Home Search Emissions Pollutants About the Database


ExxonMobil Chemical Plant (286), Baton Rouge

Releases of Flammable Vapor

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source(s) Notes Amount of Release
87695

2006-03-09
Exchanger
Methane relief valve on POX heat-up-gun header
Cause:

Followup: No

Notes: On 3/2706 they disocvered they had an on-going release of methane. A meter indicated the release started on 3/9/06. Methane was released at 3120 lbs/day. Methane was released at 3120 pounds per day.
1,000.0 pounds
99883

2007-10-01
safety valves
Cause: On October 1, 2007 at approximately 2:48 PM, the LOLA T-1 tower overpressured resulting in a hydrocarbon release to the atmosphere through three of the four safety valves on the overhead of the tower. The overpressure was caused by a faulty pressure reading on the tower pressure control system. The T-1 overhead pressure instrument had been reading erratically prior to the incident and was being evaluated. During this time, the overhead pressure control valve was operated in manual to maintain a specified tower pressure. Pressure began to increase in the tower, and firing of the tower's reboiler furnace, F-402, was automatically shutdown when the pressure reached 35 psig. Furnace firing was restarted and pressue continued to rise, reaching 38.55 psig, even though the controller was using the pressure control valve in an attempt to lower tower pressure. After control was reestablished, it was determined that three of the four tower safety valves had relieved.

Followup: No

Notes: The pressure control valve on the T-1 overhead circuit was fully opened to relieve the pressure in the tower. The pressure instrument is being evaluated by instrument technicians, but at the time of the report, no cause for the erratic behavior was found. An investigation is ongoing and the appropriate follow up actions will be completed to prevent recurrence.
13,413.0 pounds
111419

2008-12-15
valve
Cause: Piping and valve leaked through by tank. Had a piping prepared for mechanical repairs and a valve leaked through by the tank.

Followup: No

Notes: The bleeder was blocked to stop the leak. Need to remediate the contaminated soil. Spill was vacuumed off. RQs for VOCs were exceeded. Release leaked to the soil and evaporated. Report was recorded by SPOC on 12/29/08.
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.
4,029.0 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.
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.
1,000.0 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.
1,000.0 pounds
124687

2010-07-08
Halobutyl Unit flare line
Cause: Crack in the line was discovered on a Halobutyl Unit Flare. It was a nonpreventable released caused by unanticipated corrosion.

Followup: No

Notes: Upon discovery, temporary clamps were installed to end the release and close the potential emission sources. A permanent repair plan is being developed. This incident was caused by unanticipated corrosion. Exceeded RQs.
1,809.0 pounds
123886

2010-05-31
line on drum
Cause: Hole in the line on drum and leaking butenes

Followup: No

Notes: Hole in line on drum leaked butenes. It was isolated and they tried to depressurize. They updated later when the leak stopped. They started air monitoring 20 minutes after the leak started and didn't find any hydrocarbons at the perimeter of the unit. Report from Exxon was received on 6/7/10 saying no RQs were exceeded.
366.0 pounds
123705

2010-05-23
SCLA unit
Cause: Pipeline leak in Methyl Ethyl Ketone unit.

Followup: No

Notes: There was a pipeline leak in MEK unit. Butene released. Exxon's report was received on 6/2/10. Release occurred in the SCLA unit from a weld. It was depressurized and shut down. Also included in the incident #123722. Only SPOC report in file
412.0 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.
2,562,647.0 pounds
135868

2011-12-13
OXO furnace F-635
Cause: OXO furnace (F-635) experienced a loss of instrument air causing the furnace to trip. As a result o the furnace trip, the vent stream, normally combusted in the furnace, was diverted to the atmosphere.

Followup: No

Notes: No information given regarding remedial actions. This event is combined with a subsequent release LDEQ incident # 135902. Their combined release exceeded reportable quantities for flammable vapors over a 24 hour period.
921.0 pounds
134193

2011-09-27
safety valve: #ECR-01
Cause: The leak occurred at an inlet to a safety valve on equipment #ECR-01. Carbon Monoxide was released. The release was located at a block valve on the Neo Acids Unit.

Followup: No

Notes: Less than one pound of flammable vapor was released.
130645

2011-04-13
RT-03
Cause: The South Ethylene Purification Unit (EPLA-S) experienced operational difficulties from depropanizer tower RT-03. RT-03 experienced operational difficulties with its overhead condensers when a control valve failed, resulting in EPLA-S receiving unsteady feed rates and material molecular weights. Due to teh unsteady feed, material was routed from EPLA-S to the flare system and an atmospheric safety valve released material. A control valve failed.

Followup: No

Notes: Material was routed from EPLA-S to the flare system. To end the release, rates at RT-03 and EPLA-S were reduced. The failed control valve has been isolated. It will be repaired prior to being returned to service.
19,903.0 pounds
128499

2011-01-05
C9 OXO unit
Cause: A pinhole leak developed on the C9 unit.

Followup: No

Notes: Written notification stated that no reportable quantities were exceeded.
34.0 pounds
144609

2012-11-12
NIG
Cause: Flaring occurred during a planned maintenance activity. Unknown substance was flared.

Followup: No

Notes: Exxon Chemical had a planned equipment outage resulting in flaring. Flaring continued throughout the day and was secure at 18:30. All emissions were permitted and no RQs were exceeded. No information given about what was released or duration.
144468

2012-11-06
Neo Acids Unit Instrument Tubing
Cause: A leak was discovered on an instrument tubing valve at the Neo Acids unit. The unit was shut down to isolate the leak.

Followup: No

Notes: The unit was shut down to isolate the leak. After further evaluation, Exxon Chemical determined that no RQs were exceeded. Less than one pound of flammable vapor was released as a result of this event. Initial correspondence with LDEQ indicate an unknown amount of carbon monoxide gas and hydrogen gas were released. The refinery letter later indicated that only flammable vapor was released.
1.0 pounds
144446

2012-11-05
valve of reactor KR-01B
Cause: A leak was discovered on the outlet valve of reactor KR-01B at the Escornez unit.

Followup: No

Notes: LDEQ initially reports that hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and xylene were released, but later reports that only approximately 4 pounds of flammable vapor were released as a result of this event.
4.0 pounds
144402

2012-11-02
compressor MC-02
Cause: On 11/2/12, compressor MC-02 discharge casing developed a leak.

Followup: No

Notes: Sealant was pumped into the casking to isolate the leak. After further evaluation, Exxon Chemical has determined that no RQs were exceeded. Approximately 211 pounds per day of flammable vapor, 32 pounds per day of ethylene, and 26 pounds per day of propylene were released as a result of this event.
143305

2012-09-20
Level instrument on drum D-50 at the POX unit
Cause: A leak was discovered on the level instrument taps on drum D-50 at the POX unit.

Followup: No

Notes: No Information Given. After further evaluation we have determined that no RQs were exceeded. Less than 1 pound of flammable vapor was released as a result of this event. LABB only has the 7 day letter written notification, but has not found the initial verbal notification made to SPOC or LDEQ verbal report.
1.0 pounds
143542

2012-08-29
NIG
Cause: Several title V operating permit compliance matters and potential RQ exceedances resulting from upset conditions caused by Hurricane Isaac: During a post-hurricane Isaac storm survey, the PV vent on Tank 867 was discovered leaking. Emissions from the PV vent were approximately 49 pounds of flammable vapor. During a post-hurricane Isaac storm survey, socks on floating roof tank 783 were found missing and/or torn as a result of high winds. The missing/torn socks were replaced on September 19, 2012. Emissions from the missing/torn tank socks were approximately 1.9 pounds of VOC. During a post-hurricane Isaac storm survey, multiple tank hatches were discovered either missing or open as a result of high winds. Due to Hurricane Isaac, the Continuous Emissions Monitoring System (CEMS) analyzers may have experienced less than 90% data availability. Also the data calibration drift check on the analyzers may have been missed. The HFU TTU was bypassed for approximately 1 hour due to failure to maintain TTU temperature of 1600 degrees Fahrenheit. This bypass resulted in approximately 0.08 tons of hexane being released.

Followup: Yes

Notes: There were several compliance matters and potential RQ exceedances resulting from upset conditions caused by Hurricane Isaac. The PV vent on Tank 867 was repaired and returned to service on September 5,2012. The missing socks on tank 783 were replaced on Septermber 19, 2012. The tank hatches that were discovered missing were replaced as soon as possible to prevent any further emissions to the atmosphere. The tank that were found open were closed and remonitored using the HAWK camera. In attachment 1 of the written notification you will find a summary of the emissions from the tank hatches that were discovered missing or open. remediation of Continuous Emissions Monitoring System (CEMS) - EMCP is working to determine the extent to which the CEMS analyzers may have malfunctioned before, during, and after the storm. This information will be included in the CEMS quarterly report. HFU TTU was bypassed for approximately 1 hour resulting in a hexane release. The letter from EMCP asks that LDEQ exercise enforcement discretion and no such penalties be issued for actions and events related to Hurricane Isaac response and recovery efforts. LABB has the 30 day follow up report, as well as the subsequent LDEQ verbal report, but no subsequent written notifications that serve as a follow up to clarify the total pollutants released from the tank hatches that still needed to be repaired as of the October 4th written notification.
49.0 pounds
142044

2012-08-11
None given
Cause:

Followup: No

Notes: No information given. LABB does not have the initial verbal notification made to SPOC or the LDEQ verbal report - we only have the 7 day letter written notification.
52.9 pounds
141826

2012-08-04
seal on pump WMP07A
Cause: At 2:54am on August 4, 2012, the seal on pump WMP07A was discovered leaking isopropyl ether into secondary containment. Approximately 10 gallons of material leaked through a crack in the secondary containment onto the soil. Due to the nature of the isopropyl ether released of Approximately 1033 pounds of flammable vapor were released into the air.

Followup: No

Notes: Upon discovery the pump was immediately isolated and removed from service. The pump has been replaced and ExxonMobil is working with pump specialist to evaluate the specifications of the pump. Approximately 20 gallons of isopropyl ether were recovered from the sewer. Since 10 gallons were released to the soil with the the remaining material released into the sewer system (since ~20 gallons were recovered from the sewer there must have been at least 30 gallons total between soil and sewer). Only 4.7 gallons were reported. Approximately 1033 pounds of flammable vapor were released into the air. Upon discovery, the pump was isolated and removed from service. Air monitoring was conducted at 32nd (VOC <7ppm) and 29th (VOC <2ppm) streets along avenue A. There were no injuries, complaints, or offsite impact as a result of this incident.
1,033.0 pounds
148949

2013-05-31
NACC "X"Furnace
Cause: ON May 31, 2013, the Baton Rouge Chemical Plant discovered flooding conditions on the NACC "X" furnace. Upon discovery, furnace firing rates were reduced. Furnace flooding conditions occur when there is more fuel gas inside of the furnace than can be completely combusted. The uncombusted fuel gas resulted in RQ exceedances for flammable vapor. Approximately 2,913 pounds of flammable vapor were released as a result of this event. An investigation is underway to determine the root cause.

Followup: No

Notes: Upon discovery, furnace firing rates were reduced. As of December 18, 2013, LABB was unable to locate a follow up letter from the refinery.
2,913.0 pounds
148929

2013-05-25
KGF-01
Cause: On May 26, 2013 smoke was discovered coming from the stack of the steam cracking furnace KGF-01 at SACC. Upon investigation of the smoking, flooding conditions on the furnace were discovered and immediately mitigated. After further evaluation, it was determined that the furnace began experiencing flooding conditions during routine operation on May 25, 2013 at 3:23 am. Furnace flooding occurs when there is more fuel gas inside of the furnace than can be completely combusted. The uncombusted fuel gas released resulted in RQ exceedences for ethylene and flammable vapor. An investigation is underway to determine the root cause. An oxygen analyzer false reading caused the furnace to go into a flooded condition.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Upon discovery, the furnace flooding conditions were mitigated. An oxygen analyzer false reading caused the furnace to go into a flooded condition. Conflicting analyzer readings caused the unit operator to make adjustments that extended the event duration and increased the degree of flooding to the point of generating smoke in the stack. Immediately upon discovering smoke from the stack, the furnace operation was corrected. Improvements to furnace controls and operator training are being implemented to prevent recurrence. Final investigation results indicate that the furnace flooding conditions were a result of an oxygen analyzer false reading. The follow up letter dated August 29 indicates a false reading, but the document scanned into EDMS only included one document and no additional information.
54,000.0 pounds
148693

2013-05-05
No Information Given
Cause: On May 5 at approximately 4:20 AM, the ECLA-W unit HC-01 compressor tripped due to low lube oil pressure. The compressors' automatic trip system detected the low lube oil pressure and tripped the machine. The compressor valves on the suction side automatically opened to relieve pressure to the flare. Subsequently, a unit upset on the downstream unit, EPLA-W caused the atmospheric safety valve to lift, and briefly flare off-specification ethylene product.

Followup: No

Notes: Immediate remedial action was to reduce the feed rates to minimum and the furnacys were put in standby to further reduce flaring until the compressor was restarted. Improvements are being made to assist operators in detecting low lube oil pressure and refresher training will be conducted to improve controller response.
2,712.0 pounds
146061

2013-01-15

Cause: The Ethylene Purification Unit experienced an unanticipated atmospheric safety valve lifting prior to reaching its set point for approximately 26 minutes. Unanticipated safety valve was due to a broken O-ring causing material to be released into atmosphere.

Followup:

Notes: The safety valve was immediately blocked upon discovery. To return the unit to normal operating conditions, the DeEthanizer overhead and splitter bottoms were flared. To prevent recurrence, the preventative maintenance frequency of the atmospheric safety valve will be increased, and ExxonMobil engineers are evaluating potential upgraded material type for the O-ring.
37,820.0 pounds
158593

2014-09-06
No Information Given
Cause: Discovered a propylene leak at one of the systems. Release of 6 pounds of propylene and 6.5 pounds of flammable vapor.

Followup: No

Notes: No Information Given other than prompt incident response to mitigate event duration. Initial state police hotline report states that a gas detection device was being used at the time of the leak.
6.5 pounds
157434

2014-07-15
thermowell, safety valve at RLA-3 Unit
Cause: RLA-3 Unit experienced a liquid hexane release from a thermowell during routine maintenance. Upon discovery the source of the hexane stream was immediately removed and the section of piping congaing the thermowell was isolated from all hydrocarbon sources. These events are under investigation to determine the root cause and to provide mitigating steps to prevent recurrence. Approximately 1531 pounds of flammable vapor were released as a result of this event and a second incident ( SP#14-03103/LDEQ 157449) combined and the reportable quantity for flammable vapor was exceeded as result of the first release.

Followup: No

Notes: Upon discovery, reactor feed was isolated and hydrocarbon was removed from the vessel. Events were under investigation to determine the root cause and provide mitigating steps at the time of this report. Incident 1 lasted approximately 10 mins and incident 2 started 5 hours later and lasted 1 hr 45 mins. There is no breakdown of the quantities for each incident only a total amount released for both incidents as a whole.
1,531.0
155475

2014-04-23
inlet flange of a safety at the Escorez unit
Cause: A leak was discovered on the inlet flange of a safety at the Escorez unit. After further evaluation Exxon determined that no reportable quantities were exceeded. Approximately 375 pounds of flammable vapor was released as result of this event.

Followup: No

Notes: No information given
375.0 pounds
153639

2014-02-02
solvent line
Cause: On February 2, 2014, there was a release of flammable gas due to a pinhole leak in a solvent line.

Followup: No

Notes: The line was shut in and secured at 19:30.
284.0 pounds