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Motiva Enterprises (1406), Norco

Releases in 2005

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source/Release CauseNotes
84612

2005-12-15
Point Source(s):
Hydrogen and hydrocracker units

Pollutant(s):
Flammable Gas - 0
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

An unexpected piping failure on an exchanger led to a release of Hydrogen and a subsequent shutdown of the hydrogen and hydrocracker units.
Operations personnel immediately took corrective actions to safely shut down the units and to minimize emissions. Data gathering and investigations to perform calculations and determine root cause is ongoing.
84579

2005-12-14
Point Source(s):
Sanitary sewer line

Pollutant(s):
Wastewater - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

Junction box in the main sewer line broke and the overflow material was discharged into Wastewater treatment system; overflow was traced to a blockage in the sewer line.
While a portion of the process was bypassed, Motiva noted that the material did receive treatment prior to discharge.
84114

2005-11-24
Point Source(s):
Coker Unit

Pollutant(s):
Oil - 0
Hydrogen Sulfide - 0
Xylene - 0
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons - 0
Cause of Problem: Instrument Failure

Incident was due to a level controller malfunction.
A level controller malfunctioned, allowing the liquid to go into a blowdown system which vents into the atmosphere. About 15 barrels of crude was released and contained. Unknown quantities of Xylene and Hydrogen Sulfide were released.
83975

2005-11-18
Point Source(s):
GO-1 Processing Unit

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 0
Carbon Monoxide - 0
Nitrogen Oxide - 0
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 0
Cause of Problem: No Information Given

No information given
Data gathering to perform calculations and determine root cause is ongoing. Follow-up report promised in initial report from 11/23/05; cannot be located on LDEQ database as of 07/18/13.
83649

2005-10-29
Point Source(s):
Unit Main Air Blower, RCCU Flare (EPN 8-84)

Pollutant(s):
Nitrous Oxide - 371 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 3,991 pounds
Carbon Monoxide - 2,125 pounds
Particulate Matter - 43 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 1,040 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

RCCU experienced instrument protective function shutdown activation of the unit's MAB just prior to the release. There was low oil pressure detected, therefore the MAB shut down automatically. The RCCU is dependent on the MAB for functioning.
Following the release, all units were secured and steps were taken to minimize emissions to flare resulting from the release. To prevent recurrence, analysis of the dynamics of the MAB lube oil system will take place in addition to implementing mechanical improvements such as: Relocation of pressure transmitters on MAB turbine, reduction of trim on P-7035 governor valve, installation of a time delay in the ICS trip logic for MAB machine, replacement of bearing oil regulation during the next RCCU turnaround, and installation of a new control oil regulator during the next RCCU turnaround.
83055

2005-10-13
Point Source(s):
Catalytic Reformer #1 Unit

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 0
Cause of Problem: Maintenance/Procedures

During excavation activities with the construction of a new flare knockout pot at the CR-1 unit, liquid hydrocarbons were observed seeping into the excavation.
The area in question was previously investigated and it was determined that there was a single concentration of Benzene that exceeded the RECAP screening standard but fell below the MO-1 standard; there was a conference on 10 18 05 between Oliver Boyd and someone from the LDEQ division and it was agreed that since the area was being managed under the approved east site groundwater management program, no further assessment or action is warranted.
83068

2005-10-12
Point Source(s):
GO-1 Elevated Flare

Pollutant(s):
Hydrogen Sulfide - 100 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 17,766 pounds
Hexane - 5,014 pounds
Carbon Monoxide - 165 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide - 280 pounds
Particulate Matter - 53 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 83 pounds
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

Flaring due to a process upset associated with the GO-1 Diethanolamine (DEA) treater tower.
Remedial actions: untreated dry gas sent to the refinery fuel gas system and flared; it is not yet known whether this was preventable because the cause is unknown.
82888

2005-10-07
Point Source(s):
No information given

Pollutant(s):
Oil - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

Piping flange began leaking due to overpressure releasing coke feed oil to soil.
Spill was cleaned using a vacuum truck and by removing contaminated soil and filling the area with fresh soil.
82426

2005-09-25
Point Source(s):
Temporary tank

Pollutant(s):
Slop Oil - 126 gallons
Cause of Problem: Human Factors

On 9/25/05, approximately 3 barrels of slop oil were released when a temporary tank was overfilled. The overfill occurred when an alternate route to the temporary tank remained open during the fill-up process.
The spill was contained using sand dikes. Vacuum trucks and soil remediation were utilized for clean-up.
82376

2005-09-22
Point Source(s):
Coker Unit

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 27 pounds
Flammable Gas - 3,809 pounds
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

Relief valve on the coker drum opened venting pollutant to atmosphere.
81957

2005-09-05
Point Source(s):
None Reported
Pollutant(s):
Cause of Problem: Weather

Startup activities were due to Hurricane Katrina.
Verbal notifications made at the request of the LA State Police on the date of incident; for monitoring procedures and operations relating to the hurricane. Consult PDF for more information.
81720

2005-08-28
Point Source(s):
General facility
Refinery Wastewater Treatment System (RWTS), LPDES Outfall 006;
Wastewater treatment facility

Pollutant(s):
Wastewater - 0
Benzene - 0
Butadiene - 0
Flammable Hydrocarbons - 0
Nitrogen Oxide - 0
Sulfur Dioxide - 0
Untreated Stormwater - 0
Cause of Problem: Weather

Unanticipated bypasses of wastewater treatment facilities occurred due to Hurricane Katrina.
81353

2005-08-16
Point Source(s):
Sanitary sewer lift station
Wastewater treatment facility, LPDES Outfall 06

Pollutant(s):
Sanitary Sewage - 50 gallons
Sanitary Sewage - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Maintenance/Procedures

A portion of the treatment process for the released material was bypassed -- traced to maintenance work performed on 08/11/05 to install a conduit seal on the lift station; the lift station was incorrectly re-wired after the installation, which disabled the automatic start function of the lift station pump.
Control switch on sanitary lift station pump was switched from automatic to manual position, starting the pump and stopping overflow. A vacuum truck was used to removed the liquid from the lift station and prevent additional overflow. While a portion of the process was bypassed, Motiva noted that the material did receive treatment prior to discharg
81376

2005-08-16
Point Source(s):
Tank A-410 (EPN 1021-95)

Pollutant(s):
Heavy Gas Oil - 7,405 gallons
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 700 pounds
Naphthalene - 4 pounds
Benzene - 0 pounds
Cause of Problem: Human Factors

DU5 was starting up and the HGO routing to A-410 was changed from off-spec to the HGO treaters. During this time the bypass valve was left in the open position causing heavy gas oil to overflow from tank A-410 into the tank dike area.
Remedial actions: Operator immediately closed bypass to LCV-100. Flow to A-410 was stopped and level pumped down. Liquid in tank dike was removed via vacuum truck. Soil excavation was conducted. To prevent recurrence, Motiva plans to develop plans to improve level control scheme and alarm management. They also plan to install a concrete liner inside the tank's secondary containment dike. PDF includes soil analytical data for soil samples tested for extractable petroleum hydrocarbons (EPH).
81012

2005-08-04
Point Source(s):
RCCU Flare (EPN #8-84), West Operations Ground Flare (WOGF- EPN 9-84)

Pollutant(s):
Slurry Oil - BRQ
Benzene - 0 pounds
Flammable Liquid - BRQ
Nitrogen Oxide - 218 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 916 pounds
Carbon Monoxide - 1,072 pounds
Particulate Matter - 24 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 597 pounds
Butadiene - 0 pounds
Benzene - 0 pounds
Toluene - 0 pounds
Hexane - 1 pounds
Cause of Problem: Maintenance/Procedures

"Maintenance was turning a blind when contents of the line began spraying from the line." Flaring occurred at the RCCU flare following the event during the RCCU unit startup. Additional downstream flaring occurred at the Shell Chemical LP GO-1 elevated flare and the Motiva West Operations Ground Flare.
Remedial actions: Vacuum trucks were deployed in attempt to capture the oil in the RCCU drainage system. Feed was immediately diverted from the unit. Flow into the main fractionator column was minimized while isolations were being made to the slurry circulation system. VSERT was activated to make positive isolation of the leak. Concerning recurrence prevention, Motiva's incident investigations group is investigation the incident and recommendations will be addressed.
80785

2005-07-25
Point Source(s):
West Ops Ground Flare (EPN #9-84)

Pollutant(s):
Carbon Monoxide - 123 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide - 209 pounds
Particulate Matter - 29 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 143 pounds
Butadiene - 17 pounds
Benzene - 8 pounds
Toluene - 1 pounds
Cause of Problem: Instrument Failure

An overhead analyzer and a differential pressure meter that normally monitor and control the propylene producing column were out of service for maintenance and inspection. Without these two indicators operations could not effectively tell if the column was operating properly. The production of unspecified product led to flaring. Flaring by GO-1 at Motiva's West Operations Ground Flare occurred due to Shell Chemical's GO-1 operations being asked to discontinue sending material to OL-5 until the process was back in control.
Called in by telephone on 07/25/2005 by Shell Chemical. Remedial actions: Material was flared at the West Ops Ground flare. Motiva maintains they were not in control of the incident and that a follow up letter was sent by Shell Chemical.
80409

2005-07-08
Point Source(s):


Pollutant(s):
Stormwater - 0
Cause of Problem: Weather

Due to Tropical Storm Cindy, heavy rainfall caused the SWIB to reach capacity, forced to open LPDES Outfall 002 to prevent flooding of the refinery.
Outfall 006 is permitted under the LPDES Permit to discharge "low contamination potential stormwater runoff." The outfall was monitored as required by the LPDES #LA0003522. Discharge was stopped on 07/09/05.
80320

2005-07-06
Point Source(s):
Coker, HCU, West Op Ground flares

Pollutant(s):
Nitrous Oxide - 11 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 1,150 pounds
Benzene - 3 pounds
Cyclohexane - 3 pounds
Butadiene - 26 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide - 171 pounds
Ethylene - 604 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 30,271 pounds
Flammable Gas - 39,743 pounds
Highly Reactive Volatile Organic Compounds (HRVOCs) - 8,212 pounds
Propylene - 2,808 pounds
Cause of Problem: Weather

Power failures due to weather (Tropical Storm Cindy) caused various releases from Motiva sources; led to total loss of electrical instrument air compressors and the loss of several steam boilers that caused the shutdown of the HCU and RCCU process units. A voltage sag caused the Coker processor to shut down which resulted in a flaring event.
Motiva claims that this was not preventable because of the unforeseeable weather conditions.
79889

2005-06-16
Point Source(s):
Sanitary sewer line serving the Central Refining Control Room

Pollutant(s):
Sanitary Sewage - 0
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

Sanitary sewer line serving the Central Refining Control Room became plugged, resulting in overflow of sewer clean-out hub. This sewage flowed into nearby stormwater drain. The sanitary sewage was routed to the refinery effluent treatment system and subsequently discharged through LPDES Outfall per permit.
Maintenance personnel were immediately notified. The line was unplugged and flow returned to normal. Motiva notes that although a portion of the treatment system was bypassed, the material did receive treatment prior to discharge.
79812

2005-06-14
Point Source(s):

Shell Chemical GO-1 Processing Unit, GO-1 elevated flare

Pollutant(s):
Carbon Monoxide - 90 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide - 54 pounds
Particulate Matter - 10 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 43 pounds
1,3-Butadiene - 3 pounds
Benzene - 1 pounds
Toluene - 0
Cause of Problem: Power Failure

Entergy was in the process of performing a periodic maintenance on relays at the Norco Substation. A relay tip occurred at the Norco Substation unexpectedly. The power outage resulted in the shutdown of two compressors in the Shell Chemical GO-1 Process Unit, resulting in flaring of process gases at the GO-1 Elevated Flare.
Operations personnel took immediate corrective actions to minimize the level of emissions; process gases were flared at West Op Ground flare until the compressors re-started and the G0-1 process units were back under control; Motiva maintained that the incident was not under their control, rather the control of Shell Chemical and Louisiana Holdings LLP
78747

2005-05-03
Point Source(s):
Hydrocracker, Coker, CR-1 and NHT units

Pollutant(s):
Sulfur Dioxide - 296 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 1,304 pounds
Cause of Problem: Human Factors

The Coker, Hydrocrack, and CR-1 process units unexpectedly shut down due to a loss of 100# instrument air. The instrument air block valve on the line supplying the Coker, Hydrocracker, and CR-1 was mistakenly closed. An operator was instructed to close the 2" soft water valve for maintenance and operator mistakenly identified the 2" 100# instrument air valve as the 2" soft water valve.
Remedial actions involved shutting down the affected operating units; found that Sulfur Dioxide levels were exceeded from the HCU flare and Volatile Organic Compounds exceeded at the Coker Flare.
No LDEQ Number Available

2005-04-15
Point Source(s):
Slop Oil sump (W-427)

Pollutant(s):
Oil - 20 gallons
Cause of Problem: Human Factors

Power switch to high-level alaram and pump for W-247 were in "off" position while draining material from wharf's loading arm to sump, causing sump to overflow.
This is the follow up to the verbal notification on 04/14/05. Operator immediately restored power to W-427 pump, beginning drainage of sump into the slop oil header. Operations then activated the Site Oil Spill Team and OSRO Contractor ES&H to contain the material that was released into the Mississippi River. Oil booms and absorbant pads were used to recover the released Oily material; no remedial actions specified
78205

2005-04-13
Point Source(s):
RCCU Flare (EPN #8-84)

Pollutant(s):
Nitrogen Oxide - BRQ
Cyclohexane - BRQ
Ethylbenzene - BRQ
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - BRQ
Hexane - BRQ
Toluene - BRQ
Xylene - BRQ
Cause of Problem: No Information Given

No information given.
No listed remedial actions
77795

2005-03-23
Point Source(s):
hydrocracker unit, HCU Flare (EPN #4-84)

Pollutant(s):
Hydrogen - BRQ
Hydrogen Sulfide - BRQ
Nitrogen Oxide - BRQ
Sulfur Dioxide - 66 pounds
n-Hexane - 6 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 88 pounds
Cause of Problem: Seal or Gasket

A gasket on compressor K 1929's seal oil pot gauge glass was leaking, causing a loss of seal Oil level. Loss of level caused hydrocracker unit to trip out and require a shut down.
Remedial actions: Site supervisor was notified, unit was secured per procedures for shutdown. Gauge glass was inspected and it was found that the Jerguson valves did not contain ball checks; the ball checks were replaced.
77688

2005-03-18
Point Source(s):
Ship Keystone Texas

Pollutant(s):
Particulate Matter - 0
Cause of Problem: Other - See text

Source of black material was the ship "Keystone Texas" leaving the Motiva dock while releasing a large amount of smoke out of its boilers during initial power build-up. This black soot settled over Norco. The source of the material was not Shell or Motiva.
Citizen complaint of a black oily particulate being released into the air.
77472

2005-03-09
Point Source(s):
Tank A-405

Pollutant(s):
Oil - 210 gallons
Cause of Problem: Maintenance/Procedures

Tank A-405 was being emptied for inspection. After several truck loads of solids were removed, some products/solids splashed out of the manway onto the ground. Material which had adhered to the sidewall of the tank may have fallen into residual materials in the tank bottom, causing a wave of material to splash out of the manway. The material overfilled the secondary containment which had been placed under the manway.
The material was released to the soil and hydrocarbon vapors dispersed to the air naturally. Pumper trucks and clean up crews were immediately called to recover the oil. Upon completion of free-product removal, all stained soils were excavated. Soils that were removed were disposed of in the Motiva on-site landfill.
77395

2005-03-05
Point Source(s):
None Reported
Pollutant(s):
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

Incident due to an upset at the GO-1 process unit.
Potential permit limit exceedence from the West Ops Ground Flare (EPN #9-84). Follow-up report promised as of 03/11/05; cannot be located on LDEQ database as of 07/17/13.
77243

2005-02-27
Point Source(s):
Alkylation Unit Control Room Sanitary Sewer Discharge Line

Pollutant(s):
Sanitary Sewage - 0
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

Sanitary Sewage discharge line serving the Alkylation Unit Control Room became plugged, causing water to overflow to effluent system.
Sewage was diverted from normal treatment to the refinery wastewater treatment system due to a clogged pipe. The clogged pipe was repaired within 24 hours and flow was returned to normal. Motiva noted that even though a portion of the treatment system was bypassed, the material did receive some treatment prior to discharge.
76671

2005-02-02
Point Source(s):
OL-5 Ground Flare, FG-101

Pollutant(s):
Nitrogen Oxide - BRQ
Carbon Monoxide - BRQ
Particulate Matter - BRQ
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - BRQ
1,3-Butadiene - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

Level controller on the BD5 Solvent Column was not functioning properly as solvent recovery column was pressuring up.
Level controller was repaired and returned to service. During the repair there was some flaring.
76677

2005-02-01
Point Source(s):


Pollutant(s):
Wastewater - 0
Cause of Problem: Weather

Norco area experienced heavy rainfall; Motiva was forced to open LPDES Outfall 006 as a result, in order to prevent flooding to the refinery.
76659

2005-01-31
Point Source(s):
Sanitary sewer discharge line

Pollutant(s):
Sewage - 0 gallons
Cause of Problem: Seal or Gasket

A leak developed on the sanitary sewer discharge line serving the Central Maintenance Shop due to the failure of the connecting nipple between the discharge piping and the sewer drain line. The sanitary sewage was routed to the refinery wastewater treatment system and subsequently discharged through LPDES Outfall 002, bypassing a portion of the treatment process.
A vacuum truck was stationed at the location to collect additional sanitary sewage which might be released during repair operations. Repairs to the line were completed and flow returned to normal on February 2, 2005.
76388

2005-01-23
Point Source(s):
Hydrocracker unit

Pollutant(s):
Flammable Gas - BRQ
Benzene - BRQ
Hydrogen Sulfide - BRQ
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

Flame and pilots failed on the hydrocracker flare during unit decontamination.
The flare was relit and the unit was returned to normal operation.
76386

2005-01-22
Point Source(s):
Hydrocracker unit
Hydrocracker unit, HCU Flare (EPN #4-84

Pollutant(s):
Hydrogen - BRQ
n-Hexane - 0
Flammable Gas - 0
Cause of Problem: Other - See text

This incident is a normal part of a turnaround. Before the Hydrocracker can be worked on, it must be cleared of hydrocarbon. This is done by venting the unit to the flare and later to the atmosphere. This venting is considered a normal but infrequent part of plant operation.
No LDEQ Number Available

2005-01-03
Point Source(s):
Tank w-406 (EPN #1086-95)

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 0
Cause of Problem: No Information Given

No information given
Data gathering and calculations ongoing. Follow-up letter promised.