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Valero (1238), Meraux

Releases in 2011

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source/Release CauseNotes

Point Source(s):
#3 SRU Incinerator stack

Sulfur Dioxide - 3,100 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide - 35 pounds
Cause of Problem: Under Investigation

On December 14th Valero experienced excess emissions of sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide at the #3 SRU Incinerator (EPN #5-00) due to automatic safety shutdown of the #3 SRU. Varying rates of emissions were released at the #3 SRU Incinerator stack while the #3 Tail Gas Treater (TGT) was bypassed as Valero worked to restart the unit.
Valero immediately enacted its Sulfur Shredding Plan to reduce the amount of acid gas routed to the unit, thereby reducing the emissions to the incinerator. The wind was from the NE at 5-10 mph during the incident. No allegations of impact were received from neighbors in the surrounding community. The episode occurred from approximately 12:45 pm until 6:40 pm on 12/14/11 and from 9:00 pm until 6:20 am on 12/15/11. Valero followed its operating procedures as described in MACT UUU Startup, Shutdown and Malfunction Plan in securing and restarting the unit.

Point Source(s):
None Reported
Cause of Problem: No Information Given

Flaring events were observed. Log of complaints about sulfur dioxide emissions from Murphy Oil and ExxonMobil in particular as well as St. bernard Parish in General.
Complainant observed a number of flaring events between Aug 29-Sept 19, 2012 and submitted a log of events to the DEQ requesting infor regarding the events. None of the events in question rose to the level of "Area of Concern". This information was forwarded on to the complainant. Suggested to the complainant that for a more direct and quicker response to consider bringing up her questions/comments/concerns during the monthly public meetings held by Murphy.

Point Source(s):
Loading like gasket

Vacuum Gas Oil - 0 gallons
Cause of Problem: Seal or Gasket

The gasket on the loading line was defective and released material to the dock containment. A small amount of gas oil "misted" into the Mississippi River and created a sheen.
LDED and Refinery Letter inluded. The incident is closed based on the information provided by Murphy Oil. "As vacuum gas oil was being transferred, oil leaked from the flange on the hose." The barge crew launched a skiff with boom, according to Murphy Oil.

Point Source(s):
No Information Given

Diesel Fuel - 10 gallons
Cause of Problem: No Information Given

Strong odors were reported by Murphy Oil refinery to LDEQ from a ditch along St. Bernard Hwy between the refinery and the terminal. Aprrox 10 gallons of a diesel like material was recovered with a vacuum truck. No leaks underground were detected.
LDEQ included, but there was no initial Refinery Letter. Murphy Oil states that a securtiy guard would monitor each half hour to see if there were any signs of leakage. The right lane of the street was temporarily blocked. No injuries occurred and all soil that was exposed to the substance was removed from the area and set aside for testing. The excess contaminated soil will be disposed of in the appopriate manner once analysis is completed.

Point Source(s):
Storage tank leak

Gasoline - 210
Cause of Problem: Corrosion

Storage tank leaking low benzene gasoline from the floor of the tank.
Area diked to contain the spill, vacuum truck used to remove the spilled gasoline from the ground. Low benzene gasoline transfered to another tank. Impacted soil removed and samples taken for analysis.

Point Source(s):
None Reported
Cause of Problem: No Information Given

Odor was detected on the north side on the facility on 5/23/12. A tour of the facility revealed that some odor appeared to be coming from the refinery water treatment plant where operational variables were being adjusted to try to better the odor.
Citizen Complaint: Made 5/18/2011 at 9:32 am. Described an odor in air that affected nasal passages and caused coughing. This particular odor seems to be present in the beginning of the processing. LDEQ led an inspection at the refinery on 5/17/11 and 5/19/11 where no odors were detected. An additional surveillance of the area was conducted on 5/23/11 and an odor was detected on the north side of the facility. No refinery operational issues were recorded for 5/18/11 that would indicate that the refinery was the source of the odor that a citizen complaint was about. 5/23/11 tour of the facility showed that there was no unusual maintenance or other activities generating odor at this time.