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Placid Refining (2366), Port Allen

Releases in 2013

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source/Release CauseNotes

Point Source(s):
sump pump

Slop Oil - 210 gallons
Cause of Problem: Weather

Due to heavy rains, a sump pump in the tank farm was unable to keep up with the rainfall and overflowed into containment.
Absorbent materials were used to "corral" the oil floating on the rainwater. The oil was vacuumed off of the water and reintroduced into the process. Contaminated areas were cleaned with absorbent pads. An engineering study is in process to redesign the sump and associated pumps and piping.
No LDEQ Number Available

Point Source(s):

Sulfur Dioxide - 95 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

At approximately 15:50 hours on September 11, 2013, Placid's #3 Sulfur Recovery Unit had shutdown resulting in excess SO2 emissions from the #2 Sulfur Recovery Unit Incinerator. The cause of the shutdown was due to a failed fuse on an Air Blower. Unit adjustments were made to prevent flaring of Acid Gas and to redistribute sulfur load through the #2 SRU.
At 15:51 #3 SRU was restarted and by 16:42 SO2 emissions from the #2 Incinerator were below 250 ppm. Emissions from #3 SRU upset is 95 lbs of SO2 total during the event. Amount exceeds Placid's maximum lb/hr air permit limits for one hour of operation. Amount is below the established 500 pound RQ for SO2.

Point Source(s):
outfall 006

Total Organic Carbon - BRQ
Oil - BRQ
Grease - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Human Factors

Due to a plugged surface sewer in the refinery's waste water treatment plant during heavy rains, a modicum of treated process waste water intended for discharge out an LPDES permitted treated process waste water outfall was discharged out LPDES permitted stormwater outfall 006, brought about by operator error. Loss of sources of radiation is not at issue; the release point is subject to an LPDES permit.
Immediately implement remedial operator training and ensure all waste water equipment is functioning as designed.
No LDEQ Number Available

Point Source(s):
North Dock Sump Pumps

Crude Oil - 15 gallons
Cause of Problem: Weather

During an extreme rainfall event, Placid's North Dock Sump was overwhelmed with water and overflowed into the Mississippi River, spilling an estimated 10-15 gallons of Crude Oil. The North Dock Sump Pump was unable to keep up with the heavy amount of rainfall.
To prevent reoccurrence, the North Dock Sump Pumps will be upgraded to new pumps that will have increased flow and discharge pressure. New pumps have been bid out and will be ordered on May 20, 2013. Design of the installation of these new pumps has been started and installation will begin upon delivery.

Point Source(s):
Tank 13

Crude Oil - 84 gallons
Cause of Problem: Corrosion

Crude oil was observed leaking from a buried section of piping which fills Tank 13. Estimated to have released between 2-4 barrels.
Placid placed a temporary clamp on the leak, left the line exposed for observation, and will be replacing the section of piping in the near future. Vacuum trucks, booms, and absorbent materials were used to clean the area. Contaminated soil removed and placed in roll-off boxes. A "French Drain" with a standpipe has been installed in the affected area to capture any residual oil. At this point, Placid is unsure of the duration of the discharge due to the small size of the hole in the piping underground. In a follow up report on 4/15/2014 it is stated that a report on 4/15/2013 found that no groundwater was encountered by this spill and requested LDEQ to approve of the use of "French drains" for collecting any residual oil that could not be removed. Not all impacted soil was removed as various structures in the area prevented the removal of all soil. The use of "French drains" was approved by LDEQ in a document dated 6/20/2013. As the time of the follow up report (4/15/2014), no additional oil had been encountered in the "French drains" and they had been removed and the site has been returned to its pre-incident condition.

Point Source(s):
overhead line

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 3,800 pounds
Hydrofluoric Acid - 30 pounds
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

Leak developed in overhead line releasing propane, butane, and hydrogen fluoride.
Refining report's total time of release seems to be incorrect: stated as " Beginning Time 1050 hours on 2/1/13 through 1110 hours 1/23/13. SPOC states that incident was secured within 18 minutes. No loss of sources of radiation; the release point is not subject to permit. Release immediately controlled with water deluge and unit shut down; failed piping to be replaced with comprehensive inspection of related piping in affected unit.

Point Source(s):
electric fan/blower motor on Placid's internal vapor combustor

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 10,899 pounds
Benzene - 52 pounds
1,3-Butadiene - 118 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

At approximately 1315 hours on 1/21/13, an electric fan/blower motor on Placid's internal vapor combustor failed (source ID 1-91, EQT 0041). A complete shutdown of the vapor combustor resulted from the fan motor failure. The official root cause of the incident is mechanical failure.
At the time of the combustor shutdown emissions from barge loading of sour naptha, truck rack loading and applicable storage tanks were being controlled by the combustor. As designed, upon loss of the combustor, all loading activities were automatically interrupted. Placid switched control of the truck rack and barge loading emissions to the carbon unit and resumed loading. However, switching storage tank emissions to the carbon unit was not possible. Placid discontinued nonessential movements through tankage during this period, however, VOC emissions did occur as a result of this mechanical failure and the RQ for total VOCs, benzene, and 1,3 Butadiene were exceeded. During the time of the combustor outage Placid personnel conducted perimeter air monitoring. All readings were non-detect. Placid expedited removal and repair of the applicable motor and had it back in service at 1815 on 1/23/13. They admit that there was off-site impact in the form of air dispersion. Placid repaired the motor in question and review PM procedures to ensure they are adequate. There were no injuries or emergency conditions.