Home Search Emissions Pollutants About the Database


Motiva Enterprises (1406), Norco

Releases in 2007

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source/Release CauseNotes
101464

2007-12-05
Point Source(s):


Pollutant(s):
Slop Oil - 38 gallons
Benzene - 0 pounds
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

Leak in pipeline--slop oil header at a point of external corrosion.
Motiva emergency personnel immediately cut feed to reduce pipe flow. Vacuum trucks removed slop oil from ground. Motiva personnel clamped the 4" metal pipe 10" above ground level. Slop oil pickup transported to slop oil Tank 409. Impacted soil removed and disposed of at industrial landfill site. Quantity of slop oil released is initially reported to be 3 barrels (126 gallons). The follow-up report claims that the amount of slop oil released was 0.91 barrels (38.33 gallons).
100769

2007-11-03
Point Source(s):
external mixer on tank F-470

Pollutant(s):
Oil - 275 gallons
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

"An external mixer on tank F-470 developed a leak due to a catastrophic bearing failure, which punctured the mixer's external case. In addition, seal failure allowed the head pressure of the tank to relieve through the damaged external case."
Operations placed containment under leak site and collected spilled material via vacuum truck. The external case leak was sealed with expandable foam sealant that was pumped into the case cavity. Mixer was removed and replaced with a new one. Upon completion of repairs, excavation of visually stained soils with initiated. To prevent recurrence, plans are being implemented to move the mixer to a manway of sufficient height to prevent water impacting seal and bearing life. Finally, a formal preventative maintenance schedule will be adopted in conjunction with the current visual surveillance and operator rounds.
100426

2007-10-23
Point Source(s):
tank F-493

Pollutant(s):
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 32,701 pounds
Benzene - 151 pounds
Oil - 6,234 gallons
Cause of Problem: Weather

Heavy rains caused excessive rainwater weight on roof of tank F-493, causing naphtha to leak out via the roof drains into diked area around the tank. Tank F-509, which shares the containment dike with F-493, had to have its tank dike valve opened to prevent flooding, causing surface water to contact area around F-493 and then escape to the effluent conveyance system. Facility was forced to bypass the stormwater impoundment basin to avoid flooding of the site and the released naphtha then migrated offsite through outfall 006. DEQ interview form states area could not be entered on the first day because of high benzene levels.
Operations immediately closed the roof drain valve of tank F-493, notified the Norco Site Supervisor, and called out additional personnel to begin containment and clean up. Fence line monitoring was initiated to monitor potential off-site impacts upon identification of material migration off-site. Vacuum trucks and absorbent pads were utilized to recover all standing liquid hydrocarbon following the release. Used waste pads were packaged in 55-gallon drums and disposed of off-site at the Phillips Reclamation Facility. Liquid phase material was recovered via the facility's slop oil system. To prevent recurrence, the roof drain will be up-sized during the next scheduled turnaround to 6" from the current 4" configuration to ensure unhindered migration of rainwater from the roof to the dike area. Tank dike draining procedures were reinforced with operations via shift meetings. The 15 gallons of Naphtha that migrated off site through Outfall 006 was collected in the stilling basin upstream of the St. Charles Parish Bayou Trepagnier Pump Station via absorbent material and pads which were once again packaged in 55-gallon drums and disposed of off-site at Phillips Reclamation Facility. Personnel involved in the incident regarding the migration of 15 gallons of Naphtha off site were led through discussions to avoid future recurrence. The findings of the investigation were dispersed throughout operations via shift meetings and Shift Core Team Leaders.
100173

2007-10-14
Point Source(s):
pipe in dewatering system

Pollutant(s):
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons - 10 pounds
Benzene - 9 pounds
Oil - 374 gallons
Cause of Problem: Corrosion

A 1/2" diameter previously unidentified area of external corrosion on a 6" sub-surface crude water draw line failed during normal operations.
Operations immediately isolated the line through the use of existing valves, called out additional personnel to begin containment, clean up, and repair operations and notified the Norco Site Supervisor. Vacuum trucks were utilized to recover all standing liquids. After removal of the liquid hydrocarbon was completed, excavation of visually stained soils was initiated. An external clamp has been installed on the line and the repair area re-coated to prevent additional corrosion. A project has been initiated to relocated this water draw piping above ground.
100076

2007-10-06
Point Source(s):
HCU flare

Pollutant(s):
Sulfur Dioxide - 0 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

Leaking relief valve sent sulfur dioxide to HCU (hydrocracker unit) flare. No detailed description of event given.
No information given regarding remedial actions. Discrepancy regarding duration of leak--Report dated 11/07/07 states start/end time as only 4min; report dated 07/02/08 states that a valve was leaking on 10/06/07 and was not discovered until 10/09/07.
99810

2007-09-27
Point Source(s):


Pollutant(s):
Oil - 126 gallons
Cause of Problem: Maintenance/Procedures

Maintenance activities caused 3 barrels of oil to spill into the conveyance system.
Spill booms were deployed and vacuum trucks picked up material from water at the booms. Incident is listed as below reportable quantity because all oil, oil/water emulsion, and water were recovered from the wastewater system.
99682

2007-09-22
Point Source(s):
Hydrocracker Flare

Pollutant(s):
Hydrogen - 229 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

An exchanger flange at the Hydrogen Unit caught fire and nitrogen was used to diffuse fire. Fire on E-11 at the hydrocracker unit--exchanger flange failure and subsequent unit depressurization to the Hydrocracker flare
A nitrogen blanket was used to diffuse fire. The hydrogen cracker was isolated and depressurized. The rest of the product in the cracker was sent to flare.
99680

2007-09-21
Point Source(s):
Valve near tank F-453

Pollutant(s):
Gas Oil - 150 gallons
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

Relief valve RV-3325 failed; bellows allowed gas oil to run on ground.
The faulty line was isolated and containment was placed under leak. Vacuum truck picked up standing liquid. Workers excavated affected soil and disposed of it at the industrial landfill facility. Motiva's recommended preventive measures are to shorten the inspection interval from 48 months to 36 months and replace the bellows at each inspection. This change will go into effect immediately.
99302

2007-09-07
Point Source(s):
Fresh acid line to Alkylation unit reactors

Pollutant(s):
Sulfuric Acid - 616 pounds
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

The fresh acid line to the Alkylation unit reactors developed a leak originating from a Furmanite manufactured box installed to control a prior leak.
Upon discovery of the leak, Furmanite was contacted and the manufactured box was re-pressurized and sealed. The leak was corrected and the line was returned to normal service duty.
98320

2007-08-01
Point Source(s):
Sanitary sump pumps serving RCCU and DU-5 units

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

Discharge piping on the sanitary system sump pumps serving the RCCU and DU-5 units leaked sewage due to plugged pipe. Material drained to a nearby stormwater sewer and was discharged into the refinery wastewater treatment system bypassing normal sewage treatment routing. See also incidents 96492 and 97505, reports of the same date.
Vacuum truck was called out to pick up material and prevent additional leakage to the wastewater system. Operations blew line free of plug, reestablishing flow. Motiva will make permanent repairs once evaluation of lines is complete. Routine emptying of the sanitary sump via vacuum truck is being conducted until repairs to the discharge line are completed. The material was routed directly to the refinery wastewater treatment system and received full treatment through this system prior to discharge.
97930

2007-07-17
Point Source(s):
Heat exchanger piping on DU-5 unit

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

An "off-spec" section of piping failed and leaked while operators were putting a heat exchanger into service on the DU-5 unit.
No information given.
97505

2007-06-28
Point Source(s):
Interface piping of wharf structure

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

Pipefitting located on the sewage and steam condensate interface piping of the wharf structure leaked sewage and steam condensate into the Mississippi River. See also incident #s 96492 and 98320, reports of the same date, and follow-up inspection reports on file for the three incidents combined.
The lines were 30' above the batture, making them difficult to access. A scaffold platform had to be built before repairs could take place. The lines were blocked and the release was contained with secondary containment at ground level until repairs could be made. Upon completion of scaffold platform, maintenance repaired the line, thus stopping the leak and returning the discharge to its normal routing to the site's wastewater treatment facility. The released steam condensate and sewage did not go through this wastewater treatment facility.
96958

2007-06-10
Point Source(s):

relief valve at RCCU

Pollutant(s):
Flammable Gas - 85,445 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 85,445 pounds
Highly Reactive Volatile Organic Compounds (HRVOCs) - 64,091
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

Depropanizer column relief valve (RV-7207) failed at the Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit, prematurely relieving below its set pressure.
Valve was isolated to stop release, "employed proper mitigation steps for alternate relief protection to prevent further environmental impact," valve removed, sent off for repair and reinstalled. It was noted that there was a noise associated with the RV piping at the time of the release--one complaint received.
96791

2007-06-05
Point Source(s):
HCU flare

Pollutant(s):
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 496 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide - 50 pounds
Flammable Gas - 3,672 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

Control valve 755 malfunctioned, sending hydrogen sulfide gas to flare.
Operations closed instrument air supply line, causing valve to go into fail-safe open position. Faulty instrument air filter was repaired and re-established instrument airflow to valve. To prevent recurrence, instrument air supply filter and parts of controller were replaced.
96492

2007-05-24
Point Source(s):
System clean-out hub near RCCU control room

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

Plugged sewer line from restrooms to lift station caused sewage leak from a system clean-out hub near the RCCU Control Room. Sewage drained to a stormwater sewer and was discharged into the refinery wastewater treatment system bypassing normal routing for treatment before release. See also incident #s 97505 and 98320, reports of the same date, and follow-up inspection reports on file for the three incidents combined.
Plumber unclogged line. To prevent recurrence, Motiva plans to have the line routinely cleaned on a quarterly basis.
96300

2007-05-16
Point Source(s):


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

Motiva's Stormwater Impoundment Basin was already at 8.5 ft from previous rains and exceeded hit capacity of 10 ft after heavy rainfall. Motiva had to open outfall to prevent flooding of the refinery, bypassing stormwater treatment system. During the storm event, employee observed stormwater leaking from refinery ditch through site perimeter levee and into St. Charles Parish stormwater ditch via a nutria burrow. A drain box/manhole box was also leaking stormwater off-site from the ditch. See also report #96302 of the same date.
Nutria burrow repaired, drain box repair will take longer. Analysis of stormwater is included in reports and summarize below: Oil & Grease: 5.7 mg/L Total Organic Carbon: 13.2 mg/L Ph: 7.5 All below permit limits
96302

2007-05-16
Point Source(s):


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

An employee observed stormwater leaking from the Motiva West Stormwater Ditch, through the site perimeter levee, and into the adjacent St. Charles Parish stormwater ditch via a nutria burrow. See DEQ# 96300 of the same date.
The breach in the perimeter levee caused by the nutria burrow was repaired on 05/17/07. The remainder of the system was inspected for any additional issues. During this inspection, it was discovered that a drain box/manhole box was also leaking stormwater off-site from the West Ditch. An inspection was made of the drain box to determine the extent of damage and the required repairs. The north wall of the drain box will require replacement as of 05/21/07.
96154

2007-05-13
Point Source(s):


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

Small pile of hay bales located at facility's landfill caught on fire.
Motiva firefighters extinguished fire within 30 minutes. No landfill equipment was affected.
95320

2007-04-11
Point Source(s):
Collection line

Pollutant(s):
Sewage - 25 gallons
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

A clogged collection line resulted in the backup and release of raw sewage to an area of soil at Motiva's Norco Facility.
Spilled sewage was absorbed in soil. Clog was removed.
94926

2007-03-27
Point Source(s):
Relief valve

Pollutant(s):
Nitrogen Oxide - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Instrument Failure

It's believed the computer control caused an upset which opened a relief valve to the flare.
Motiva shut down the NHT unit and investigated the problem. The relief valve was blocked in and removed, then shipped for repaired.
94667

2007-03-15
Point Source(s):
Sewer sump servicing DU-4 and DU-5 Units

Pollutant(s):
Sewage - 10 gallons
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

A sewer pump servicing the DU-4 and DU-5 Units overflowed due to plugging of the discharge line.
The overflow material was drained into a nearby storm water sewer and was discharged into the refinery wastewater treatment system. The material was then discharged through LPDES Outfall 002. Normally the effluent goes through a small sanitary sewage treatment plant prior to mixing with the main refinery effluent, but with the plugging of the line, the effluent bypassed this treatment. Once the leak was discovered, a vacuum truck was placed to pick up the material and to prevent additional leakage. Once the piping was accessible, the plugging was cleared and the sump returned to normal operations.
93653

2007-02-01
Point Source(s):
Utilities East Flare EPN 3-84

Pollutant(s):
Hydrogen Sulfide - BRQ
Nitrogen Oxide - BRQ
Sulfur Dioxide - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

Release was due to an unexpected leak on the DU-5 Waste Gas Compressor K-1876.
No information given regarding remedial actions.
93424

2007-01-22
Point Source(s):
None Reported
Pollutant(s):
Cause of Problem: Start Up, Shut Down

Unexpected shutdown of a compressor in Shell's GO-1 Process Un
None.
93359

2007-01-18
Point Source(s):
West Ops Ground Flare EPN 9-84

Pollutant(s):
1,3-Butadiene - BRQ
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 163 pounds
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

Release was due to an upset at Shell Chemical's GO-1 process unit.
No information given regarding remedial actions.
93241

2007-01-12
Point Source(s):
Hydrocracker Unit

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - BRQ
Hydrogen Sulfide - BRQ
Hexane - BRQ
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

Release of benzene, hydrogen sulfide, hexane, and VOC's due to a relief valve release to the atmospheric vent.
No information given regarding remedial actions.