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Valero (26003), Norco

Releases in 2007

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source/Release CauseNotes
101863

2007-12-21
Point Source(s):
outlet line of the C3C4 KOH Dryers (V-17-05A/B)

Pollutant(s):
Ethane - 156 pounds
Propane - 1,273 pounds
Isobutane - 834 pounds
n-Butane - 2,596 pounds
Isopentane - 409 pounds
n-Pentane - 118 pounds
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

A hole was found in the LPG line that feeds the T-17 bullets. The hole was 1/4 inch.
Valero responded to the leak found by submerging the line with fire water to suppress vapors, isolating the leak, and depressuring the line/vessel to flare. The failed section of the pipe was replaced and the line returned back to service. The isolationand depressurization lasted approximately 1h 15m.
101832

2007-12-19
Point Source(s):
#3 Flare

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

The Flare Gas Recovery compressors (6-64-101A and 102B) tripped and caused elevated SO2 losses from their #3 flare (EQT 034).
Letter states,
No LDEQ Number Available

2007-11-12
Point Source(s):
FLARE - Flares #1 and #2

Pollutant(s):
Hydrocarbon - 4,560 pounds
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

Due to a malfunction governor on the turbine and a malfunction pilot valve, the Coker Wet Gas Compressor tripped, resulting in the overhead receiver relieving to the flare. The vendor was contacted for assistance and it was discovered that there was a malfunction of the lube oil system regulator. No documentation on the proper operation of the lube oil regulator system could be found.
1) Replace pilot valve. 2) Contact vendors to establish the correct settings, procedures and proper labeling for the operation fo the lube oil pressure regulating system. 3) Add a three second delay time on the low lube oil pressure shut down. 4) Audit refinery for similar mechanical systems. 5) Train instrumentation group on the operation and maintenance of regulator systems.
100919

2007-11-09
Point Source(s):
EQT 013 and EQT 007
EQT 013 and EQT 007 (Flares #1, 2)

Pollutant(s):
Hydrogen Sulfide - 18 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 2,102 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide - 11 pounds
Carbon Monoxide - 125 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide - 23 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds - 47 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 4,559 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide - 12 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 2,200 pounds
Carbon Monoxide - 57 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide - 11 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

The Wet Gas Compressor tripped on low oil pressure.
The incident involved releases on two separate days, 11/09/07 and 11/12/07, but were assigned the same incident Report # by SPOC.
100919

2007-11-09
Point Source(s):
None Reported
Pollutant(s):
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

The wet gas compressor tripped on low lube oil pressure. This caused the Coker off gas to relieve to the flare. The cause of this incident is under investigation.
Emissions were minimized by immediately restarting the Wet Gas Compressor.
100756

2007-11-04
Point Source(s):
No information given.

Pollutant(s):
Diesel Fuel - 126 gallons
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

A one inch hose on the diesel charge pump had ruptured. The product was being charged from Tank 80-1 which was currently in Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel service.
The diesel pumps were immediately shut down to prevent any additional spillage. A third party emergency response contractor was called onsite to cleanup the spill. About 42 gallons of diesel fuel was recovered from the area via vacuum truck.
100469

2007-10-24
Point Source(s):
Thermal Oxidizer #2, Flares #1,2,3,4

Pollutant(s):
Sulfur Dioxide - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Instrument Failure

On Oct 24, 2007, Valero shut down the West Plant units. There was a communication issue with the Process Logic Controller (PLC) , resulting in the shutdown of the Crude Unit. The shutdown of the Crude Unit cascaded and caused the Vacuum, Coker, and Hydrotreater Units to shutdown as well. Consequently, problems began with the East Plant Units that resulted in flaring and an upset of their SRU 30.
Since the incident consisted of shutdown events that led to a flaring/incinerating event, the units were restarted as soon as the communication issue was resolved.
100504

2007-10-24
Point Source(s):
Bypass valve on Oil tank

Pollutant(s):
Crude Oil/Oily material - 210 gallons
Cause of Problem: No Information Given

No information given.
On Oct 24, 2007, an operator found that the wastewater pond had oily material floating on the surface. The source was a partially opened bypass valve. Refinery personnel used absorbent boom to contain the oil. They also had mobilized oil spill responsepersonnel to assist in recovering and containing the oil. The oil was contained in the ponds and was not discharged off-site and/or through any outfall. The cause of the open valve is under investigaiton.
100018

2007-10-07
Point Source(s):
Gasoline storage tank

Pollutant(s):
Gasoline - 210 gallons
Cause of Problem: No Information Given

No information given.
The spilled gas was contained on site and was vacuumed into a tank. Gas contaminated soil was excavated for disposal. Permittee reported a 5 bbl. Gasoline spill located at a storage tank on site. The gas seeped out of the tank onto the roof; 1 bbl remained on the roof and was cleaned with absorbants and 4 bbls ran off the roof into the drainage sditch on Valero property: Failure of roof drains on an above ground storage tankÉ
No LDEQ Number Available

2007-09-29
Point Source(s):
No information given.

Pollutant(s):
Slop Oil - 5 gallons
Cause of Problem: No Information Given

No information given.
On the day of the incident, the Valero operations personnel were conducting rounds on Dock #2. During the rounds, the operator was in the process of pumping down the sump on Dock #2, when he noticed that the sump had overfilled. After surveying the area, the operator noticed that about 5 gallons of oily water went into the river. The root cause is still under investigation. Remedial actions: An absorbent boom was put in the river to remove the excess free oil. The permanent diversion boom was wipede of oil and the debris that had previously collected at the boom was removed from the area. 100% of the material was contained and removed from the area, and dumped according to state rules.
99834

2007-09-28
Point Source(s):
Acid line

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

Underground leak from a 4 inch fresh acid line; leak was going up out of line onto the road into a process sump.
All 10 gallons of sulfuric acid that spilled to the ground was
99427

2007-09-13
Point Source(s):
No information given.

Pollutant(s):
Highly Reactive Volatile Organic Compounds (HRVOCs) - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

The event started around 21:30 on Sept. 13, 2007, when an outlet pipe of the LPG Caustic Prewash Column (V-10-24) failed, causing liquid/vapor LPG (alky feed) to be released to the atmosphere. The system was isolated, and the remaining material vented to the flames at approximately 02:45 on Sept 20, 2007. The depressurization lasted about 3 hrs.
Remedial Actions: Shut down the upstream unit FCCU (MSCCU), isolated and depressurized the vessel, and replaced the failed pipe. / Pollutants: Some material was entrained in fire water used to suppress the release. The remaining material dispersed into the atmosphere. Fire water was treated at the refinery wastewater treatment plant.
99376

2007-09-12
Point Source(s):
Thermal Oxidizer #1

Pollutant(s):
Sulfur Dioxide - BRQ
Hydrogen Sulfide - 0
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

On September 12, 2007, Valero had excessive Sulfur Dioxide emissions due ot a process upset in its SRU 3700 unit. Feed to the unit contained a level of hydroCarbon that resulted in a shut down of the Thermal Oxidizer. This oxidizer (3700 TOX) shut down at 20:05 and 20:16 hrs the same day for the same reason.
Oxygen going to the SRU 3700 was increased in order to stabilize the unit.
99243

2007-09-06
Point Source(s):
Thermal Oxidizer #2

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

In Valero's SRU 30 unit, one of the feeds to the unit contained hydroCarbon, which upset the normal operating parameters in the unit. Consequently, it caused excess Sulfur Dioxide emissions.
They tried to remove the hydroCarbon in the feed and stabilized the process unit.
99141

2007-09-03
Point Source(s):
Thermal Oxidizer #2

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

On September 3, 2007, Valero encountered process problem in its SRU unit. One of the sulfur traps malfunctioned. Consequently, it caused excess Sulfur Dioxide emissions from the Thermal Oxidizer that were dispersed.
They cleaned the trap, reseated the ball, and put the sulfur trap back in service.
99065

2007-08-29
Point Source(s):
No information given.

Pollutant(s):
Crude Oil/Oily material - 42 gallons
Cause of Problem: No Information Given

No information given.
On August 29, 2007, during heavy rain at about 22:00, an operator found that the GATX pond had a layer of oily material on the surface. The source was not able to be determined. The oil in the pond has not been discharged off-site and/or through any outfall. The cause of the spill is under investigation. Refinery personnel used absorbent boom to contain the oil. Vacuum trucks were used to recover the oil from the GATX pond. About 1bbl (42 gallons) of oil was recovered from the pond. They also had lized oil spill response personnel to assist in recovering and containing the oil.
98939

2007-08-27
Point Source(s):
Thermal Oxidizer

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

The Thermal Oxidizer for the Sulfur Recovery unit (that oxidizes Hydrogen Sulfide) tripped, and they struggled to restart it.
No reportable quantities were exceeded during this incident, so the notification was to be considered a courtesy.
98725

2007-08-16
Point Source(s):
Thermal Oxidizer #2 (EQT 196 (99-4))

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

In Valero's SRU 30 unit, one of the feeds to the unit contained hydroCarbon, which upset the normal operating parameters in the unit. Consequently, it caused excess Sulfur Dioxide emissions.
Reduced the feed containing hydroCarbon to the unit and minimized the hydroCarbon in the feed.
98675

2007-08-14
Point Source(s):
Refinery Tank Farm

Pollutant(s):
Sulfuric Acid - 9,000 pounds
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

Steam and acid vapor that emitted from the refinery tank farm were caused by a small leak on a fresh sulfuric acid line. The cause of the leak is under investigation.
Refinery personnel collected the spilled acid and contained it in a concrete ditch in the tank farm. Caustic soda ash was then added for neutralization. Upon neutralization, the pH was confirmed to be 7.8 and the material was pumped to the GATX pond andOutfall 006.
97861

2007-07-16
Point Source(s):
No information given.

Pollutant(s):
Crude Oil - 0 gallons
Cause of Problem: No Information Given

No information given.
Refinery personnel used absorbent boom to contain the oil. Vacuum trucks were immediately deployed to recover the oil from the pond and/or wastewater treatment unit. They also had mobilized oil spill response personnel to assist in recovering and containing the oil. Approximately 10 bbls, or 420 gallons, of oil have been recovered from the wastewater pond via vacuum truck. This oil is a mixture of crude oil and refined petroleum products. / During rounds in the wastewater treatment ponds vicinity, as discovered that pond #1 had a visible layer of oily material floating on the surface. The operator was unable to determine the exact source but immediately notified supervision and reported the incident. The oil was inadvertently carried over from
97588

2007-07-03
Point Source(s):
None Reported
Pollutant(s):
Cause of Problem: No Information Given

No information given.
Citizen complaint received. / Caller, Ovidio Menendez, reported to Valero Refinery via phone that he was seeing the biggest cloud he'd ever seen over the plant, and believed it was due to a sulfur emission that was not in control. He used to be an analyst for the plant, but now suffers from respiratory problems, and was very disturbed. He requested that the event be investigated and that he be contacted via phone for a follow-up. No operational problems were found, according to Mr. McLaurin (shifperintendent), but that Menendez may have seen Shell Norco's brief flaring event.
97515

2007-06-29
Point Source(s):
primary seal: Floating Roof Tank 150-13

Pollutant(s):
Hydrogen Sulfide - 625 pounds
Cause of Problem: Human Factors

: Operator/s failed in draining the drum to the slop system, as all liquids (rather than just the sour water) were drained and coker gas entered the floating roof rerun tank, T-150-13. The pressurized gas bubbled through the tank carrying slop oil onto the roof and released to the atmosphere.
Gases leaving the tank were dispersed into the atmosphere. Slop oil on the roof was recovered and returned to the process. The roof was cleaned and the coker off gas knock out drum drain valve was closed immediately upon discovery.
97330

2007-06-24
Point Source(s):
EQT 013 and EQT 007; Flares 1 and 2

Pollutant(s):
Carbon Monoxide - 37 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds - 14 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 1,126 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

The wet Gas Compressor tripped on low lube oil pressure. This caused the Coker off gas to go to the flare. The cause of this incident is under investigation.
Emissions were minimized by immediately restarting the Wet Gas Compressor.
97168

2007-06-17
Point Source(s):
Thermal Oxidizer

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

The Thermal Oxidizer tripped, resulting in a release of materials to the air. The materials were released to a flare stack but they were not able to get combustion so they went to the atmosphere.
Several reportings: The incident lasted 98 minutes, during which Valero tried to start the unit a couple of times... They had been able to relight the Thermal Oxidizer but still could not say at that point if was stable... The Thermal Oxidizer unit had been up and down and attempts to stabilize had failed several times over....
96323

2007-05-17
Point Source(s):
Thermal Oxidizer #1 (TOX) and Tail Gas Treating Unit

Pollutant(s):
Sulfur Dioxide - 1,400 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide - 158 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

The Thermal Oxidizer had tripped and this event might exceed or have exceeded reportable quantities of Sulfure Dioxide. Also, the Tail Gas Treating Unit (TGTU) had tripped and there was a possibility of an Hydrogen Sulfide exceedance.
Restarted the Thermal Oxidizer and the tail gas unit, reset the level set point to compensate the level indicator error, and replaced the faulty level indicator the next day. They have added the level indicator to their monthly preventive maintenance schedule, completed 6/16/2007. **["May 17, 2007 16:00 to 17:00, H2S (lbs/hr) 157.72, permit limit 0.5, TOX Down for 12 minutes (<700F)]
96074

2007-05-09
Point Source(s):
Thermal Oxidizer (TOX) #1, Flares #1 and #2

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

On May 9, 2007, Valero shut down its NHT and continuous catalytic reformer (CCR) for repair. While shutting down the units, an additional unit (diesel hydrotreater (HDT)) had to be shut down as well due to lack of hydrogen supply from their third party hydrogen supplier. Thus, they had to shut down their sulfur recovery unit 3700 (SRU) due to insufficient sulfur feed from DHT. When the SRU was down, they kept the reactor hot using hot air sweep, which released SO2 from the sulfur deposited on the reactor bed, through the Thermal Oxidizer. At 9:54, May 15, 2007, they made notifications that the units were stable.
The incident consisted of NHT, CCR, DHT, and SRU shutdown events. They restarted their SRU as soon as the feed was available.
95967

2007-05-06
Point Source(s):
fluidized catalytic cracking unit (FCCU)

Pollutant(s):
Sulfur Dioxide - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Maintenance/Procedures

Valero shut down the fluidized catalytic cracking unit in a controlled shut down process.
Completion of repairs to some units were made, then they started up units. They said they would follow up if anything abnormal were to happen.
95395

2007-04-16
Point Source(s):
None Reported
Pollutant(s):
Cause of Problem: Maintenance/Procedures

In the process of shutting down the FCCU, Valero noticed and reported ongoing intermittent flaring.
95321

2007-04-12
Point Source(s):
None Reported
Pollutant(s):
Cause of Problem: No Information Given

No information given.
94848

2007-03-23
Point Source(s):
fluidized catalytic cracking unit (FCCU)

Pollutant(s):
Sulfur Dioxide - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Maintenance/Procedures

Valero shut down the fluidized catalytic cracking unit in a controlled shut down process.
No information given.
94654

2007-03-16
Point Source(s):
Thermal Oxidizer #1 (TOX)

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

On March 16, 2007, Valero shut down its DHT due to a process heat exchanger leak, and thus had to shut down its SRU, 3700, due to insufficient sulfur feed from the DHT. When SRU was down, they kept the reactor warm using hot air sweep, which release sulfure dioxide from the sulfure deposited on the reactor bed, through the Thermal Oxidizer. On March 19, they brought the DHT and SRU back into service. During the start-up of the DHT, the TGTU (tail gas treatment unit) inline mixer at SRU 1600 tripped, which caused excess SO2 emissions as well.
The incident consisted of DHT and SRU shutdown and TGTU trip events. In the TGTU event, they restarted the TGTU as soon as possible to minimize emissions.
94577

2007-03-12
Point Source(s):
fluidized catalytic cracking unit (FCCU)

Pollutant(s):
Sulfur Dioxide - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Maintenance/Procedures

Valero shut down the fluidized catalytic cracking unit in a controlled shut down process to repair flue gas cooler.
No information given.
94320

2007-03-01
Point Source(s):
line on c 3/4, LPG area

Pollutant(s):
Volatile Organic Compounds - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

While loading a line on the c 3/4 in the LPG area, they found a pinhole leak.
They put steam on the line (of c 3/4) for the pressure differential.
93656

2007-02-01
Point Source(s):
Thermal Oxidizer

Pollutant(s):
Hydrogen Sulfide - 1,785 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

TOX, which oxidizes H2S to SO2, began to malfunction and cause several shutdowns.
During periods of prolonged outages, they reduced the refinery throughput in order to minimize the sulfur load to the TOX.
93686

2007-02-01
Point Source(s):
Thermal Oxidizer (TOX)

Pollutant(s):
Hydrogen Sulfide - 1,785 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

TOX, which oxidizes H2S to SO2, began to malfunction and cause several shutdowns.
During periods of prolonged outages, they reduced the refinery throughput in order to minimize the sulfur load to the TOX.
93388

2007-01-19
Point Source(s):
Coker Unit heat exchange

Pollutant(s):
Volatile Organic Compounds - 18 pounds
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

Reason not stated.
Strange letter: Letter states the leak began on Saturday, January 20; however it also states that Ms. Dillon of the St. Charles refinery notified the LA State Police and the NRC of the leak on Friday, January 19. Also, the sample analysis taken on Friday indicated "an unusually large amount of H2S and Total VOCs from the exchanger. However, we determined that the units associated with the lab data were incorrectly reported," and they provide the quantities listed at left. This notification was mto be considered at a courtesy since no quantities exceeded the reportable amounts.
93265

2007-01-15
Point Source(s):
Thermal Oxidizer

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

The Thermal Oxidizer, that oxidizes Hydrogen Sulfide to Sulfur Dioxide, had tripped.
Letter states,
93013

2007-01-02
Point Source(s):
EQT 013 and Eqt 007

Pollutant(s):
Sulfur Dioxide - 5,257 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

An LPG line in the East Plant froze, and excess LPG was received in the feed from the Coker to the NHT Unit. The NHT stripper over-pressured and excess gas was diverted to the refinery flare system.
The Coker LPG pump was shut down to relieve pressure off of the line and rates to the unit were reduced. The pump was restarted, line service was restored and rates were gradually increased.