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ExxonMobil Chemical Plant (286), Baton Rouge

Releases in 2005

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source/Release CauseNotes

Point Source(s):
Wastewater treatment tanks

Wastewater - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Weather

On September 24, 2005 there were high levels in the Wastewater Treatment Tanks. The levels in these tanks were high because of rain from Hurricane Rite, but have since been returned to manageable levels.
The tanks did not overfill and no limits were exceeded Amount of wastewater released is unknown.

Point Source(s):

Propylene - 180 pounds
Propane - 1,730 pounds
Cause of Problem: Corrosion

A leak was discovered in the line used to transfer IPA tail gas, which is primarily liquid propane, to the Poly unit. The cause was determined to be localized internal corrosion.
The leaking section of the line was blocked in and water spray was applied to the leak to help minimize the vapors. Line-up changes were made so that this section of line could be depressurized to the flare system. A section of pipe, approximately 30 feet long, has been replaced. Ultrasonic measurements of additional elbows, low points, and horizontal sections of the pipe were taken. No other potential areas of corrosion were detected.

Point Source(s):
flare seal drum

Hexane - 0
Propylene - 0
Ethylene - 0
Cause of Problem: Seal or Gasket

Release from a very small pinhole leak in a ten-inch header to a flare seal drum.
Amount of pollutants released is unknown. Believe that the amount of release will not break the RQ but are unsure.

Point Source(s):
WBT 01 Tower

- 2,792 pounds
- 511 pounds
- 179 pounds
- 1,448 pounds
- 965 pounds
Cause of Problem: Corrosion

Small hole on WBT 01 Tower. This is an absorber tower which contains flammable gas. On examining the hole in the tower they shut it down.
Immediately feed was cut out of the tower, water spray was applied to the leak to help minimize the vapors, and the weep hole was plugged. The area surrounding the leak was ultrasonically tested and found to be of acceptable thickness. A more intense UT scan was performed over the entire vessel and confirmed to be of acceptable thickness. The leaking tell-tale hole was plugged per mechanical design standards. About 1/3 of the vessel is being sand-blasted and visually inspected to verify that there are not any unplugged tell-tale holes remaining.

Point Source(s):
steam trap

Benzene - BRQ
Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons - 2 pounds
Cause of Problem: Under Investigation

ExxonMobil had a steam trap on a line that goes into a furnace. Gas oil from the furnace backed into the line and went into the trap. The gas oil, which contained benzene, then went into ExxonMobil. Unknown at this time what caused the material to back through. Steam flow may have been cut off.
Amount of benzene released is over 10 pounds. Exact amount released is unknown.

Point Source(s):

Propane - 280 pounds
Propylene - 117 pounds
Isopropyl Ether - 4 pounds
Cause of Problem: Seal or Gasket

An assistant operator found a flange on a level instrument tap leaking at the top of a tower. Immediately the tower feed was shut off, and the operator began to controllably depressure the tower to the flare system so that the leak could be repaired.
Immediately feed was cut out of the tower. It was depressured as quickly as possible so that the leak could be repaired. The flange gasket has been replaced. Per ExxonMobil Chemical's usual procedures, the next time the tower is scheduled to go on turnaround at the end of 2006, all the tower gaskets will be replaced.