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Shell Chemical East (26336), Norco

Releases of Naphthalene

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

Furnace in the OL-5 Process Unit
Cause: On May 9, 2012 Shell Chemicals OL-5 Process Unit experienced a small fire during restart of a furnace. After feed to the furnace was established as part of furnace start up, a gasket on the 42" feed line failed. Hydrocarbon vapors from the leaking gasket were then ignited.

Followup: No

Notes: The valve providing feed to the furnace was closed and the fire was extinguished. Upon further investigation of the gasket failure it was discovered that recommended maintenance practices for installation of these type gaskets was not followed during this installation. After inspection it was also believed that the nuts and bolts used were worn and may have reached the end of their useful life. New quality control procedures are being put in place to ensure that the proper installation is used in future installation of this type gasket. It was also recommended that the nuts and bolts be replaced during the repair work on the flange and that closer inspections of the nuts and bolts be done during future repairs. LABB was only able to find the final follow-up; there was no facility letter. Shell estimates that there was a leakage of approximately 200lbs of quench oil which is broken down in the pollutants.
1.2 pounds

OL-5 Exchange Unit E1970
WWTP system
Cause: On June 1, a release of Benzene, Naphthalene, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, and Volatile Organic Compounds occurred. The release was due to an unexpected leak on an OL-5 process unit 20lb Steam Regenerator Exchanger. The Norco Site Supervisor was notified by a st. Charles DEP deputy of an odor detected along highway 61. The leaking steam condensate entrained with CLGO (cracked light gas oil) hydrocarbon entered the storm water drain and the refinery conveyance system.

Followup: Yes

Notes: At the time of the LDEQ verbal notification, in house monitoring levels of Benzene were 5.0 ppm. The material was removed from the storm water drains and conveyance systems and disposed of properly. Mr. White stated the product was being routed to an oily/water separator, thence to their WWTP system for treatment. They were "slabbing" the condensate as of approximately 1415 hours. Gas oil release is now ongoing and is going to effluent system and being picked up at their separator. The material was reported to have gone offsite - released to the air. Inside the facility air monitoring was between 6-10 ppm. There was no offsite protective action. The 24 hour update states the exchanger 1970 was taken off line which is what was leaking. Have contractors picking up the oil out of the F1 system.

OL-5 Unit
Cause: The Shell Chemical OL-5 Unit has two pyrofrac bottoms filters. A leak in two-inch piping adjacent to one of the two pyrofrac bottoms filter caused a spill of materials. The second filter was out of service for maintenance at the time of the leak.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Operations immediately completed maintenance on the out-of-service filter and returned it back to service in order to shutdown the pyrofrac bottoms filter that was adjacent to the leak. The leak stopped once this filter was taken out of service.