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Chalmette Refining (1376), Chalmette

Releases in 2012

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source/Release CauseNotes
144301

2012-10-30
Point Source(s):
Flare # 1

Pollutant(s):
Sulfur Dioxide - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Maintenance/Procedures

On 10/30/12, Chalmette Refining conducted a planned maintenance activity to test a high integrity protective system. The activity resulted in a release at Flare #1. Release at Flare # 1 resulting from a planned and controlled maintenance activity. According to the follow-up notification letter submitted by Chalmette Refining, this was a courtesy notification.
Follow-up report states that refinery has completed the installation of the new low-molecular-service PSV. The original incident report committed the refinery to this implementation.
No LDEQ Number Available

2012-10-10
Point Source(s):
no information given

Pollutant(s):
Sulfur Dioxide - BRQ
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - BRQ
Hydrogen Sulfide - BRQ
Cause of Problem: No Information Given

Preliminary air monitoring was observed.
143640

2012-10-05
Point Source(s):
no information given

Pollutant(s):
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - BRQ
Cause of Problem: No Information Given

Release of Volatile organic compounds (VOC) on October 5, 2012.
No information given. Report states that no reportable quantities were exceeded for VOC during this event.
143589

2012-10-04
Point Source(s):
NIG

Pollutant(s):
Flammable Vapor - BRQ
Cause of Problem: No Information Given

Chalmette Refining provided a notification of a permitted flaring event associated with a planned unit shutdown on October 4, 2012. No reportable quantity exceedances occurred from this event.
No Information Given.
143192

2012-09-25
Point Source(s):
NIG

Pollutant(s):
Sulfur Dioxide - 3,014 pounds
Cause of Problem: No Information Given

Flaring began September 25, 2012 at approximately 05:36 hours with intermittent flaring occurring until September 28, 2012 at 02:54. The refinery lists this event as a permitted flaring event associated with a planned unit shutdown. Cumulative flaring time was approximately 8 hours and 48 minutes.
Unit operations and shutdown and timing were adjusted to minimize environmental impact.
143258

2012-09-10
Point Source(s):
#1 Flare

Pollutant(s):
Sulfur Dioxide - 3,696 pounds
Cause of Problem: Other - See text

The flare gas management compressors tripped due to high molecular weight and staged the #1 Flare intermittently for 5.02 hours. Sulfur Dioxide was released to the air. Incident was caused by the Number 2 Coker Unit Naptha Splitter overhead safety relief valve relieving to the FGM compressors causing the shutdown.
Started the third FGM compressor and added hydrogen to the flare to decrease the molecular weight to expedite the FGM compressors recovery. FGM compressors water seals were also re-inventoried with fresh water. PSV was sent out for maintenance, retested and calibrated.
142614

2012-09-04
Point Source(s):
crude feed charge line to the #1 Crude unit

Pollutant(s):
Crude Oil - 198 gallons
Cause of Problem: Under Investigation

On Tuesday, September 4, 2012, at approximately 05:00 hours, crude oil accumulation was observed on the ground by the benzene recovery unit (BRU) area. This incident happened during refinery startup activities subsequent to Hurricane Isaac. The cause of the accumulation is a leak in the crude feed charge line to the #1 Crude unit. No information given to cause except that this was an underground crude feed charge line. Report dated Jan 2013 still did not have root cause analysis for this leak.
This event is related to Hurricane Isaac recovery activities. During start up of Chalmette Refinery discovered 4.72 barrels of crude oil (3 reports on this, original (September 11, 2012) reported <1 barrel, 2nd (November 9, 2012) reported 50-75 barrels and 3rd (January 9, 2013) went back down to 4.72 barrels) leaking from the crude feed charge line to the #1 Crude unit. Once identified, the pumps were turned off and the line was isolated to stop the leak source. Vacuum trucks are being utilized to contain and recover the loss of crude oil from the isolated section of the charge piping. The isolated section of piping contains approximately 50-75 bbls which will be actively collected via vacuum trucks to minimize spill potential. Air monitoring was initiated at the spill site and has demonstrated no affect in the clean-up area. Offsite monitoring was conducted and all readings were below detection limits. No emergency conditions or offsite impacts resulted from this release. An investigation is ongoing to identify the root cause of why the leak occurred and will be addressed in a 60-day follow-up letter. Refinery has utilized alternative piping to provide crude feed. The underground line will be cleared of hydrocarbon material, isolated, and taken out of service.
142422-142489-143217

2012-08-27
Point Source(s):
Coke Conveyor Facilities
flare
isolated areas of standing stormwater
Wastewater treatment Unit

Pollutant(s):
Water - BRQ
Petroleum Coke - BRQ
Crude Oil - 42 gallons
Benzene - 100 pounds
Particulate Matter 10 - 232 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 1,938 pounds
Carbon Monoxide - 3,754 pounds
Nitrogen Dioxide - 133 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide - 693 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide - 258 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 117,310 pounds
Cause of Problem: Weather

Chalmette Refining LLC shut down operations because of the approach of Hurricane Isaac. Following established shutdown procedures and protocols, CRLLC was safely and systematically shutdown due to the approach of Hurricane Isaac. Likewise, CRLLC followed standard startup procedures and protocols and minimized excess emissions during recovery and startup efforts.
There are three LDEQ incident numbers assigned for the events at Chalmette Refining LLC surrounding Hurricane Isaac: 142422, 142489, 143217. On August 27, 2012 the CRLLC began to safely shut down unit operations due to Hurricane Isaac. The emergency shut down resulted in potential permit deviations and reportable quantity exceedances. However CRLLC believes that this event qualifies as an upset as defined in LAC 33:III.507.J. Below are the detailed quantities released from each unit during the startup/shutdown activities: Acid Gas and Hydrocarbon Flaring: During the shutdown and equipment preparation, excess process gases were vented to the flare system in order to reduce emissions to the atmosphere. The duration of flaring was approximately 21.1 hours. Below are the emissions which occurred during shutdown activities: 23.6 Tons S02 126 lbs H2S 133 lbs NO 133 lbs N02 714 lbs CO 558 lbs VOC 72 lbs PM10 On August 31, 2012, CRLLC began start-up operations and equipment preparation which required periodic hydrocarbon flaring. There were temporary visible emissions of smoke from flaring activities. Further, during startup of the SRU, there was a transient period which resulted in flaring amine acid gas prior to directing to the SRU. Below are the estimated emissions during startup of refinery operations. The duration of the amine acid gas flaring was 89 minutes and the duration of the intermittent hydrocarbon flaring during startup was 84 hours. Actual emissions were: 10.03 Tons S02 (> 500 lbs RQ) 0.03 Tons H2S (> 100 lbs RQ) 0.28 Tons NO/N02 (> 1000 lbs RQ) 1.52 Tons CO 0.69 Tons VOC (>5000 lbs RQ) 0.08 Tons PM10 <1 00 lbs Benzene (> 10 lbs RQ) There were approximately 9 hours where the H2S 162 ppm 3-hour rolling flare limitation was exceeded during shutdown and startup activities. These excess emissions are covered under startup/shutdown provisions provided in NSR CD Paragraph 58. As such, no additional action is required by agency. Flare Gas Recovery equipment was being repaired and so no FGR was used during this process. Tail Gas Incident: On August 27, 2012 the CRLLC Sulfur Recovery Unit was safely shut down and equipment was prepared. During this process Tail Gas Incident resulted from Source ID EIQ193. Predicted emission estimates were approximately 25 tons S02 for the shutdown. On September 5-6, 2012 the Sulfur Recovery Unit was started-up. There were no tail gas incidents during this process. As such, no additional action is required by agency. Sulfur Pit Venting: Emission estimates were expected to be less than 200 pounds H2S during shutdown and start-up operations. It is important to note that these exceedances occurred during the period when CRLLC was shutting down equipment and subsequently starting up and lining out operations. Actual emissions were -72 lbs. H2S and -50 lbs. S02. These excess emissions are covered under startup/shutdown provisions provided in NSR CD Paragraph 58. As such, no additional action is required by agency. H2S Concentration of 162 ppm in Fuel Gas: During shutdown on August 27, 2012 the refinery had the potential to exceed the H2S concentration of 162 ppm in the fuel gas system. FCCU NOx, S02, CO, PM, and Opacity Permitted Emission Limits: During shutdown and subsequent start-up operations, the refinery exceeded the emission concentration limit for CO for 14 hours and the differential pressure parameter for 32 hours at the FCCU. There were no Title V permit limit lb/hr exceedences during these times. SRU Permitted Emission Limits (lbs/hr & concentration): During the shutdown and subsequent start-up operations, the refinery exceeded the permitted emission limit of 95 lbs/hr for S02 for three (3) hours at the Sulfur Recovery Unit. The 250 ppm concentration limit was exceeded for approximately 48 hours. It is important to note that these exceedances occurred during the period when CRLLC was starting up and lining out operations. These excess emissions are covered under the start-up/shutdown provisions provided in NSR CD Paragraph 23 and 29. Flare Pilot Outages: During the shutdown due to the higher than normal rain and wind volumes, flare pilots experienced temporary outages. Data Availability from Continuous Emission Monitoring Systems (CEMS): The CEMS analyzers at the CRLLC may be adversely affected by nitrogen constraints. Some selected CEMS may have reduced data availability during the time period of storm landfall, recovery, and start-up activities. The specific duration of reduced data availability will be provided in the 30- day follow-up report. Missing LDAR Monitoring: CRLLC is subject to several Louisiana & Federal Regulations requiring Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) as noted below. Hurricane Isaac and its aftermath have not allowed completion of some of the timing obligations, and will prevent us from meeting all the timing obligations of the required August monitoring. Approximately 250 components will receive delayed monitoring, but will be monitored in September. Details of the number of components subject to delay will be provided in the 30-day follow-up report. Consistent with USEPA's decision for Hurricane Gustav, CRLLC requests that the delayed monitoring and repair be exempted from enforcement under the applicable Force Majeure provisions. Approximately 255 monthly LDAR components received delayed monitoring, but were monitored in September. In addition, 7 leaks that missed the 5 day attempt and 6 leaks that missed the 15 day attempt due to Hurricane Isaac. Isolated Areas of Standing Stormwater: There were isolated pockets of stormwater in the refinery which contained some sheen material and potential hydrocarbon. All of these areas were contained within the refinery boundaries and no material migrated offsite. Areas include tank firewall areas, overflow of sumps, and low-lying areas. There is the potential to exceed more than one (1) barrel of total oil accumulative across the complex from all the isolated areas. All hydrocarbon and sheen material was removed and properly disposed/treated. Any contaminated soil has been remediated. This information is reported in accordance with the site waste management plan. Coke Conveyor Facilities: The coke conveyor facilities sustained some minor damage which resulted in loss of covers over portions of the conveyor belt system. There are also minor amounts of coke material on the ground which is being collected. Some small particulate emissions may result from recovery and re-start Operations. Covers will be repaired/replaced as soon as possible. The 30-day follow-up report will describe the specific repairs and dates of completion. The conveyor covers that were damaged during the hurricane have been repaired/replaced. This accident is linked to Bypass of Wastewater Treatment Unit (LSP incident # 12-05781; NRC Incident # 102-2486). Actual storm rainfall was 30". In consideration of personnel safety and increasing weather severity, the refinery initiated the emergency discharge bypass for Outfall 004 from wastewater treatment facilities to MS River on August 28, 2012. It is important to note that the refinery process operations were shutdown previously which mitigated wastewater hydrocarbon content. Water discharge was essentially storm water. Samples were collected to document wastewater quality. On August 29, 2012 all parameters were within current permit limits with the exception of Total Suspended Solids. Preliminary analysis indicates a potential exceedance of 4,444 lbs/day versus permitted limit of 3,180 lbs.
142387

2012-08-24
Point Source(s):
No Information Given

Pollutant(s):
Sulfur Dioxide - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Power Failure

Power trip caused flare gas compressors to power down temporarily causing Sulfur Dioxide release.
According to facility representative, the release was minimal and did not result in the need for flaring.
141721

2012-08-01
Point Source(s):
underground line near sour water stripper area

Pollutant(s):
Gas Oil - 42 gallons
Cause of Problem: Other - See text

An abandoned gas oil line that runs from Tank 33 to the old FCC unit was leaking from an underground line near the sour water stripper area and discharged approximately 10 gallons to the ground surface prior to identifying the leak.
A vacuum truck was deployed to pick up the material discharging from the pipe to minimize the environmental impact until the line could be isolated. The leaking valve was immediately isolated when it was determined to be the source of the leak and the line was depressured and emptied. The line will be flushed and decommissioned.
141431

2012-07-21
Point Source(s):
external floating roof on Tank 1
Tank 1 (ground level)

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - BRQ
Oil - 42 gallons
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

The external floating roof on the Tank 1 crude tank sunk and exposed contents of the tank to the environment. A leak developed from Tank 1 floor area and released oil to the ground inside of the containment area. Foam was applied to the top of the tank to mitigate potential vaporization of hydrocarbons. Mitigation efforts are ongoing to empty the tank and the majority of oil has been emptied from the tank. Water has been successfully introduced to vessel to float the oil later off the tank floor. Currently, oil is no longer leaking to the ground.
Foam was applied to the top of the tank. Trace amount of benzene were indicated by monitoring data. Foam was applied to the top of the tank to mitigate potential vaporization of hydrocarbons. Mitigation efforts are ongoing to empty the tank and the majority of oil has been emptied from the tank. Water has been successfully introduced to vessel to float the oil later off the tank floor. Oil is no longer leaking to the ground. Air monitoring was conducted at the tank perimeter, fence line and offsite. No fence line or offsite impacts were identified. Low levels of benzene and volatile organic compounds were detected periodically at the perimeter of the tank, but no adverse impacts occurred.
140083

2012-05-26
Point Source(s):


Pollutant(s):
Sulfur Dioxide - 5,769 pounds
Compressed Flammable Gas - 1,000 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide - 100 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

The facility experienced malfunctions when the high pressure waste gas system was shut down in the Coker unit, releasing sulfur dioxide to the flare. High Pressure Waste Gas System (HPWGS) compressors K402 and K406 were unavailable due to mechanical issues and the Flare Gas Management System was used instead. This usually works but the depropanizer surge drum water boot sprung a leak and heavy material entered the shut down HPWGS.
The high pressure waste gas system had been restored by the time of the LDEQ Incident Report.
No LDEQ Number Available

2012-05-18
Point Source(s):
walkway between dock and road

Pollutant(s):
#6 Oil - 1 pounds
Cause of Problem: Human Factors

A contract inspector dropped product samples onto a grated walkway, resulting into a release into the river.
The spill was isolated due to previously deployed boom. The walkway area was cleaned and the United States Environmental Services (USES) was activated to respond for clean up.
No LDEQ Number Available

2012-04-27
Point Source(s):
Sulfur Recovery Unit Thermal Oxidizer

Pollutant(s):
Sulfur Dioxide - 1,151 pounds
Cause of Problem: Other - See text

Tail Gas incident due to Sulfur Recovery Unit Train 1 being shut down due to low refinery acid gas production following unscheduled outages of the No.2 Coker and the Cat Feed Hydrotreater. the Sulfur Recovery Unit on Train 2 was forced to switch to combustion air-mode to avoid the possibility of acid flaring.The temperature of the Sulfur Recovery Unit Train 2 No.1 Converter dropped ue to uncombusted pit vapors, resulting in an increase in Sulfur Dioxide from the Thermal Oxidezer
- Refresher training has been conducted with increased emphasis on the importance of monitoring the No. 1 Converter temperature during train transitions to combustion air with pit vapor to prevent recurrence. - Procedure to switch from O2-mode to air-mode was modified to ensure temperature is adequate to handle pit vapors on air-mode. - MDEA lean loading field testing will now include upgraded analysis procedures and will be moved from the field to the lab. - Evaluate project to operate Sulfur Recovery Units in partial O2-enrichment mode to reduce environmental vulnerability.
138951

2012-04-17
Point Source(s):
Tank D6360

Pollutant(s):
Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Instrument Failure

The two nitrogen regulators on the fixed roof of asphalt tank D6360 were bad, keeping the tank pressurized even during offloading. This caused the tank to vent steamy emissions from multiple vents on the fixed roof.
Air monitoring at the site and around the perimiter was consistently conducted during the incident, revealing only low levels of VOCs on the levee and paying particular attention to Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbon. The tank was offloaded into three barges, and the tank was cooled to reduce vapors. Upon inspection, the vents appeared to be working properly, and the nitrogen regulator was later found to be faulty. The crew reduced the nitrogen input, relieved the pressure of the tank, and closed the vents to stop emissions. An all-clear was then called, and the nitrogen regulators were to be repaired. No road closures, fires, injuries, or fatalities resulted from this incident, and it was noted that no reportable quantities should have been exceeded. A site visit did not occur for 3 days and photos were taken from the cabin of the car.
138541

2012-04-03
Point Source(s):
#1 Flare

Pollutant(s):
Sulfur Dioxide - 1,022 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Maintenance/Procedures

A high molecular weight gas was routed to the flare gas management system, which prevented the compressor from being able to pump the gas and caused the flare to open.
To stop the discharge, feed rate to the unit was reduced, reducing pressure, and eventually ending the release. A representative from Chalmette Refining contacted LDEQ Emergency Response on 4/4/12 when an all-clear was called, also providing the total release quantity of sulfur dioxide. No fire, injuries, or fatalities resulted from this incident
No LDEQ Number Available

2012-03-16
Point Source(s):
Outfall 012

Pollutant(s):
Lube Oil - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Under Investigation

a visible sheen was observed through cooling water outfall 012. The source of the material is believed to have been residual oil remaining from the lube oil release reported initially on February 19.
United States Environmental Services deployed containment boom at approximately 1600 hours.
No LDEQ Number Available

2012-02-09
Point Source(s):
No information given

Pollutant(s):
Compressed Flammable Gas - BRQ
Oil - BRQ
Cause of Problem: No Information Given

There is a courtesy notification regarding a release of Compressed Flammable Gas and a potential release of oil. There is no detail in the Incident report regrading the cause of the release.
There is no information given regarding the cause or remedial actions. There is no LDEQ report and no SPOC report attached to the file.
136734

2012-01-25
Point Source(s):
Vessel in #7 crystallizer unit

Pollutant(s):
Xylene - 11 pounds
Cause of Problem: Corrosion

A small hole and crack were discovered in the shell of the vessel of the #7 crystallizer (E4302), causing the vessel to fail internally and form a hole through the outside shell, allowing the product to escape.
The vessel was isolated and was being pumped down, depressurized, and the contents were being displaced with Nitrogen. The spilled product was isolated to the concrete slab which leads to the storm water containment area. All product being released was eventually recovered at the sump and diverted to a slop tank. Air monitoring occurred and levels were only detected within the 50x50 blocked off area. Atmospheric Venting. Highly Flammable.