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ExxonMobil Chemical Plant (286), Baton Rouge

Releases of Water

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

WBT 01 Tower
Cause: Small hole on WBT 01 Tower. This is an absorber tower which contains flammable gas. On examining the hole in the tower they shut it down.

Followup: No

Notes: Immediately feed was cut out of the tower, water spray was applied to the leak to help minimize the vapors, and the weep hole was plugged. The area surrounding the leak was ultrasonically tested and found to be of acceptable thickness. A more intense UT scan was performed over the entire vessel and confirmed to be of acceptable thickness. The leaking tell-tale hole was plugged per mechanical design standards. About 1/3 of the vessel is being sand-blasted and visually inspected to verify that there are not any unplugged tell-tale holes remaining.
965.0 pounds

Rich Stage Absorber Tower
Cause: While making routine rounds, an assistant operator on the Isopropyl Alcohol Unit discovered a leak on the sixth level of the Rich Stage Absorber Tower. The leak was caused by a failure of the thermowell assembly.


Notes: Personnel immediately began to isolate and shut down the tower. Elevated fire monitors were activated which sprayed water on the release to minimize emissions to the air. Feed was blocked out of the tower, the liquid drained to other process equipment, and the tower was depressured to the gas recovery system. The failed thermowell assembly was replaced. The failed thermowell assemblly was sent to an outside lab for metallurgical analysis to determine the cause of the failure.
495.0 pounds

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.
39.0 pounds

Knock-out drum D-28
Cause: Vent on a drum popped open. Root cause was high liquid level in the drum and vent valve relieved as per design.


Notes: During normal operations, the acid gas is incinerated at furnaces F-5 and F-6. Before going to the incinerators, the liquid is removed from the steam at a knock out drum, D-28. The cause of the high liquid level is under investigation. Upon completion of this investigation, this event will be reviewed with all operating personnel and investigation recommendations will be tracked and steqarded to ensure completion. SPOC report said 126 of hydrogen sulfide were released, Exxon's report says 76.3 lbs were released. The D-28 liquid level was drained, per procedure, which allowed the vent valve to re-set in the closed position.
198.5 pounds


Followup: No

Notes: An individual was preparing to change a filter. For some reason a steam of steam, water and benzene was released. All stream was blocked in. The area is isolated and they are beginning to clean up. They said they may call back with the amount of the release.

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.
56.0 pounds

Cause: There was a leak on a BHLA Unit. An unknown liquid is coming from the unit.

Followup: No

Notes: A shelter was in place for that area and the shelter was confined to the plant. Based on a total release of 10 gallons of water, as well as the solubility of hydrogen sulfide in water, less than one pound of hydrogen sulfide was released.
10.0 gallons

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.
11.0 gallons