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Formosa Plastics (288), Baton Rouge

Releases of Vinyl Chloride

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source(s) Notes Amount of Release
83968

2005-11-12
Incinerator A (Emission Pt. No. 203) and Incinerator B (Emission Pt. No. 204)
Cause: Wastewater pump discharge was intermittently backing into caustic scrubber recirculation lines as a result of differential pressure.

Followup: Yes

Notes: A skillet blind was inserted in the line near the suspected leaking valve to Incinerator B to protect against potential leak. The applicable pump-down procedure was modified/improved. A check valve was installed in the affected level control blowdown line to prevent liquid backup. The refinery submitted and received a revised permit for the affected sources, which it says better accounts for hourly maximum emission rates, on August 11, 2006. LABB's file only contains the letter dated 11/7/2006 and no LDEQ report, SPOC report, etc.
1.6 pounds
78304

2005-04-15
NC-201B
Cause: There was a pinhole leak from a valve on NC-201B (Quench Column).

Followup: No

Notes: The release was below reportable quantity.
0.9 pounds
75982

2005-01-04
no information given
Cause:

Followup: No

Notes: The release was below the permitted limit for that source, and therefore, the reportable quantity for vinyl chloride was not exceeded.
amount released unkn
92822

2006-12-22
Column reboiler in Unit NE 205B
Cause: There was a power failure and the plant went down due to rain cooling down the equipment. A leak was found on the head of the HCL column reboiler in Unit NE 205B.

Followup: No

Notes: At the time of the SPOC report, maintenance was preparing to tighten up the bottom of the reboiler. Amount of Ethylene dichloride and Vinyl chloride released is unknown.
Unknown amount
92238

2006-11-27

NC 201 stripper column
Cause: There was a 1/8 in. pinhole leak on the NC 201 stripper column, which released the two chemicals to the air.

Followup: No

Notes: The refinery blocked the leaking section of piping and isolated the column to stop the release. The SPOC report states that the refinery expected to exceed RQ for vinyl chloride, and possibly also exceeded RQ for ethylene dichloride. LABB's file only contains the SPOC report and no other documents.
89083

2006-07-06
Six-inch line leading to the C Furnace.
Cause: There was a pinhole leak on the six-inch line leading to the C Furnace.

Followup:

Notes: The SPOC report states that the refinery planned to shut down the furnace and isolate the line. LABB's file contains only the SPOC report and no other documents. Amount of chemical released is unknown.
87511

2006-04-29
NC204
Cause: There was a ruptured disc tattle tale on NC204.

Followup: No

Notes: The relief valve was isolated. Amount released is unknown but believed to be less than one pound. LABB file only contains State Police report--no LDEQ report.
85732

2006-02-09
No information given
Cause: A sump located in the northwest quadrant of the concrete-lined tank farm containment area was cleaned out during sump pump replacement. A clear liquid containing sodium hydroxide, ethylene dichloride, and vinyl chloride accumulated in the sump after cleanout.

Followup: No

Notes: The facility initiated a corrective action plan to pump out and neutralize sump contents. The liquid was sampled and found to contain 1.3% sodium hydroxide, 1.95 ppm ethylene dichloride and 1.9 ppm vinyl chloride. Investigation included activities to de-inventory a nearby casutic storage tank, T-83A for inspection.
101325

2007-11-28
Vinyl column
Cause: Upset in the vinyl column which caused the incinerator to trip and the three hour average of VCM from the stak exceeded (170 ppm reading in the stack monitor).

Followup: No

Notes: Release secured at this time. Release was less than reportable quantity.
100744

2007-11-02
Flange on NC-204
Cause: Leak was coming from a flange on NC-204 Vinyl Stripper Column. Report was received on 11/14/07 (12 days later)and the RQ was not reached (1 lb).

Followup: No

Notes: Secured within 5 minutes of discovery.
99995

2007-10-05
a vessel
Cause: Vinyl chloride release from venting of a vessel when DCM Control System was lost. Released 5815lb VCM from thermal overpressure of a PVC reactor. The power filter malfunction caused UPSto shut down and allowed monetary power interruption to DCS and triggered a manual shut down.

Followup:

Notes: Shut down the unit to secure the release. The reliability of power filters was tested extensively before putting them back into service. People will be trained to look for power failures of this nature.
5,815.0 pounds
97778

2007-07-11
N/A
Cause: The released was caused by operator error when a valve on the discharge filter was opened.

Followup: Yes

Notes: The valve was closed to stop the release of slurry, and administrative action was planned for the procedural deviation. Release >RQ of VCM. Closed the valve right away. Follow up was an Inspection/Referral on 8/14/07.
10.0 pounds
95169

2007-04-09
N/A
Cause: Operations inadvertently isolated the relief valve during the transfer of vinyl chloride, resulting in hydrostatic pressure buildup at the filter and subsequent rupture of the O-ring.

Followup: Yes

Notes: The filter was isolated and purged to a closed system using nitrogen. Follow-up report states that RVs will be installed before/after affected equipment, that additional piping modifications would be made as deemed necessary, that SOPs will be reviewed and modified, and that affected personnel will be trained accordingly.
1,428.0 pounds
110741

2008-11-11
PVC reactor
Cause: Operation error caused PVC reactor to release 2036 lb Vinyl Chloride monomer during the rinse/wash cycle subsequent discharge and emptying of the vessel.

Followup: No

Notes: No information given
2,036.0 pounds
107664

2008-07-31
NP 110 CND Recovery pump
Cause: A patch on a line was leaking slowly. Coming from NP 110 CND recovery pump.

Followup: No

Notes: Someone was sent to isolate and patch the release. Amount of ethylene dichloride, hydrochloric acid and vinyl chloride released is unknown. LDEQ report indicates that a written report was received 8/8/08, but that report is not included in LABB's file.
106983

2008-07-03
Discharge pump
Cause: A pinhole leak developed on a discharge pump, but the cause of the leak was unknown.

Followup: No

Notes: The release was stopped by valving out the equipment and ceasing use. Amount of Vinyl Chloride and Ethylene Dichloride released is unknown.
106814

2008-06-27
reboiler
Cause: Steam was lost throughout the plant, which caused the reboiler to cool down quickly, which caused the release from a gasket leak on the reboiler.

Followup: No

Notes: The release was secured when the steam came back up. Late notification because "they were just tied up." Amount of Vinyl Chloride and Ethylene Dichloride released is unknown. LDEQ report indicates that LDEQ received written report on 7/8/08, but that report is not included in LABB's file.
106331

2008-06-11
NT506A tank
Cause: There was a leak on NT506A tank. Readings on the tank were 11 PPM.

Followup: No

Notes: Operators pumped the tank down to secure the incident.
105531

2008-05-11
Quench column NC201C
Cause: There was a flange leak on on the transition line to quench column NC201C.

Followup: No

Notes: The equipment was shut down, and the pressure was removed. Information later revealed that these were fugitive emissions associated with a permitted source.
105120

2008-04-26
Quench filter pump
Cause: There was a pinhole leak on a quench filter pump.

Followup: No

Notes: The leak was isolated, and troubleshooting for repairs was initiated.
104917

2008-04-18
tattletale gauge
Cause: Tattletale gage on a relief valve was leaking VCM.

Followup: No

Notes: Blocked the relief valve and replaced fittings.
104122

2008-03-20
gaskey into caustic mixer line
Cause: 1" gasket leak into the caustic mixer line. VCM release.

Followup: No

Notes: Isolated the line to stop the leak.
118671

2009-10-12
bottom man-way gasket #MF601A
Cause: A leak developed from the bottom man-way gasket on storage sphere MF601A.

Followup: No

Notes: Perimeter air monitoring by Formosa Plastics showed no detectable levels of Vinyl Chloride. The leak was isolated using nitrogen padding. Bottom gasket was inspected and replaced. Deinventorying the sphere.
118657

2009-10-11
piping
Cause: Facility personnel stated that they are in the process of decompressing the pipe. Water spray used to control the vapors. A release occurred when a 3/4" diameter section of piping failed. The most likely mode of failure at this time is believed to be shear induced by vibration/stress fatigue. Vibrational and/or other stresses at the point of failure, exacerbated by the mass of a recently installed and engineered leak mitigation clamp, are thought to be the precipitating factors in this incident.

Followup: No

Notes: Actions were taken to identify and isolate the release source and affected equipment. Water spray systems were also activated to suppress, disperse, and control vapors. Actions planned to prevent recurrence include communication of this incident to the third party specialty repair contractor to establish further protocols for use of engineered clamps on future repairs of this type, with an emphasis on minimizing impacts from stress points from this type of configuration.
3,001.0 pounds
116504

2009-07-16

Cause: There were two simultaneous releases when a pressure relief valve released on startup. Each release lasted 30 seconds.

Followup: No

Notes: To correct the problem the process was adjusted and the steam pressure lowered. Amount of vinyl chloride, ethylene dichloride, and hyrdogen chloride released is unknown.
116081

2009-06-28
20" manway gasket
Cause: Gasket leak on a 20" manway gasket on the HCL column.

Followup: No

Notes: no information given
126823

2010-10-02
condenser to coolant tower
Cause: Release of ethyl dichloride and vinyl chloride due to a condenser leak to the coolant tower.

Followup: No

Notes: Retesting coolant tower. Amount of ethyl dichloride and vinyl chloride released is unknown.
126824

2010-10-02
1/2 inch valve from V2000 C
Cause: 1/2 inch flow transmitted from V2000 C starting leakin from a 1/2 inch valve resulting in the release of unknown quantities of ethylene dichloride, vinyl chloride, and a hydrochloric acid mixture.

Followup: No

Notes: The valve was isolated to stop the leak. Amount of ethylene dichloride, hydrochloric acid mixture, and ethylene dichloride released is unknown but below reportable quantity.
121040

2010-01-26
"a column"
Cause: Vinyl Chloride leaking from a pinhole leak on a column.

Followup: No

Notes: Clamp was placed over the leak and it was secured within 40 minutes from being notified. Calculations indicate that reportable quantities were not exceeded.
120537

2010-01-01
Isolation block valve for the RV-C204-2, column NC204
Cause: The isolation valve for the RV-C204-2 leaked through from the NC204 column.

Followup: No

Notes: The only way to repair the problem was to isolate and shut down the column.
134586

2011-10-13
furnace system of pump NP202F, system NR201C
Cause: Unknown quantity of vinyl chloride, hydrochloric acid, and ethylene dichloride. A seal blew out on the pump on the furnace system of pump NP202F, system NR201C.

Followup: No

Notes: The leak was reported as secured at the time of notification, 8 minutes after being discovered.
133863

2011-09-10
release valve
Cause: A gasket failure on a release valve caused the release of 7/5 lbs of vinyl chloride.

Followup: No

Notes: Incident was discovered and secured within the same minute. No further action was taken.
1.4 pounds
133614

2011-09-06
pump MP-204C
Cause: 14.62 lbs of vinyl chrloride released due to a blown seal on pump MP-204C on 09/06/11.

Followup:

Notes: Blown seal immediately isolated and shutdown for repair, within 5 minutes of occurance, according to Mr. Harold Demmer (Environmental Manager for Formosa), the release was a fugitive emission associated with a permitted emission source, and therefore not in exceedance of a reportable quantity for vinyl chloride at their facility.
14.6 pounds
128930

2011-01-31
6-inch vent line
Cause: Hydrochloric acid and Vinyl Chrloride vapor were released into the atmopshere when a pinholde developed on a 6-inch vent line.

Followup: No

Notes: The vent line has been isolated and there is no pressure on the line. No fires, injuries, or road closures were reported as a result of this incident. No further action by LDEQ at this time.
2.3 pounds
140294

2012-06-06
1.5 inch furnace nozzle
Cause: 1.5 inch furnace nozzle was leaking vinyl chloride due to corrosion of the nozzle

Followup: No

Notes: The furnace was shut down. Leak was expected to be stopped within 1-2 hours. Amount of chemical released is unknown. The release was not in exceedance of a reportable quantity.
amount released unkn
139199

2012-04-25
Cooling Tower Heat Exchanger
Cause: The refinery reported a possible release when cooling tower samples showed high readings from a possible heat exchanger leak.

Followup: No

Notes: Email communication indicates that there was an initial miscommunication concerning the sample results. According to the email, there was no exceedance of reportable quantities.
137128

2012-02-13
piping
Cause: Release of hydrochloric acid, ethylene dichloride, and vinyl chloride from a pinhole leak found in piping.

Followup: No

Notes: Sprayed water on leak to suppress vapor release. No fires, injuries, or evacuations. No letter from the chemical plant. SPOC report states that the vinyl chloride might be close to the RQ. No written notification, only SPOC and verbal report.
10.0 pounds
136543

2012-01-16
PR401A
Cause: Release valve lifted on PR401A and released 1255lbs of of vinyl chloride.

Followup: No

Notes: The emissions will be added to the annual emissions statement.
1,255.0 pounds