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ExxonMobil Chemical Plant (286), Baton Rouge

Releases of Butadiene

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source(s) Notes Amount of Release
95548

2007-04-21
Flare
Cause: had a flare event associated with RTO3 upset.

Followup:

Notes: May have exceeded RQ's.
0.7 pounds
109484

2008-09-23
Storage tank
Cause: The cause of the release was pressure in the feed tanks at the Waste water improvement unit.

Followup: No

Notes: A storage tank vented for 16 m. The cause of the release was pressure in the feed tanks at the waste water improvement (WILA) unit exceeded the vacuum vent setting for 14 m. The light material entered the flare knock out drum at the Olefins unit through a safety valve bypass which was left open inadvertently during the start up after Gustav. Manual error is the root cause. LDEQ said they would take this up at the next inspection. Exxon's written report was received on 10/6/08.
36.0 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.
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.
48.0 pounds
107433

2008-07-22

H furnace
Cause: Three events occurred within 24 hours of one another at the ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Chemical Plant. Two are reported in this report (LDEQ #107433), the other is reported separately (LDEQ #107421). In this incident (107433), a furnace tube leaked into convection section of H-furnace and caught fire. The tube leak occurred as a result of the incident described in report #107421. At approximately 5:56 PM on July 21, 2008, the charge gas compressor at the Olefins unit shut down when several processing cards in the gas turbine control system failed. When the compressor shut down, four furnaces automatically shut down and the gas in the furnaces was evacuated to the flare system. One of the remaining three furnaces was subsequently shut down while the remaining two furnaces continued to operated at 50% rates in order to maintain stable unit operations, which resulted in additional flaring for the duration of the event. The high rate of gas to the flare system resulted in the #25 flare smoking for 2 hours and 17 minutes. When the Olefins unit shut down, steam was introduced into the furnaces to displace the hydrocarbon feed to reduce flaring emissions. At 12:20 PM on July 22, 2008, while the H furnace was in the process of starting up, a leak was discovered in the convection section of the furnace. To stop the leak, water was introduced into the leaking pass of the furnace to displace the hydrocarbon feed. It is believed that the leak developed when steam was introduced into the furnace. Tube leaked into convection section of H-furnace and caught fire.

Followup: Yes

Notes: This incident is the result of the incident #107421 (see comments under that incident). Immediately after the incident began, five of the seven furnaces at the Olefins unit were shut down. Excess gas was sent to flare system. Water was introduced into the leaking furnace pass to displace the feed and prevent uncombusted hydrocarbons from leaking into the atmosphere. Concerning subsequent preventative actions, the failed processing cards were replaced. The H furnace was taken out of service to be inspected for leak location and repairs will be completed as necessary. Used water in the tube to eliminate the burning material. Flammable gass consisted of mainly Butane.
138.0 pounds
107421

2008-07-21
Flare #25
Cause: Due to an unknown cause, the compressor in the SACC unit failed and reduced the pressure on the system by flaring. The charge gas compressor in the Olefins unit shut down when several processing cards in the gas turbine control system failed. Four of the seven furnaces shut down immediately and gas from them were evacuated to the flare. The high rate flow caused #25 flare to smoke. The H furnace was starting up a leak developed in the convection section and uncombusted VOCs were released to air. It was believed a pinhole leak developed during steaming of furnace.

Followup:

Notes: The failed cards were replaced and the unit began operation. There was a complaint about black smoke that was coming from flare for about an hour, and ongoing flare. Steam was introduced into the furnaces to displace VOCs to reduce flaring emissions. The failed cards were replaced and the unit began operation. The flaring during start up were permitted emissions.
182.0 pounds
106838

2008-06-29
Tanks 8 and 9
Cause: The pressure feed tanks at the Waste water improvement unit exceeded vacuum setting and released hydrocarbon vapors to relieve the pressure. The cause is the material from the olefins unit flare knock out drum.

Followup:

Notes: It was unexpected that this material will impact the WWIU.
244.0 pounds
106776

2008-06-27
control system on gas driven turbine driver
Cause: On 6/27/08 the charge gas compressor at the Olefins Unit shut down due to a control system failure of the gas driven turbine driver. Five furnaces automatically shut down and gas was routed to the f

Followup: no

Notes: First they cooled dow the furnace to shut down the unit. Repairs were made to the control system and restarted. Flaring occurred during startup.
264.0 pounds
105211

2008-04-29
line leak at flange
Cause: They had a line that has leaked at a flange and is causing the release. They are isolating the line to stop the leak.

Followup: no

Notes: Benzene was released at .67 lbs/hr. Butadiene was released at .11 lbs/hr. Hydrocarbon gas was released at 18.77 lbs/hr. Styrene Monomer was released at 50.41 lbs/hr. Ethylbenzene was released at 30.16 lbs/hr. Toluene was released at 120.66 lbs/hr.
119584

2009-11-18
Storage tank
Cause: Pressure vapor vent release on storage tank.

Followup: No

Notes: Greater than 1000 lbs of flammable vapor were released, calculations are estimates. The incident was caused by a pressure vapor vent release pressure on the storage tank. They stopped the system completely. It is cleared up now and back in service.
55.0 pounds
118428

2009-10-02
B furnace
Cause: Tube leak in "B" furnace. Shutting the unit down to check the furnace and root cause of the leak.

Followup: No

Notes: Incident caused by a tube leak in B furnace, cause is under investigation. They took it down and entered it to check. They shut the system down. They promised a call back with a close out time and whether or not RQs were exceeded. No note of call back.
10.0 pounds
115611

2009-06-12
pipe
Cause: Pinhole leak in a pipe.

Followup: No

Notes: There was a pinhole leak in a pipe. They were working to repair it. Said they would call with an update.
10.0 pounds
114564

2009-04-29
Drain valves on flare gas compressor
Cause: Drain valves were left open on their flare gas compressor.

Followup: No

Notes: Drain valves have been blocked in. No RQs were exceeded.
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
128350

2010-12-27
MVTK 08 & 09 pressure vacuum vent
Cause: Tank pressure increased and the vent opened to relieve the pressure and then closed back up.

Followup: No

Notes: No RQs were exceeded due to prompt incident response.
126818

2010-10-02
J fractionator
Cause: Pin hole leak in J fractionator.

Followup: No

Notes: Final reports say no reportable quantities were reached.
10.0 pounds
124022

2010-06-08
Sapple tubing on furnace
Cause: Leak on sapple tubing on one of furnaces.

Followup: No

Notes: Leak on sapple tubing on one of the furnaces. Residue was being disposed of and resured. Incident reviewed by Regenia "Faye" Taylor during inspection in June 2011, stated that it was below RQ. Incident closed. Just LDEQ report no SPOC or Exxon letter.
135080

2011-10-28

Cause: Routine start-up for maintenance as part of a turnaround. Flaring occured during a planned start-up. On occasion they will be flaring butadiene.

Followup: No

Notes: All emissions were permitted and no reportable quantities were exceeded.
152616

2013-11-28
NIG
Cause: A release of butadiene and benzene from the ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Chemical Plant on November 28, 2013.

Followup: No

Notes: Due to prompt incident response to mitigate the event duration, no reportable quantities were exceeded.
1.0 pounds
152527

2013-11-20
OLA-2X gas compressor
Cause: On November 20, 2013 at approximately 2 PM, the OLA-2X gas compressor tripped due to high vibrations; causing material to be released to the site's flare gas system. Follow-up investigation results indicate that the drain line for the compressor coupling guard became plugged with an extensive amount of coke, allowing oil to build up and degrade the inside of the coupling guard. Over time, the oil degradation impinged on the coupling, causing the high vibrations. The Reportable Quantities for ethylene, propylene, butadiene, isoprene, benzene, nitrogen oxide, and sulfur dioxide was exceeded as a result of this event.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Immediately after the trip, unit shutdown procedures were executed and feed was safely removed from the unit. Air monitoring was conducted on November 20 and November 21 and all results were below the level of detection. Insulated the coupling guard drain line. Will evaluate installing a manometer on the coupling guard to attempt to measure air flow in the coupling guards and establish a monitoring program to determine if coke is accumulating in the coupling guards. Note: the initial report claims that plugged drain lines are not able to be detected or repaired, so the incident was not preventable. However, the follow-up report claims that air monitoring might detect coke accumulation and allow prevention.
382.0 pounds
151413

2013-10-05

Ethylene Refrigeration Compressor
Cause: On October 5, 2013 at approximately 9:15 Am, the Ethylene Refrigeration compressor motor shut down, causing material to be released to the site's flare gas system. Preliminary investigation indicates the electrical motor shut down due to momentary low voltage resulting from a bird landing on an electrical transformer and causing an electrical fault. A detailed investigation is underway to confirm the root cause of the power trip and determine recommendations to prevent recurrence.

Followup: No

Notes: Feed was quickly and safely removed from furnaces upstream of the compressor to minimize the load on the flare system and emissions to the atmosphere. Air monitoring was conducted frequently on October 5, 2013 and all results were below the level of detection. A detailed investigation is underway to confirm the root cause of the power trip and determine recommendations to prevent recurrence.
249.0 pounds
151342

2013-09-29
OLA-2X Gas Turbine
Cause: On September 29 at approximately 11:20 PM, the OLA-2X gas turbine tripped causing material to be released to the site's flare gas system. The shutdown was caused by a loss of flame in the gas turbine. Initial findings indicate that a change in power augmentation steam quality caused the loss of flame. An investigation is underway to determine the root cause of the change in steam quality.

Followup: No

Notes: Feed was safely removed from five of the seven furnaces to minimize the load on the flare system and emissions to the atmosphere. The remaining two furnaces were operated at minimal rates to minimize start-up emissions. Air monitoring was conducted on September 30, 2013 and all results were below the level of detection. This incident is under investigation to determine the root cause of the change in steam quality. Short term mitigation steps have been implemented to ensure consistent steam delivery to the gas turbine.
893.0 pounds
150818

2013-09-04
Tank #8
Cause: On September 4, tank #8 went above the pressure threshold resulting in a release of benzene and butadiene vapors.

Followup: No

Notes: Due to prompt incident response to mitigate the event duration, no reportable quantities were exceeded.
6.0 pounds
149640

2013-07-11
No Information Given
Cause: On July 11, 2013, there was a release of butadiene and benzene that occurred at the ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Chemical Plant. Due to prompt incident response to mitigate the event duration, there were no reportable quantities exceeded.

Followup: No

Notes: No information was provided in the refinery letter regarding point source or duration of the incident.
1.0 pounds
149002

2013-06-04
Valve
Cause: Release of materials to air due to malfunctioning valve.

Followup: No

Notes: Necessary repairs were made. No additional information was provided in addition to the amounts released and duration.
6.0 pounds
146614

2013-02-10
convention tube on C furnace
Cause: On February 10, 2013, a release of uncombusted ethylene (6.7 pounds), propylene (0.2 pounds), butadiene (0.2 pounds), butadiene (0.2 pounds), benzene (0.2 pounds), and other gases in smaller amounts (hydrogen, methane, and ethane). The incident began at 1000 hours and ended at 1045 hours. The release was caused due to a leaking tube in a steam cracking furnace (furnace C), which caused feed to enter the furnace. It was stated that most of the gases combusted inside the furnace. Some did not combust inside. The feed was stopped and the leaking tube later filled with water to prevent feed from entering that tube.

Followup: No

Notes: The leaking tube was filled with water to prevent feed from entering tube. The tube was reported to stay in this condiction until a more feasible time to replace or repair the tube and would not affect the operation of the furnace.
0.2 pounds