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Shell Chemical East (26336), Norco

Releases of Unknown Substance

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

Cause: State police officer called Shell chemical and found out that the bad weather that passed through Norco caused their CO heater to shut down. Once this happened Shell Chemical had to shut down units including the PGC Compressor for the OL-5 unit, because without the CO heater, there was not enough steam to operate the refinery. Shell Chemical has not confirmed definitely what cause the CO heater to shut down, but they believe either lighting struck the heater, or a temperature change caused problems.

Followup: No

Notes: This was a citizen complaint concerning black smoke coming off of a flare located in Norco, La. The facility has not reported any quantities being exceeded.

West Operation Elevated Flare (EPN 5-84)
Cause: On April 26, 2012, Shell Chemical made a notification of flaring of unknown materials at the West Operations Elevated Flare (EPN 5-84). The flaring was a result of maintenance work on a ground flare that resulted in re-routing of routine vents to the flare. Investigation into the flaring confirmed that only routine permitted vents were going to the flare at the time.

Followup: No

Notes: Two block valves had to be adjusted and that stopped the flaring. Initial report states material went offsite. Air monitoring was conducted around the perimeter of the facility which showed no elevated levels of pollutants. Flares were reported to be back to normal at 23:57 hours.