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Valero (26003), Norco

Releases in 2009

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source/Release CauseNotes
120283, 120356

2009-12-22
Point Source(s):
Pipe to Alkylation unit

Pollutant(s):
Sulfuric Acid - 230 pounds
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

An operator discovered a leak from the fresh acid pipeline that feeds the alkylation unit. During the repair attempt residual material leaked out of the pipe and came into contact with two workers. One worker received acid burns on the neck and was treated on-site by the company nurse. the other worker received burns on the neck and face and had to be treated at Baton Rouge General Hospital.
Unit was shut down. After the leak of residual material, the system was purged with nitrogen, and then gravity drained to a tote tank.
120145

2009-12-15
Point Source(s):
3700 TOX (EQT 0195)

Pollutant(s):
Sulfur Dioxide - 1,050 pounds
Cause of Problem: Instrument Failure

Due to the malfunction of a float switch, the 3700 Sulfur Recovery Unit (3700 SRU) tripped offline at approximately 03:59 on 12/15/09. As a result the SO2 levels at the 3700 Thermal Oxidizer (3700 TOX or EQT 0195)were elevated from approximately 04:03 am to 11:44 am.
The 3700 SRU feed stream was redistributed and the unit was restarted.
120151

2009-12-13
Point Source(s):
tank T-04-32

Pollutant(s):
Naphthalene - 61 pounds
Benzene - 59 pounds
Ethylbenzene - 104 pounds
n-Hexane - 120 pounds
Cumene - 6 pounds
Toluene - 455 pounds
1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene - 305 pounds
m&p-xylene - 514 pounds
o-Xylene - 217 pounds
Methanol - 1 pounds
Ammonia - 1 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds - 21,522 pounds
1-methylnaphthalene - 37 pounds
2-methylnaphthalene - 73 pounds
Cause of Problem: Weather

Due to heavy rains falling onto tank T-04-32 (sour water tank, EQT 099), the tank's external floating roof became imbalanced and began to tilt. This allowed hydrocarbon material to seep onto the rooftop.
A vapor suppressing foam blanket was applied to reduce the evaporation of hydrocarbons.
120140

2009-12-13
Point Source(s):
GATX pond
Outfall 006

Pollutant(s):
Crude Oil/Oily material - 42 gallons
Crude Oil/Oily material - 42 gallons
Cause of Problem: Weather

Oily material from the GATX pond was discovered discharging through Outfall 006. Due to the severe rain event that was on-going and in an effort to relieve the high level in our primary equalization tank, the refinery bypassed streams qualifying for first flush process area storm-water to the GATX pond.
Upon discovery of the oily discharge, the outfall valve was closed and waters were allowed to accumulate in the pond. The incident was reported and clean up was mobilized to the GATX pond and the adjacent wetlands.
119782

2009-12-01
Point Source(s):
West Plant process pump adjacent

Pollutant(s):
F037 Hazardous Waste - 42 gallons
Cause of Problem: Weather

West Plant process pump adjacent to the coker was overflowing. Prior to the incident, approximately 3.30 inches of precipitation was received in the area on the day of 12/01/09.
Vacuum trucks and oil booms were mobilized to clean up and contain the overflowing sump. Pumps upstream of the overflowing pump were shut-off to allow time to bring the process back under control. After the sump was pumped down to a normal operating level, and all visible oil was vacuumed off the soil and fill, operations closed the sump and barricaded off the area
118610

2009-10-09
Point Source(s):
Thermal Oxidizer #2 (EQT0195)

Pollutant(s):
Sulfur Dioxide - 164 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

Experienced problems with the 3700 Tail Gas Treatment Unit, which resulted in excess emissions from the associated 3700 Thermal Oxidizer (Thermal Oxidizer No 2).
No Information Given.
118541

2009-10-07
Point Source(s):
Fare 1, Flare 2

Pollutant(s):
Sulfur Dioxide - 2,300 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide - 6 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

The MSCCU Wet Gas Compressors tripped offline due to a malfunction of their electric and controls systems. Wet gases were relieved through pressure control valves to Flares 1 and 2 in order to maintain safe system pressure.
Wet gas compressor was restarted.
117821

2009-09-09
Point Source(s):
No information given.

Pollutant(s):
Lead - 1 pounds
Benzene - 1 pounds
Ethylbenzene - 1 pounds
Toluene - 1 pounds
Xylene - 1 pounds
Phenol - 1 pounds
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

Leak in the piping on the outlet of waste water Tank 325-1.
No information given.
117393

2009-08-19
Point Source(s):
None Reported
Pollutant(s):
Cause of Problem: No Information Given

Oily sheen observed on the water. Did not correlate to any discharges. Pipes were inspected but no leaks were detected. Laboratory testing identified sheen as a mixture of algae and clay. Water testing showed no signs of discharge were detected.
There was no discharge.
116930

2009-07-30
Point Source(s):
No information given
No information given.

Pollutant(s):
Hydrogen Sulfide - BRQ
Sulfur Dioxide - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Start Up, Shut Down

Emissions were detected during the start up procedures of refinery process units between 7/30/09 and 8/03/09. Follow up report determined releases were all below reportable quantities and did not give any more information.
Feed was pulled from malfunctioning units.
116875

2009-07-29
Point Source(s):
Vacuum heater

Pollutant(s):
Smoke - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Start Up, Shut Down

Smoke Emitted from our vacuum heater during the start up.
No information given.
116428

2009-07-12
Point Source(s):
#3 Debutanizer Reflux pump

Pollutant(s):
Hydrogen Sulfide - 324 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds - 4,988 pounds
Propylene - 2,195 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

At approximately 1:15 operators noticed that the #3 Debutanizer Reflux pump seal had failed and was releasing process gases ti the atmosphere. Seal failure was caused by a failure in the pump's thrust bearing.
Deluge water was used to contain the vapors and reduce the risk of fire. The malfunctioning pump was isolated and shut down. A redundant backup pump was started to avoid unit shutdown. Reflux pump thrust bearings will be replaced from 40 degree contact bearings to 15 degree contact bearings.
115395

2009-07-02
Point Source(s):
Flares 1, Flare 2

Pollutant(s):
Sulfur Dioxide - 4,242 pounds
Carbon Monoxide - 107 pounds
Nitrogen Dioxide - 20 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds - 40 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide - 11 pounds
Particulate Matter - 1 pounds
Cause of Problem: Maintenance/Procedures

While performing a preventative maintenance check. While checking voltage output levels on the power supplies in the control cabinets an arc was created that shut down both power supply #1 an #2. The loss of both power supplies caused the redundant controllers to power down, which shutdown the Coker Wet Gas Compressor sending material to the flare.
Wet gas compressor was immediately restarted
116006

2009-06-25
Point Source(s):
MSCCU charge line

Pollutant(s):
Vacuum Gas Oil - 42 gallons
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

Oily material was discovered in the section 3 Tank Field concrete ditch. It was determined that the MSCCU charge line, which runs parallel to the concrete ditch, had a piping leak and was releasing VGO to the ground. During the incident, the spilled VGO migrated to a low point in the concrete ditch. The material drained into a void in the concrete, pooled, and began resurfacing in a nearby crack. Initial report gives the root cause as being still under investigation. The follow-up report determines the release as being Below reportable quantity and give no further information.
Clean up was mobilized, pipe was repaired, and soil was tested where VGO drained into a void in the cement.
115515

2009-06-09
Point Source(s):
Fire
Flare 1 and 2

Pollutant(s):
Carbon Monoxide - 1,290 pounds
Nitrogen Dioxide - 1,419 pounds
Total Organic Carbon - 1,084 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 13,095 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide - 91 pounds
Particulate Matter - 258 pounds
Carbon Monoxide - 128 pounds
Nitrogen Dioxide - 24 pounds
Particulate Matter - 1 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds - 48 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 4,839 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide - 13 pounds
Cause of Problem: Corrosion

High temperature sulfide corrosion caused a pipe in vacuum tower bottom service to fail. The leak combusted, process units were upset, and ultimately shut down. Shutdown caused emission from flare.
After the fire was discovered, crude/vacuum/coker processes were suhut down and the units were depressurized to flare.
114970

2009-05-19
Point Source(s):
tank t-130-6

Pollutant(s):
Sour Crude - 4,200 gallons
Cause of Problem: Corrosion

Crude oil was leaking from tank T-130-6. Operator noticed leak after filling the tank with oil. There were holes in the tank caused by both internal and external corrosion.
Tank was filled with water to lift oil away from the leak. Tank was emptied, degassed to a control device, cleaned, and taken out of service for repair. Oil was recovered, and soil was sent off-site for hazardous waste disposal.
114877

2009-05-09
Point Source(s):
Tank 325-1

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

On may 9, 2009 at 8:30pm a refinery operator discovered a leak in the piping outlet of tank 325-1 which serves as the primary equalization tank. 10 gallons of Petroleum refinery primary oil/water/solids separation sludge was spilled.
Refinery personnel contained the spill and the line was repaired.
114193

2009-04-16
Point Source(s):
Flare No. 1, Flare No. 2

Pollutant(s):
Recirculating cooling water - 6,000 gallons
Sulfur Dioxide - 1,807 pounds
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

Refinery cooling water tower CT-405 experienced a valve malfunction which resulted in a loss of cooling water to our Naphtha Hydrotreating unit (NHT). Due to the lack of cooling water, our NHT stripper overhead pressure increased and caused PSV-39-235 to relieve to the flare. Simultaneously when the CT-405 valve malfunction, the recirculating cooling water was released from the basin to the ground and flowed offsite.
113868

2009-04-01
Point Source(s):
Flare No. 1, Flare No. 2

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

Power outage due to instrumentation control processors in MSCCU and Alky units. As a result, these units were upset and relieved to the Flares. Power was restored and units brought back on line.
Once power was restored, Valero operations moved quickly to return to stable operating conditions. Limits for Sulfur Dioxide were exceeded, but no information on quantity was given.
113756

2009-03-27
Point Source(s):
Tank T-118

Pollutant(s):
Oil and Process Waste Water - 399 gallons
Cause of Problem: Equipment Design

A spill of oily solids was discovered at tank T-118. The tank manway was removed as planned to facilitate solids removal from T-118 which had been removed from service for several weeks adn was undergoing cleaning.Accumulated solid material in the tank shifted and released oily solids to the ground and outside of the work containment area.
Refinery personnel utilized absorbent boom to contain the material within the gravel area and mobilized spill response personnel to assist in containing the material.
113365

2009-03-13
Point Source(s):
VGO: Tank 425-4

Pollutant(s):
Vacuum Gas Oil - 84 gallons
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

VGO from Tank 425-4 leaked to secondary containment through a ruptured steam coil.
The steam coil line that ruptured was cleaned and taken out of service for demolition.
113223

2009-03-06
Point Source(s):
Thermal Oxidizer #2, Flare No 1, Flare No, 2

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

Lost primary and alternate power to instrumentation control processers for East Plant. Control valves and other I/O failed to their last recorded position during the power outage. When power was restored, control valves and other I/O returned to their pre-programmed settings causing some process upsets and equipment shutdowns.
Power restored and controllers returned to stable conditions.
113024

2009-02-26
Point Source(s):


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

The release occurred to purge the chemicals that had contaminated the caustic system used for pH control at the wet scrubber. This caused unpleasant odors.
N/A
112592

2009-02-08
Point Source(s):


Pollutant(s):
Vacuum Gas Oil - 336 gallons
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

A Vacuum Gas Oil (VGO) pipe was being placed into service, material escaped from a high point bleeder and caught fire from a nearby ignition source. The fire was quickly extinguished by field personnel and the line was isolated. The incident took place in the Distillate Hydro Treating unit (DHT), which underwent an emergency shutdown. Some VGO material that did not burn fell to the ground inside and outside of the DHT area containment. Deluge water used to control the fire had dispersed some VGO material in the areas around the unit, however, no VGO was carried offsite. Oil absorbent boom was placed in order to prevent VGO from being carried offsite or into our outfalls.
Valero personnel took measures to stop the leak adn contain spilled VGO. The cleanup contractor mobilized crew to collect and dispose of material.
112110

2009-01-18
Point Source(s):
VGO Pipeline

Pollutant(s):
Gas Oil - 2 gallons
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

A 20" VGO pipeline developed a leak in the West Plant.
Stopped the leak.