Notes: Caustic scrubber leaked liquid on to pad and butadiene got evaporated. Exxon's report says no RQs were exceeded.
10.0 pounds
109311

2008-09-17
Storage tank #8 in WILA
Tank 8
Tank 9
Cause:

Followup: No

Notes: Storage tank 8 in WILA vented from unit upset. Pressure vacuum setting on feed tanks in the WILA unit exceeded for 10 min and released the listed chemicals. Several units that feed into WILA were on start up mode after hurricane Gustav. Communication between units if being reinforced.
109655

2008-09-01
Advanced Wastewater Treatment Unit
Flare
Storage Tank
Cause: BRCP Flaring During Shutdown: On September 1, the Baton Rouge Chemical Plant began to safely shutdown operations due to power failures associated with Hurricane Gustav. During shutdown, excess gases were vented to the flare system in order to reduce emissions to the atmosphere. Baton Rouge Turbine Generator NOx steam trip: ExxonMobil experienced difficulty providing NOx suppression steam for our BRTG. Condensate is required to desuperheat the NOx suppression steam prior to using it in the BRTG. The normal condensate supply from operating units to provide desuperheater water is unavailable as these units are down. Temporary demin trailers were used to help provide an interim source of condensate to mitigate the loss of NOx suppression steam, but were unable to continuously supply the condensate for NOx steam to BRTG. Nitrogen blanketing for tanks on vapor recovery: The lack of nitrogen availability has also created a temporary loss of nitrogen blanketing for storage tanks on vapor recovery. Loss of nitrogen blanketing means that air will be pulled into the tank which is unacceptable from a hazard risk standpoint. The tanks without nitrogen blanketing must be blocked away from vapor recovery because it is unsafe to vent oxygen to a fuel gas or flare gas system due to the potential of creating an explosive mixture. Exxon shut down the vapor recovery controls when the site lost nitrogen. Once nitrogen is restored, Exxon will restart vapor recovery systems. Once normal operations are resumed, Exxon will report total excess emissions and duration of vapor recovery outages for affected tanks. Two hatches found open: Two tank hatches were found open after the hurricane was over. These tank hatches were blown open when wind speeds were highest (>90 mph) during the hurricane. Tank hatches must remain closed to prevent emissions; as such, these incidents are considered bypassing of a control device. The estimated emissions from these open tank hatches are below RQ amounts. AWT overflow to Monte Sano Bayou: The separator at the Advanced Wastewater Treatment unit overflowed to the Monte Sano Bayou. The incident occurred when the pumps lost power and could not pump down the level in the separator. Approximately 1300 gallons of untreated wastewater was discharged in to the bayou. Power to the pumps was restored and the level in the separator was pumped down to stop the overflow to the bayou. The composition of the discharged wastewater is unknown at this time due to a disruption in laboratory samples as a result of the hurricane.

Followup: Yes

Notes: BRCP was shutdown due to hurricane Gustav.
79.0 pounds
107422

2008-07-22
Hydrocarbon recovery system, tanks 8 and 10
Hydrocarbon recovery system, tanks 8 and 11
Hydrocarbon recovery system, tanks 8 and 9
Tanks # 8 and 9
Cause: Pressure vacuum vent for hydrocarbon recovery on storage tanks #8 and 9 exceeded for one minute. During transfer of material to storage tanks the pressure exceeded the pressure vacuum setting and VOC's were released.

Followup: No

Notes: Pressure vacuum vent for hydrocarbon recovery on storage tanks 8 and 9 exceeded for 1 m. Two other events occurred within 24 hours of this event and will be addressed seperately. During transfer of material to storage tanks 8 and 9 at the WILA (wastewater improvement unit) the pressure exceeded the pressure vacuum setting and VOCs were released. The operations personnel immediately stopped pumping the material until the overpressure situation was resolved. They were investigating the source of volatile material in the WW. RQ exceeded for benzene and 1,3-butadiene.
44.0 pounds
107422

2008-07-22
Hydrocarbon recovery system, tanks 8 and 10
Hydrocarbon recovery system, tanks 8 and 11
Hydrocarbon recovery system, tanks 8 and 9
Tanks # 8 and 9
Cause: Pressure vacuum vent for hydrocarbon recovery on storage tanks #8 and 9 exceeded for one minute. During transfer of material to storage tanks the pressure exceeded the pressure vacuum setting and VOC's were released.

Followup: No

Notes: Pressure vacuum vent for hydrocarbon recovery on storage tanks 8 and 9 exceeded for 1 m. Two other events occurred within 24 hours of this event and will be addressed seperately. During transfer of material to storage tanks 8 and 9 at the WILA (wastewater improvement unit) the pressure exceeded the pressure vacuum setting and VOCs were released. The operations personnel immediately stopped pumping the material until the overpressure situation was resolved. They were investigating the source of volatile material in the WW. RQ exceeded for benzene and 1,3-butadiene.
106450

2008-06-16
sample cylinder
Cause: They discovered a leaking sample cylinder in their lab.

Followup: no

Notes: No RQ exceedance from the leak, originally stated that 11 lbs butadiene leaked out. The discrepancy had to be addressed at the next inspection.
10.6 pounds
104041

2008-03-19
#16 flare
Cause: #16 flare went out due to electrical issues. Product went to the flare but as it was out, went to atmosphere.

Followup: No

Notes: They relit the flare after power was re-established
72.0 pounds
120018

2009-12-09
SACC unit LTO1
Cause: A leak developed in a fifty four inch overhead pipe at the SACC Unit LT01.

Followup: No

Notes: There is approximately 5 lbs per square inch (psi) or pressure on the pipe. The insulation of the pipe was removed to identify the source. Pictures included of the plug of the pipeline due to the hole and a view of the repaired line. On the incident report form it says that the initial report said that RQs might be exceeded, but that none were exceeded.
113980

2009-04-06

RTO unit
Cause: RTO unit atmospheric safety and associated flaring caused by loss of an electronic card and computer failure. Failure of a computer control card resulted in several control valves to fail in the closed position and the atmospheric safety valve then lifted to the flare.

Followup: No

Notes: The card was replaced with a spare and the unit operations were reduced to minimize released.
10.0 pounds
112825

2009-02-17
EPLA-W Compressor, flares #10, 25, and 26
Flares #10, 25, and 26
Cause: A fire resulted in a compressor shut down and material being flared from 10:30 pm - 11 pm. Around 10:30 pm the charge gas compressor (EPLA-W compressor) for the Olefins Maintrain furnaces tripped due to failed overspeed wiring. This occurred because of a small leak of lube oil from the steam driver which caught fire. This fire was small but close to the wiring which malfunctioned.

Followup: No

Notes: This incident is linked to incident #112824. The effluent gases were diverted to flares before the compressor could be repaired. Start up began around 8:45 pm on 2/18/09. Flaring during shut down through start up resulted in exceedances of RQs for ethylene, propylene, butadiene, nitric oxide, and sulfur dioxide. Also they had three compliance excursions from smoking of flares #10, #25, and #26. This was a non preventable incident from a malfunction. They are looking into preventing lube oil leaking and collecting near compressor wiring.
20.0 pounds
128380

2010-12-29
knockout drum KD-05 on Ethylene Clarification unit
Cause: A knockout drum KD-05 on the Ethylene Clarification unit was experiencing high liquid levels. This increase in material in the quench water drum resulted in a disruption of quench water flow and led to increasing unit temperatures. Compressor HC-01 then tripped due to high temperature which caused unit material to be routed to the flare system, by design, until the compressor could be restarted.

Followup: No

Notes: To reduce the liquid levels quickly, operations personnel opened a bypass valve and routed material to a downstream quench water drum, HD-02. The RQs for ethylene, benzene, and 1-3 butadiene were exceeded. There was a light precipitation at the time of the event. This incident and responses to potential future incidents will be reviewed with operations personnel.
13.0 pounds
127175

2010-10-21
Bela 5 unit
Cause: A heat exchanger leak into a closed loop system was suspected to be causing a unit upset, which resulted in flaring.

Followup: No

Notes: Two instances of flaring from the 1,3-Butadiene unit, BELA-5, occurred within a 24 hour period causing an exceedance of RQ. At approximately 4:58 flaring of the BELA-5 finishing tower overhead began. The heat exchanger is used to heat unit feed and cool solvent. To stabilize the unit and end the release, feed to the unit was reduced. Flaring began again at approximately 6:42 am. Operations were modified to mitigate leak potential and use of flare. A plan to repair the exchanger, which will require a unit shutdown, is being developed. This incident was not preventable because it was caused by an unforseen bundle leak.
20.0 pounds
120703

2010-01-10
flare
Cause: Unknown cause for leak in the propylene line of the EPLA (Ethylene Purification Unit). The EPLA uses high pressure propylene for refrigeration.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Initial report was received on 1/19/10. Ethylene Purification Unit (EPLA) uses high pressure propylene for refrigeration. Leak in pipe started 1/9/10 but discovered 1/10/10 at 8:20 pm. Proper and safe disposition of high pressure propylene is flaring. EPLA unit was shut down and more flaring occurred. Flaring occurred. Ended 1/11/10 at 3:22 am. Subsequent start up also resulted in flaring which are covered under permit. This was not preventable as it was an unusual incident. Follow up report after invesitgation was received on 3/22/10. Following corrective actions were contemplated: Design and install a permanent repair for the line, Review vibration study, Increase HAWK camera utilization to detect leaks early, Implement flow alarms for early warning via Real Time Advisor computer system. Exxon Mobil personnel requested and met with the Enforcement Divsion to settle the penalty on this preventable release.
135246

2011-11-11
KD-14 charge gas drier bypass line
Cause: A line leak was discovered on the KD-14 charge gas dier bypass line. 107 lbs of charge gas was released as a result of a line leak on the KD-14 charge gas drier bypass line.

Followup: No

Notes: Area monitoring was conducted and monitoring results repeatedly indicated low levels of hydrocarbon present at the leak site but at concentrations below the limit of detection at the BRCP fence line. A clamp has been placed on the line to isolate the leak. Prior to the permanent clamp being installed, a temporary clamp was installed on the line. Area monitoring was conducted. A permanent clamp was installed on the line on November 11.
3.0 pounds
135181

2011-11-09
compressor KC-01
Cause: A combination release occurred due to a cracked pipe in the thermo well of the ethylene production unit.

Followup: Yes

Notes: An engineered clamp is being fabricated and will be installed to isolate the leak. Estimated 72 hours to install clamp and secure leak. Individually this event did not exceed the RQ for HRVOC, but in combination with another incident (#11-07037) the RQ for HRVOC was exceeded on Friday, November 11. Approximately 122 pounds of HRVOC's were released. On November 11, 2011 at approximately 13:51 Derek Reese stated the ongoing release subsided to 4.25 lbs/hr and was now below RQ. (still ongoing on report date 11/16/11) Area monitoring and LDEQ monitoring on the fenceline (including grab sample) did not detect anything. LDEQ did pick up .25ppb of Benzene. A total of 108 pounds per day of charge gas is being released as a result of this event. Cumulative emissions which include the total emissions from the incident and complete response, will be included in the follow-up report.
530.0 pounds
135136

2011-11-05
Control valve
Cause: Control valve malfunctioned releasing several materials into the air. Released to the flare after control valve malfunctioned.

Followup: No

Notes: No reportable quantities were exceeded.
1.0 pounds
133598

2011-09-01
vent tanks 8 & 9
Cause: Pressure vacuum vent on a tank released to atmosphere.

Followup: No

Notes: The release was located at Tanks 8 & 9. Approximately 649 pounds of total vapor were released.
2.0 pounds
129511

2011-02-25
BELA-5
Cause: Flaring resulted in 365 lbs of 1,3-Butadiene. Compressor BAC-01 on the 1,3-Butadiene Unit (BELA-5) tripped, which caused an unplanned shutdown.

Followup: No

Notes: BAC-01 compressor motor was replaced and the unit was restarted. To prevent recurrence of the compressor trip, the motor was replaced.
356.0 pounds
129163

2011-02-09
BELA-5 1,3-Butadiene Unit
Cause: Approximately 121 pounds of 1,3-Butadiene was released from the BELA-5 unit after a compressor tripped, causing an unplanned shutdown. The compressor trip was caused by a significant fouling incident on both parallel feed filters. The unit's solvent balance was disrupted when the filters fouled, and the compressor tripped due to a high suction drum level.

Followup: No

Notes: Material was routed to the flare per design. The unit was shutdown and multiple filters were cleaned.
121.0 pounds
145178

2012-12-05
Hydraulic Valve on EPLA-W KC-01
Cause: On December 5, 2012 at approximately 6:18 pm, while repairing an inlet valve on EPLA-W KC-01 compressor the hydraulic valve failed, resulting in flaring. After further investigation it was determined that the lube oil clarifier malfunctioned allowing cooling water to backflow into the lube oil system.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Immediately following the failure of the hydraulic valve, the feed rates to the compressor were reduced. The compressor remained at reduced feed rates until a planned shutdown occurred. To prevent recurrence of this event, the valve has been cleaned and thoroughly inspected. Additionally, the lube, seal, and control oil reservoir circuit has been drained and refilled.
18.8 pounds
144539

2012-11-09
Flare gas system
Cause: A failure of the fuel gas control valve servomechanism actuator failed due to particulate matter in the hydraulic system, causing OLA-2X gas turbine to trip and material to be released to the Site's flare gas system.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Feed was removed from five of seven furnaces and the remaining two furnaces were operating at minimal rates in order to reduce the load on the flare system and emissions to the atmosphere. The hydraulic oil filters and servos were replaced upon discovery of the foulant. The hydraulic oil system was drained, cleaned, and charged with fresh oil in December 2012 to remove a suspected contaminate and particulates. ExxonMobil is conducting additional laboratory analysis of the lube oil at our lubes and specialities lab to determine if additional steps are needed to help prevent recurrence. In addition, improved filtration has been installed. A citizen complaint was recorded and given LDEQ incident number 144543. The complaint cites "Exxon release causing terrible odors, making the caller sick." The LDEQ report references this report, incident 144539 for information on the release. The reportable quantities for VOC, benzene, ethylene, propylene, isoprene, 1,3-butadiene, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxide were exceeded as a result of this event.
924.0 pounds
142193

2012-08-18
transfer line from "D" furnance to EPLA-W
Cause: On August 18, 2012 at 20:27, a leak was discovered on a transfer line from "D" furnance to the "light end unit" EPLA-W.

Followup: No

Notes: The line was isolated and secured.
2.3 pounds
141699

2012-08-01
Pump UFPU-150
Cause: On August 1, 2012 pump UFPU-150 was discovered leaking flare condensate to the concrete.

Followup: No

Notes: Due to the prompt incident response to mitigate the event duration, no reportable quantities were exceeded.
3.5 pounds
141729

2012-08-01
pump UKPU-100B
Cause: Pump UKPU-100B was discovered leaking flare condensate

Followup: No

Notes: Due to prompt incident response to mitigate the event duration, no reportable quantities were exceeded. Less than one pound of 1,3-butadiene, benzene, and toluene were released.
1.0 pounds
139911

2012-05-22
Flare: No Information Given
Cause: There was a compressor surge, which caused a release to the flare.

Followup: No

Notes: The refinery's follow-up letter indicates that "due to prompt incident response to mitigate the event duration," no reportable quantities were exceeded.
7.6 pounds
138338

2012-03-27
no information given
Cause: A leak developed on a line under some insulation material. Release of 1,3-Butadiene.

Followup: No

Notes: No information given. Inconsistency in quantities released. Intitial notification reported release of 10 lbs of 1,3-Butadiene, subsequent written notification reported approximately 9.34 lbs of 1,3-Butadiene.
9.3 pounds
136458

2012-01-11
KND-72 seal oil drum
Cause: A leaking union was discovered on KND-72 seal oil drum.

Followup:

Notes: They have determined that no reportable quantities were exceeded.
4.4 pounds
150124

2013-08-04
Piping from BELA-5
Cause: On August 4 at approximately 8:47 AM, a leak of butadiene was detected ont he butadiene extraction unit (BELA-5) at the Baton Rouge Chemical Plant (BRCP). Follow-up response using a thermal camera revealed butadiene leaking from insulated piping. Immediately upon discovery of the leak, a controlled shutdown of the BELA-5 unit was initiated. Final investigation results indicate the leak was caused by external corrosion. The leaking pipe and insulation were replaced prior to unit startup.

Followup: Yes

Notes: A controlled shutdown of the BELA-5 unit was executed upon discovery of the leak. As part of the shutdown, the piping was isolated and removed from service to stop the leak. To prevent recurrence, the leaking pipe and insulation were replaced prior to unit startup.
38.0 pounds
149351

2013-06-25
WILA unit
Cause: ON June 25, 2013, the Baton Rouge Chemical Plant WILA unit experienced a series of intermittent PV vent liftings on TK 8 & 9. This event was due to level instrument malfunction on a water/butadiene separation drum during startup of the BELA-5 unit caustic scrubber system. As a result, butadiene was sent to the WILA unit. The butadiene vaporized in TK 8 & 9 causing elevated pressures, resulting in the PV vent liftings. The source of butadiene was immediately stopped and the WILA feed line was purged of butadiene to the flare system. Approximately 33 pounds of benzene and 2100 pounds of 1,3-butadiene were released as a result of the event.

Followup: No

Notes: The source of butadiene was stopped and the WILA feed line was purged of butadiene to the flare system. Repaired level instrument/control valve. Repaired site glass to restore visibility and enable confirmation of level instrument reading. Conducted refresher training for the process organization on improved alarm response to low level readings.
2,100.0 pounds
148832

2013-05-21

Cause: On May 21, the Baton Rouge Chemical Plant experienced a turbine trip at the OLA-2X unit. The material released was sent to the site flare gas system. After further investigation, it was determined that this event was due to the failure of the fuel gas control valve servomechanism actuator. The servomechanism actuator failed due to particulate matter build up in the hydraulic oil system.

Followup: No

Notes: Immediate remedial action was to reduce unit feed rates to help minimize emissions. The hydraulic oil filters and servomechanism actuators were replaced prior to restarting the machine.
959.0 pounds
158676

2014-09-11
pressure vent on NSHAP
Cause: Pressure Vent failed on the NSHAP. Event emitted approximately 4lbs benzene, 3lbs 1-3-butadiene, and 7 lbs of VOC's.

Followup: No

Notes: No Information Given. Due to prompt incident response the mitigate the event duration, no RQ's were exceeded.
3.0 pounds
153937

2014-02-15

Cause: On February 15, 2014 at approximately 12:46 AM, a sample station at TK1661 was discovered left open following a sample collection. As a result, liquid 1,3-butadiene was released into a flare drum and to the flare header.

Followup: No

Notes: According to the refinery letter on February 21, 2014, the incident was ongoing, with the release initially 400 pounds per day, to 13.5 pounds per day, and then less than 10 pounds per day after the flare gas recovery compressors were put in service. The flare gas recovery compressors were put in service to recover the butadiene and minimize air emissions. To prevent recurrence, the sampling procedure will be updated to emphasize proper sampling of the 1661 line. Letter on 2/22 states that Industrial Hygiene personnel from the plant will conduct fenceline monitoring throughout the duration of the event.