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Motiva Enterprises (1406), Norco

Releases in 2013

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source/Release CauseNotes
152971

2013-12-23
Point Source(s):
RCCU Elevated Flare

Pollutant(s):
Hydrogen Sulfide - BRQ
Carbon Monoxide - 10 pounds
Nitric Oxide - 2 pounds
Particulate Matter - 0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 2 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 1 pounds
Cause of Problem: Seal or Gasket

On December 23, 2013, the Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit (RCCU) Elevated Flare exceeded its 162 ppm three-hour rolling average limit for hydrogen sulfide. The monitoring capabilities of the hydrogen sulfide analyzer at the RCCU Elevated Flare were exceeded as the hydrogen sulfide to the flare continued to increase. Several contributing factors were identified. One of these factors was that the cold weather was affecting some of the valve bodies by allowing small quantities of H2S to leak through a closed valve during lower ambient temperatures. In addition, it was found that the RCCU flare knock out drum and the maintenance drop out drum were contaminated with H2S as a result of recent shutdown activities. This event did not result in an emergency condition. There were no fatalities, injuries, or road closures.
Immediately, Operations began a systematic search for the sources of H2S routed to the flare. This search identifies all potential H2S intrusion points with the RCCU and RGHT Units, and prioritized those most likely contributing to the elevated H2S in the Flare system. Flushes the RCCU Elevated flare knock out drum and the maintenance drop out drum. Upgraded valves HV4346 a IV one-piece metal seats to class VI three-piece metal Teflon seats. Unit rate increases were delayed and unit feed rates were maintained during the duration of the incident. To prevent recurrences, the refinery will (1) evaluate the need to upgrade/replace additional RV and HIC valves that are routed to the RCCU Elevated Flare header in order to prevent leakage during cold weather; and (2) evaluate the need to apply weather shields and/or steam lances to valves affect by cold weather. The report does not mention when the refinery will implement these preventative measures.
152890

2013-12-16
Point Source(s):
Flange leak on caustic line

Pollutant(s):
Caustic Alkali Liquids - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Seal or Gasket

On December 16, 2013, a flange leak was discovered on a caustic line that supplies several units across the Norco complex. Immediately the caustic transfer was stopped and the leak slowed down. One barrel of caustic was estimated to be released within the Norco complex property.
A gasket was replaced on the flange and the pipeline was placed back into service without any additional issue. The soil and gravel in the area were remediated. Final observations and calculations confirm that no permit limits and no reportable quantities were exceeded during the event.
152855

2013-12-14
Point Source(s):
RCCU Flare (EPN 8-84)
RCCU Flare (EPN 8-84)

Pollutant(s):
Carbon Monoxide - 107 pounds
Nitric Oxide - 20 pounds
Particulate Matter - 4 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 26 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 20 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Weather

On December 14, 2013, the three-hour rolling average for the amount of hydrogen sulfide to the Residual Catalytic Cracking Unity (RCCU) Flare exceeded its 162 ppm limit. The hydrogen sulfide to the RCCU Flare continued to increase exceeding the monitoring capabilities of the flare's hydrogen sulfide analyzer. As a result, Operations monitored the hydrogen sulfide concentrations by sampling the flare header. Hydrogen sulfide concentrations fluctuated as troubleshooting occurred. Several contributing factors were identified. One of these factors was that the cold weather was affecting some of the valve bodies by allowing small quantities of H2S to leak through a close valve during lower ambient temperatures. In addition, it was found that the RCCU flare knock out drum and the maintenance drop out drum were contaminated with H2S as a result of recent shutdown activities.
Immediately, operations began a systematic search for the sources of H2S routed to the flare. This search identified all potential H2S intrusion points within the RCCU and RGHT Units, and prioritized those most likely contributing to the elevated H2S in the Flare system. Next, they flushed the RCCU elevated flare knock out drum and the maintenance drop out drum. Unit rate increases were delayed and unit feed rates were maintained during the duration of the incident. To prevent recurrences, the refinery will evaluate the need to upgrade/replace additional RV and HIC valves that are routed to the RCCU Elevated Flare header in order to prevent leakage during cold weather. Additionally, it will evaluate the need to apply weather shields and/or steam lances to valves affected by cold weather. Note: the 60-day report states: "Data gathering and calculations confirm no reportable quantities were exceeded during the release. However, the maximum pound per hour permit limit for sulfur dioxide was exceeded during this incident," and "The hydrogen sulfide to the the RCCU Flare exceeded the monitoring capabilities of the flare's hydrogen sulfide analyzer." Hence, the amount of hydrogen sulfide released (and not oxidized to SO2) is unknown.
152813

2013-12-12
Point Source(s):
S3 Incinerator (EPN 2-90)

Pollutant(s):
Sulfur Dioxide - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

ON December 11, 2013, the hydrogen sulfide analyzer at Motiva's S3 Incinerator exceeded the NSPS Subpart J hydrogen sulfide twelve-hour rolling average of 250 ppm. Investigation findings suggest that on December 11, 2013 iron sulfide in the S3 sulfur pit was exposed to oxygen, resulting in pyrophoric iron oxidation that ignited a small smoldering fire in the vapor space of the S3 sulfur pit. The small fire generated sulfur dioxide that was pulled into the stack of the incinerator via the vapor line. The fire was extinguished when the steam to the eductor was reduced on December 14, 2013 at 1701 hours.
As a corrective action, Motive will monitor the sulfur dioxide analyzer and unit operation in order to troubleshoot any potential issues. Also during this same time, Motiva's RCCU Elevated Flare was experiencing elevated Hydrogen Sulfide concentrations from hydrocarbon flaring. The RCCU hydrocarbon flaring is the subject of a final follow-up letter issued February 3, 2014. Note: The contemporaneous incident with RCCU flaring is LDEQ incident 152855, the 60-day report of which does not claim there is a causal connection.
152746

2013-12-05
Point Source(s):
line leak near Tank F-492

Pollutant(s):
#6 Oil - 45 gallons
Cause of Problem: Corrosion

ON December 5, 2013, operations personnel in Logistics discovered a line leaking #6 Oil in the containment area near tank F-492. Immediately after discovery, remediation and maintenance efforts began.
Liquids were recovered using a vacuum truck. Contaminated soils were excavated and properly disposed. Material that evaporated during the release and recovery operation was released to the atmosphere and dispersed naturally. Operations worked to identify the exact leak source on this insulated line. Insulators were dispatched to remove insulation which identified a hole in the top side of the pipe which was caused by corrosion, and the line was isolated. All impacted soils were excavated and properly disposed. Motiva has no current knowledge of pollution migration as material was remediated and recovered in the containment area.
152739

2013-12-05
Point Source(s):
RCCU Flare (EPN 8-84)

Pollutant(s):
Hydrogen Sulfide - 1,724 pounds
Carbon Monoxide - 592 pounds
NOx - 109 pounds
Particulate Matter - 20 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 835 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 65 pounds
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

On December 5, 2013, the three-hour rolling average for teh amount of hydrogen sulfide to the RCCU Flare exceeded its 162 ppm limit and teh 500 pound reportable quantity was exceeded on December 6, 2013 at 15:00 hours. The hydrogen sulfide to the RCCU FLare exceeded teh monitoring capabilities of teh flare's hydrogen sulfide analyzer. As a result, Operations monitored the hydrogen sulfide concentrations by sampling the flare header while trying to identify the source/sources of the elevated hydrogen sulfide. On December 6, 2013 it was discovered that the dry gas specific gravity analyzer, AT-3812 was incorrectly routed to the flare. By correcting this line up, the hydrogen sulfide in the flare header was reduced and no further hydrogen sulfide reportable quantities were exceeded as a result of this incident.
Immediately, Operations began a search for the source of hydrogen sulfide routing to the flare. Operations found that the sample return from the dry gas specific gravity analyzer, AT-3812, was incorrectly routed to the flare. On December 6, this stream was rerouted to the RCCU wet gas compressor. Operations flushed the RCCU Elevated flare knock drum and the maintenance drop out drum (which were suspected to be contaminated with hydrogen sulfide as a result of the recent shutdown activities). Unit rate increases were delayed and unit feed rates were maintained during the duration of this incident. To prevent re-occurrence of this incident, routing AI3812 correctly has been included in a Job Aid that Operations developed for troubleshooting situations in which there are high hydrogen sulfide concentrations at the RCCU Flare. Report states that releases of sulfur dioxide exceeded Reportable Quantity only on December 5 and 6. Sulfur Dioxide also exceeded reportable quantity limits on the December 7.
151405

2013-10-05
Point Source(s):
RCCU Flare (FE-201)

Pollutant(s):
1,3-Butadiene - BRQ
Ethylene - BRQ
Flammable Gas - BRQ
Highly Reactive Volatile Organic Compounds (HRVOCs) - BRQ
Propylene - BRQ
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

Motiva's Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit (RCCU) experienced a perceived flame outage on its elevated flare (FE-201) during planned shutdown and decontamination activities. Alarms on the RCCU Elevated Flare indicated that a flame was not present. Operations personnel went in the field and verified that a flame was actually present and the alarm was incorrect. As a precautionary measure, decontamination efforts stopped. Once flame verification was complete, decontamination efforts were restarted.
150814

2013-09-03
Point Source(s):
4-84 Hydrocracker Flare (FE-301)

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - BRQ
Carbon Monoxide - BRQ
Hexane - BRQ
NOx - BRQ
Particulate Matter 10 - BRQ
Sulfur Dioxide - BRQ
Toluene - BRQ
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Instrument Failure

On September 3, 2013, the first and second stages of Motiva's Hydrocracker Unit (HCU) shut down. The shutdown was caused by an instrumentation failure that controlled the lube/seal oil system for the HCU recycle compressors. On September 6, 2013, the Hydrocracker unit began startup operations.
Immediately after the unit was shut down and secured, maintenance and engineering immediately investigated and identified the instrumentation failure. The instrumentation and engineering groups are developing an inspection list for the next planned unit shutdown to look for deficiencies in the unit instrument systems. No reportable quantities were exceeded; however the permitted maximum hourly emission rate limit was exceeded for Benzene and Sulfur Dioixide.
149250

2013-07-23
Point Source(s):
Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit

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

On July 23, Motiva's Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit (RCCU) discovered a slurry leak on the case of one of the unit's slurry pumps. Operations responded immediately and worked to isolate the pump and start its spare.
Once this system was secure, Motiva's operations personnel began cleanup efforts. The unit was soaped down and all residual hydrocarbons were washed down to the nearest hub until the area was clean.
149603

2013-07-12
Point Source(s):
EPN#1210-95

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - BRQ
Naphthalene - BRQ
Toluene - BRQ
Xylene - BRQ
Cause of Problem: No Information Given

On July 12 at 1030 hours, operations personnel in Logistics found spent caustic tank K-558 floating roof to be setting on its legs which caused the roof vents to open. Soon after discovery, the tank legs were reset and the vents were secured.
After discovery, the tank legs were reset and the vents were secured.
148925

2013-05-29
Point Source(s):
Pump seal

Pollutant(s):
Oil - 126 gallons
Benzene - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Seal or Gasket

On May 29, operations personnel discovered a pump seal was leaking.
Operations stopped and isolated the pump to reduce material escaping from containment. Foam was placed on top of the spill to reduce vapors. The material was removed from containment by vacuum truck. To prevent recurrence, the mechanical department is assessing the pump to provide recommendations for changes to the seal to prevent reoccurrences. Recommendations will be implemented as appropriate. The LDEQ report mentions that this incident report number (148925) is linked to incident numbers 149187, 149203, and 149223.
149187

2013-05-29
Point Source(s):
pump seal

Pollutant(s):
Naphtha - 126 gallons
Benzene - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Seal or Gasket

On May 29, 2013, a pump seal leak was discovered.
Immediately the pump was secured, leak stopped, spill cleanup and pump repairs started. The event did not result in an emergency condition but the neighborhood was notified. A citizen complaint was submitted. Citizen complained of a chemical smell for 3-4 days. Another complained of a bad small and a burning sensation in the eyes. Another described a strong petroleum odor in the air around the neighborhood. A fourth citizen complained of a strong odor that caused choking and gagging, and stated that the entire family was sick. The LDEQ report mentions that this incident is also linked with incident numbers 148925, 149193, 149203, and 149223.
148623

2013-05-10
Point Source(s):
Refinery Wastewater Treatment System

Pollutant(s):
Water or Wastewater - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Weather

On May 10, an unanticipated bypass incident at the Storm Water Impoundment Basin (SWIB) was due to an upset condition caused by heavy rainfalls associated with a series of thunderstorms. The site was initially able to contain the rainfall associated with this event and route it to the Refinery Wastewater Treatment System (RWTS) for treatment. However, the system storage capacity was reduced due to the amount of heavy rainfall that had occurred in such a short time frame. Motiva opened the spillway to prevent flooding of the refinery and damage to the SWIB from overtopping of the retaining levee. The spillway discharges to Engineer's Canal and then to Lake Pontchartrain.
Motiva's normal operating procedures cal for the initiation of bypass operations when no capacity remains in the RWTS and a bypass is the only alternative to prevent flooding of the facility. All required sample collection and analysis were conducted in conjunction with the opening of the spillway. Limits were not exceeded and visual inspection showed no signs of adverse water quality of the storm water discharge.
148282

2013-04-23
Point Source(s):
NIG

Pollutant(s):
1,3-Butadiene - BRQ
Cause of Problem: No Information Given

On April 23, 2013 at 0030 hours, operations personnel in Logistics discovered a temporary clamp on a finished 1,3 Butadiene line that was leaking. Immediately after discovery, maintenance began repairs. The leak was stopped at 1330 on 4/23/2013.
The amount of 1,3 Butadiene released over the 13 hour period was below the reportable quantity. No additional information was provided.
148036

2013-04-10
Point Source(s):
1,3-Butadiene Line

Pollutant(s):
1,3-Butadiene - 26 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

On April 10, 2013 at 1550 hours, operations personnel in Logistics discovered a temporary clamp on a 1,3-butadiene line that was leaking. Immediately after discovery, maintenance began repairs. The leak was stopped at 0330 on 4/11/2013.
The weather conditions at the time of the release were as follows: ESE winds at 10mph, cloudy and a temperature of 78 degrees fahrenheit. Immediately after discovery, the line was depressurized and the clamp was re-pumped with sealant that stopped the leak.
147591

2013-03-25
Point Source(s):
Propane pipeline

Pollutant(s):
Propane - 1,542 pounds
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

On March 25, 2013 at 1830 hours operations personnel in Logistics discovered a liquefied propane gas leak. Immediately after discovery the pipeline was depressured and isolated to stop the leak. Upon investigation, the source of the leak was determined to be a failed piece of piping at the discharge of a relief valve on the propane pipeline.
Immediately after discovery, the pipeline was depressured and isolated to stop the leak. The leaking piping system was reviewed by Pressure Equipment Inspections (PEI) and repair recommendations provided. The short term repairs have been implemented. To prevent reoccurrence, the plan is to increase monitoring of this piping system. Upgrades to the piping system to meet engineering standards will be addressed in the future.
146682

2013-02-18
Point Source(s):
4-84 Hydrocracker Flare (FE-301)

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 14 pounds
Carbon Monoxide - 4,866 pounds
NOx - 894 pounds
Particulate Matter - 168 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 1 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 3,016 pounds
Hexane - 16 pounds
Toluene - 2 pounds
Cause of Problem: Corrosion

On February 18, 2013 Motiva Enterprises in Norco experienced a relase of benzene, butane, flammable gas, hydrogen, hydrogen sulfide, propane, and volatile organic compounds to the atmosphere due to a release valve on the dubutanizer relieving at the Hydrocracking Unit (HCU) and flaring at the Hydrocracker Flare (EPN 4-84). The flaring was caused by an unexpected shutdown of the second stage of the Hydrocracker Unit. On February 18, 2013 at 0628 hours, the atmospheric relieve valve on the debutanizer at Motiva's Hydrocracking Unit (HCU) relieved, ultimately leading to the second stage of the HCU shutting down. The atmospheric release from the debutanizer column was due to a tube rupture on one of the upright exchangers in the second stage of the HCU. The second stage of the HCU was shutdown to stabilize the unit and minimize safety risks.
This release began on February 18, 2013 and ended on March 13, 2013. The repair of the ruptured tube on the upright exchangers in the second stage of the HCU was completed on March 11, 2013. Start up activities began once a pressure test was completed on the previously damaged exchanger and were completed on March 13, 2013 at 1600 hours. While the repair was being completed, high purity hydrogen was flared and emissions were below the permitted limits. It was determined that the cause of the tube rupture was as a result of stress corrosion cracking. To prevent this accident from reoccuring, the method to decontaminate the exchanger will change. During the next unit turnaound, the exchanger will be decontaminated using a different wash, which will prevent stress corrosion cracking.
146746

2013-02-04
Point Source(s):
berth number 1

Pollutant(s):
Sewage - 1 gallons
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

An unauthorized discharge of raw sewage into the Mississippi River resulted from the unanticipated bypass of the Norco Refinery wastewater treatment facility on February 4, 2013. No reportable quantities were exceeded. At 1027 hours on February 4, 2013, Operations discovered a sewage leak into the Mississippi River from a sewage line at Berth number 1. The leak was identified at a connection point where a PVC and metal pipe are joined with a rubber clamp. After noticing the loose pipe coupling, operations isolated the water and closed the bathroom to stop any further leakage.
The released material was approximately one gallon and did not go through a wastewater treatment facility; therefore, we are reporting an unauthorized discharge as a result of the bypass of the treatment process. The damaged pipe has been repaired with a new rubber clamp.
146273

2013-01-26
Point Source(s):
Hydrocracker Flare (EPN 4-84)

Pollutant(s):
Hydrogen - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

On January 26, 2013 at 17:15 hours, the first stage of the Hydrocracking Unit (HCU) shutdown. This shutdown was due to the occurrence of a ground fault on one of the main electrical feeders to the charge pump at the first stage of the HCU. The loss of the first stage charge pump resulted in the flaring of excess hydrogen that would normally be consumed by the process. Operations was able to maintain the operation of the second stage of the HCU.
Final observations and calculations confirm that no permit limits and no reportable quantities (RQ's) were exceeded during this event.
146217

2013-01-22
Point Source(s):
De-watering sump west of Tank F-501

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 207 pounds
Ethylbenzene - 103 pounds
n-Hexane - 427 pounds
Naphthalene - 194 pounds
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons - 239 pounds
Xylene - 569 pounds
Toluene - 349 pounds
Crude Oil - 9,335 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

On January 22, 2013 at 16:33 the de-watering sump west of Tank F-501 overflowed onto the ground. The check valve failed open with some of the material contained withing the concrete pump pad. Approximately 3 barrels of Crude oil spilled to the ground, with additional oil overflow into nearby surface drains. Follow-up Report: Operations determined that the source of the spill was the result of the check valve of the sump pumps failing open allowing crude oil to flow backwards into the sump and eventually overflowing with some of the material contained within the concrete pump pad.
Clean up efforts were implemented. A pumper truck was staged at the pump pad to remove the oil from the concrete pump pad, sump, drains, and ground. Once the oil was removed from the concrete pump pad the area and drains were water washed to a pumper truck to remove all residual oil. Follow-up report: Immediately after discovering the source, operations personnel closed the discharge block valve of the sump pump to isolate the leak source. Temporary small dikes were quickly set up to stop additional oil flow from entering the storm water drainage. Vacuum trucks were called out to begin picking up free liquid. The underground storm water system was flushed with water and all oil vacuumed up for recovery into the refinery slop system until oil could no longer be detected. The remediation began on January 24, 2013 once all free liquid was collected. This work continued through the weekend until all contaminated soil was removed for inspection. After a final inspection, fresh soil was brought in to restore the area back to its original condition. Liquids were recovered and returned to the site slop oil system. Contaminated soils were excavated and properly disposed of. Material that evaporated during the release and recovery operation was released to atmosphere and dispersed naturally. The following measures will be implemented to prevent this incident from reoccurring: the sump pump discharge block valve was tagged closed to stop such an incident from reoccurring; vacuum trucks are being utilized to remove any water from the pump pads in the short term; operator surveillance in this area has been increased; the pump discharge check valve will be replaced and any deficiencies repaired in the pump pad secondary containment. All impacted soils were excavated and properly disposed of. Motiva has no current knowledge of pollution migration as free product was contained near Tank F-501 and has been recovered. The amount of crude oil initially reported as (3 barrels or 126 gallons), but they actually released 9646.68 gallons (229.68) of crude oil. Motiva also exceeded reportable quantities for benzene, napthalene, PAH, xylene, and toluene.
146188

2013-01-19
Point Source(s):
S3 Incinerator (EPN 2-90)

Pollutant(s):
Sulfur Dioxide - 80 pounds
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

On January 19, 2013, Motiva's Sulfur Plant No. 2 (S2) experienced an unexpected lube oil piping leak on a turbine driven main air blower causing the process unit to trip offline. At this time, all of the acid gas that S2 was processing was routed to Motiva's Sulfur Plant No. 3 (S3). Subsequently, the acid gas header at S3 surged sending an additional flow of tail gas through the unit to the S3 absorber. The S3 absorber was not able to adequately treat the sudden increase in flow at this time, and sulfur dioxide was released through the S3 incinerator exceeding the maximum pound per hour permit limit. Motiva has determined that the root cause of the piping leak on the main air blower lube oil system at S2 was due to a fatigue of a threaded connection that contributed to the fatigue condition, and this will serve as a final repair of the leak.
Operations responded immediately to the incident by starting an electric blower at S2, to safely restart the process unit and recover the additional acid gas set to S3. Once the acid gas was routed back to S2 utilizing the electric blower, the release stopped. Operations also tripped the Sour water stripper column to reduce feed flow to S3 and help reduce incinerator SO2 emissions. There were no reportable quantities exceeded during the release. However, the maximum pound per hour permit limit for sulfur dioxide was exceeded.
145845

2013-01-10
Point Source(s):
Spillway on Northern side of SWIB

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

On January 10, 2013, the Norco area experienced extremely heavy rains from a slow moving thunderstorm. The site was initially able to contain the rainfall associated with this event and route it the Refinery Wasterwater Treatment System (RWTS) for treatment and subsequent discharge through LPDES Outfall 002. However, the system storage capacity was reduced due to the amount of heavy rainfall that had occurred in such a short time frame and the rainfall events that had occurred on days preceding January 10, 2013; as the heavy rains continued, the RWTS (consisting of the Storm Water Impoundment Basin and Aeration Basin) reached maximum capacity levels. In accordance with the procedures outlined in the LPDES permit application, Motiva opened the spillway, which is located on the northern side of the SWIB, at 14:35 to prevent flooding of the refinery and damage to the SWIB from overtopping of the retaining levee. The spill was discharged until approximately 3:00 PM on January 12, 2013 into Engineers Canal which then flows into Lake Ponchartrain. Sampling and visual observations were conducted in conjunction with opening the spillway, no signs of adverse water quality of the storm water discharge during this bypass.
As stated above, Motiva's normal operating procedures call for the initiation of bypass operations when no capacity remains in the RWTS and a bypass is the only alternatives to prevent flooding of the facility. According to the follow up letter effluent limits established in the permit for this bypass procedure were not exceeded and there were no visual signs of adverse water impact.
145719

2013-01-05
Point Source(s):
1-90(GO-1 Elevated Flare, FE-602)
RCCU Elevated Flare (EPN 8-84), 1-90(GO-1 Elevated Flare FE-602)

Pollutant(s):
Carbon Monoxide - 24,488 pounds
Nitrogen Dioxide - 4,500 pounds
Particulate Matter - 847 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 30,043 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 11,466 pounds
Hexane - 73 pounds
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

On January 5, 2013, Motiva's Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit (RCCU) discovered a catalyst leak from a section of piping on the unit's West Secondary Cyclone Dip Leg. Operations responded immediately and worked to isolate this section of line. However, due to the location of the leak it was determined the line could not be isolated without shutting down the RCCU process unit. RCCU Operations then initiated a controlled unit shutdown following all operating and safety procedures. As part of the RCCU shutdown process, catalyst circulation within the West Secondary Cyclone Dip Leg was halted and the leak stopped. During this event, GO-1 flared RCCU Dry Gas at the GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN 1-90) on January 6, 2013, January 9, 2013, and January 10, 2013. The GO-1 flaring resulted in reportable quantities exceeded during the release for Sulfure Dioxide and permit limit exceeded of Hexane on January 9, 2013 and January 10, 2013. Emission Calculations were performed using process data and appropriate AP-42 emission factors. Final update report 4/10/13 corrects cover letter of 3/7/13 report, which inaccurately stated that no reportable quantities were exceeded.
Immediate remedial actions: Operations worked to identify the source of the leak and made preparations for a repair. RCCU operations initiated a controlled unit shutdown to allow for maintenance repairs. As part of the RCCU shutdown process, catalyst circulation within the West Secondary Cyclone Dip Leg was halted and the leak stopped. Once this system was secure, Motiva contract maintenance personnel began welding repairs at the catalyst leak point. On January 8, 2013, the weld repairs on this system were completed and the system was returned to service. Motiva operations restarted the RCCU process unit following all operational and safety procedures on January 14, 2013. Additionally, there were no reportable quantities exceeded during the release. However, the maximum pound per hour limit for sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds and particulate matter were exceeded. All materials routed to flare were combusted with an appropriate destruction efficiency of 99.5%, released from the RCCU Elevated Flare to the atmosphere, and dispersed naturally. To prevent recurrence of the incident, a field weld was made as a final repair to the leak. A release at Shell Chemicals resulted in flaring at the Shell facility as well as the Motiva facility. Motiva states that the flare release was not a reportable quantity, while Shell's release was.