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ExxonMobil Chemical Plant (286), Baton Rouge

Releases in 2009

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source/Release CauseNotes
120220

2009-12-16
Point Source(s):
Vapor Recovery system

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 11 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

Vapor recovery system failed causing the tank to vent.
Vapor recovery system failed causing the tank to vent. The release was secured. Exceeded 10 lb reportable quantity.
120018

2009-12-09
Point Source(s):
SACC unit LTO1

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - BRQ
1,3-Butadiene - BRQ
Ethylene - BRQ
Propadiene - BRQ
Isoprene - BRQ
Hydrogen Sulfide - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

A leak developed in a fifty four inch overhead pipe at the SACC Unit LT01.
There is approximately 5 lbs per square inch (psi) or pressure on the pipe. The insulation of the pipe was removed to identify the source. Pictures included of the plug of the pipeline due to the hole and a view of the repaired line. On the incident report form it says that the initial report said that RQs might be exceeded, but that none were exceeded.
119881

2009-12-05
Point Source(s):
Vapor recovery compressor

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 10 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

Vapor recovery compressor shut down due to mechanical failure.
Vapor recovery compressor shutdown due to mechanical failure. Back up system was up. In the aromatics unit.
119584

2009-11-18
Point Source(s):
Storage tank

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 55 pounds
Butadiene - 55 pounds
Flammable Vapor - 1,000 pounds
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

Pressure vapor vent release on storage tank.
Greater than 1000 lbs of flammable vapor were released, calculations are estimates. The incident was caused by a pressure vapor vent release pressure on the storage tank. They stopped the system completely. It is cleared up now and back in service.
119348

2009-11-08
Point Source(s):
No Information Given

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

Caused by a loss of power.
Release was being consumed in a furnace. No other information available at time of report. Amount of hydrogen sulfide released was unknown.
119325

2009-11-06
Point Source(s):
Furnace stack

Pollutant(s):
Smoke - 0
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

Smoking furnace from a leak.
May have developed a leak which would be causing the smoke emitted from their furnace stack. They may do some monitoring. They will have a chemical feed into the furnace. They will attempt to locate the source of the leak and eliminate that feed. The air was not being monitored. Amount of smoke released is unknown.
119046

2009-10-27
Point Source(s):
No Information Given

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 0
Cause of Problem: Human Factors

Spill occurred when operator drained material to a green sewer preparing equipment for maintenance.
10 gal of 80% benzene was discharged into a green sewer line leading to the in plant sewer system due to an operator error. Release occurred for approximately 10 min. SPOC report says that the operator was preparing equipment for mechanical work. SPOC report also says that the release was 74 lbs (about RQs).
118649

2009-10-12
Point Source(s):
Thermal oxidizer F5

Pollutant(s):
Hydrogen Sulfide - 83 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

Thermal oxidizer F5 tripped because of water supply being lost to it. They had a mechanical problem with the pump.
Called because the release was ongoing at the time and close to reaching 100 lbs (reportable quantity). They had mechanical problems with the pump and were repairing them.
118428

2009-10-02
Point Source(s):
B furnace

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 10 pounds
Butadiene - 10 pounds
Flammable Vapor - 1,000 pounds
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

Tube leak in "B" furnace. Shutting the unit down to check the furnace and root cause of the leak.
Incident caused by a tube leak in B furnace, cause is under investigation. They took it down and entered it to check. They shut the system down. They promised a call back with a close out time and whether or not RQs were exceeded. No note of call back.
118173

2009-09-23
Point Source(s):
B furnace

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

Tube rupture in B furnace.
Tube taken out of service. Report says there was a potential for benzene and VOC emissions. LDEQ received the written report from Exxon but did not include it in this report, but stated that no RQs were exceeded.
116641

2009-07-21
Point Source(s):
Pipe on thermal oxidizer

Pollutant(s):
Flammable Gas - 1,000 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 1,000 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide - 100 pounds
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

Hole in a pipe on a thermal oxidizer
According to the Plant's Environmental Manager, a hole developed in a pipe on a thermal oxidizer releasing flammable gas and sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere. Operators quickly shut in the unit. Further action by LDEQ pening results of investigation. Quantities of released chemicals are estimates.
116544

2009-07-17
Point Source(s):
Expansion tank on heater barge (Gonsoilin 108)

Pollutant(s):
Heater Oil - 50 gallons
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

A heater barge was running its heater and an expansion tank on board burped and sprayed approximately 50 gallons of heater oil onto the deck.
While the majority of the heater oil stayed on deck, about 1 cup released into the water (Mississippi River). An OSRO response crew was dispatched from Oil Mop, INC for cleanup of the deck on the barge. The sheen on the water was unrecoverable and dissipated naturally. The product recovered by absorbent pads were bagged. The contaminated absorbents were loaded into DOT drums for proper disposal.
116503

2009-07-16
Point Source(s):
Pipe on valve stem

Pollutant(s):
Butane - BRQ
Pentane - BRQ
Butene - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

Packing leak on a valve stem which has a hand wheel was the source.
They were trying to stop the leak by repacking the valve. Written report was received by LDEQ but was not included in this report. Report stated that no RQs were exceeded.
116431

2009-07-14
Point Source(s):
E206 Exchanger in the Aromatics Unit

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 30 pounds
Toluene - 0
Cause of Problem: Corrosion

Leak coming from the cooling tower. While backwashing the heat exchangers in the BHELA unit a hydrocarbon sheen was observed in the wash water indicating a leaking heat exchanger. The reason was internal corrosion and could not be anticipated.
Exchanger tubes will be repairs and replaced before putting back into service. Benzene release exceeded reportable quantities.
115845

2009-06-20
Point Source(s):
WCT 01

Pollutant(s):
Propylene - 171 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

Safety valve on WCT 01 failed and released to flare. Root cause for flaring was positional failure of the control valve resulting in a pressure surge to the tower WCT01. The safety valve did not properly seal after the lift and VOCs leaked to the flare.
Uncombusted propylene released through the flare.
115854

2009-06-20
Point Source(s):
WCT 01

Pollutant(s):
- 171 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

Release came out of the top of one of the flares. Caused by a safety valve failure on WCT 01. Just SPOC report.
115611

2009-06-12
Point Source(s):
pipe

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 10 pounds
Butadiene - 10 pounds
Napthalene - 100 pounds
Ethylene - 100 pounds
Propylene - 100 pounds
Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons - 1 pounds
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

Pinhole leak in a pipe.
There was a pinhole leak in a pipe. They were working to repair it. Said they would call with an update.
115416

2009-06-03
Point Source(s):
No Information Given

Pollutant(s):
Hydrogen Sulfide - BRQ
Benzene - 0
Cause of Problem: No Information Given

E-201 exchanger had leak. Estimated releases were >10lbs of Benzene and >100lbs of Hydrogen sulfide
Just the written letter. It says that after further evaluation, it was determined that no RQs were exceeded.
115101

2009-05-20
Point Source(s):
Furance A
Furnace A

Pollutant(s):
Napthalene - 100 pounds
Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons - 1 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 5,000
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - BRQ
Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons - 0
Napthalene - 0
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

Cracking furnace A was put back into service when tube leaks in the convection section occurred and smoke evolved.
The products probably exceeded reportable quantities. They were putting "A" furnace in service and experienced convection section tube leaks. They have taken the feed out of the furnace and put steam back in. They eliminated any fuel. They said they would update with more information. No final quantities of release.
114864

2009-05-12
Point Source(s):
Process gas oil line

Pollutant(s):
Oil - 4,188 pounds
Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons - 12 pounds
Cause of Problem: Instrument Failure

Process gas oil spill occurred when a line was being steamed out. Steam was lined up to the process gas oil line when a gauge glass failed.
The gage glass failure provided an opening of about 3/4" through which 4188 lbs oil was released to soil.This stream contains approximately 0.28% polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon. The reportable quantities were exceeded for oil to soil and for polynuclear aromatic hydroarbon. The failed gauge glass was isolated to stop the leak. An investigation is being conducted to determine the failure mechanism of the sight glass and appropriate follow up actions to prevent recurrence.
114564

2009-04-29
Point Source(s):
Drain valves on flare gas compressor

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - BRQ
Butadiene - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Human Factors

Drain valves were left open on their flare gas compressor.
Drain valves have been blocked in. No RQs were exceeded.
114289

2009-04-20
Point Source(s):
furnace

Pollutant(s):
Biphenyl - BRQ
Cause of Problem: No Information Given

Smoky furnace.
Smoky furnace and may contain biphenyl. May have had to shut it down. No RQs were exceeded.
114279

2009-04-18
Point Source(s):
WM101

Pollutant(s):
Ethylene - 100 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

WM101 valve failure to WM 12 bottoms.
Over 100 lbs of ethylene released. The exact amount released is unknown. Report says no RQs were exceeded.
113980

2009-04-06
Point Source(s):

RTO unit

Pollutant(s):
Flammable Gas - 1,000 pounds
Ethylene - 2,348 pounds
Propylene - 3,470 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 100 pounds
1,3-Butadiene - 10 pounds
Benzene - 10 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 500 pounds
Highly Reactive Volatile Organic Compounds (HRVOCs) - 0
Cause of Problem: Instrument Failure

RTO unit atmospheric safety and associated flaring caused by loss of an electronic card and computer failure. Failure of a computer control card resulted in several control valves to fail in the closed position and the atmospheric safety valve then lifted to the flare.
The card was replaced with a spare and the unit operations were reduced to minimize released.
113906

2009-04-02
Point Source(s):
Storage tank in foam chamber

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

On going release from a storage tank through a foam chamber.
Late report, below RQ for benzene. No RQs were exceeded. No details mentioned of what caused the leak.
113829

2009-03-31
Point Source(s):
pipe

Pollutant(s):
Flammable Gas - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

A pinhole leak in a piping at higher elevation.
They needed to erect scaffolding to reach the clamp. No RQs were exceeded.
113772

2009-03-29
Point Source(s):
E506B exchanger
Exchanger 506B

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 44 pounds
Toluene - 29 pounds
Cause of Problem: Seal or Gasket

In the Aromatics Unit during the preparation of an overhead condensor for mechanical work. Prior to the leak, steam was introduced to the exchanger to free the exchanger of hydrocarbon. When steam was introduced, the channel box gasket failed.
A gasket leak occurred on exchanger E 506 B. Most of the release went to the sewer and some may have evaportated into the air. Gasket was isolated and secured. During the preparation of an overhead condenser for mechanical work stem was introduced to the exchanger per procedure to free the BOCs but the gasket failed and released hydrocarbon on to the concrete pad. It was 60% benzene and all had evaporated. Estimated 44 lbs of total release (over RQ). Non preventable release.
113506

2009-03-19
Point Source(s):
Under investigation

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Under Investigation

According to the Plant's Shift Supervisor, a trace amount of Benzene was detected in the facility sewer system. Investigation to find the source was conducted and Benzene will be processed through the facility's on site sewer system. No offsite impact was observed and no reportable quantities were exceeded. No further actions was taken by LDEQ. Exxon's report was received on 3/31/09 saying the release did not exceed RQ. Report says that this is not a reportable incident. Air monitoring at the time indicated 7 PPM inside the unit.
113475

2009-03-18
Point Source(s):
control valve of HCE compressor
WILA tanks #8 and 9

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 69 pounds
Toluene - 10 pounds
Ethylbenzene - 0 pounds
Napthalene - 2 pounds
Isoprene - 0 pounds
Cyclohexane - 1 pounds
Cause of Problem: No Information Given

The release was caused by the failure of a control valve downstream of the HCE compressor. The control valve downstream of the HCE compressor failed to close which caused the HCE compressor to trip off.
Since there was no outlet for the vapor in the HCE system, the pressure built in the tanks until the pressure vents lifted, released hydrocarbon to the atmosphere. The back up hydrocarbon emissions control system which uses vacuum jets to recover the excess vapors was comissioned. Proper operation of the vacuum jets was confirmed shortly thereafter. The control valve and instrumentation will be repaired and inspected before being returned to servvice.
113444

2009-03-17
Point Source(s):
E-200 Exchanger

Pollutant(s):
Steam - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Seal or Gasket

E-200 exchanger had a leak.
Originally thought Benzene was released from exchanger. Later reports indicate that only steam was released and no benzene. They tightened the head in order to stop the release.
113260

2009-03-09
Point Source(s):

WILA tanks #8 and 9

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 15 pounds
Isopentane - 237 pounds
Pentane - 159 pounds
Isohexane - 43 pounds
Hexane - 37 pounds
3-Methylpentane - 23 pounds
Methylcyclopentane - 12 pounds
2,3-Dimethylbutane - 11 pounds
2,2-Dimethylbutane - 10 pounds
Cyclohexane - 9 pounds
Heptane - 7 pounds
Cyclopentane - 6 pounds
2-Methylhexane - 6 pounds
3-Methylhexane - 5 pounds
Butane - 4 pounds
Toluene - 4 pounds
2,4-Dimethylpentane - 2 pounds
2,3-Dimethylpentane - 2 pounds
Octane - 1 pounds
Isooctane - 1 pounds
3-Methylheptane - 1 pounds
Methylcyclohexane - 5 pounds
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

The release was caused by the pumping of low flash material into WILA Tanks 8 and 9. The material evolved a greater amount of vapor than the tank's vapor recovery system could manage. The evolution of the vapor caused the pressure in the tanks to exceed that of the pressure vent set point.
Introduction of low flash point material into these tanks was immediately halted. They could not expect the flash material to evolve too much vapors. Tanks could not handle the vapors and valve lifted. Operators will be trained to communicate better to prevent the overpressure happening again. RQs exceeded for benzene. Total release of hydrocarbons is 600 pounds.
112825

2009-02-17
Point Source(s):
EPLA-W Compressor, flares #10, 25, and 26
Flares #10, 25, and 26

Pollutant(s):
Ethylene - 3,463 pounds
Propylene - 1,417 pounds
Butadiene - 20 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide - 2,362 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 3,774 pounds
1,3-Butadiene - 20 pounds
3-Methyl-1-Butene - 17 pounds
Acetylene - 51 pounds
Benzene - 339 pounds
Butane - 24 pounds
Carbon Dioxide - 3 pounds
Carbon Monoxide - 4 pounds
Cyclopentadiene - 2 pounds
Ethane - 845 pounds
Ethylene - 3,463 pounds
Hydrogen - 180 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide - 12 pounds
Isobutane - 2 pounds
Isobutylene - 219 pounds
Isopentane - 9 pounds
Isoprene - 21 pounds
Methane - 141 pounds
Methyl Acetylene - 111 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 308 pounds
Pentadiene - 9 pounds
1-Pentene - 51 pounds
Propane - 97 pounds
Propylene - 1,417 pounds
T-butene2 - 100 pounds
Toluene - 21 pounds
Water - 39 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide - 2,613 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 3,774 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

A fire resulted in a compressor shut down and material being flared from 10:30 pm - 11 pm. Around 10:30 pm the charge gas compressor (EPLA-W compressor) for the Olefins Maintrain furnaces tripped due to failed overspeed wiring. This occurred because of a small leak of lube oil from the steam driver which caught fire. This fire was small but close to the wiring which malfunctioned.
This incident is linked to incident #112824. The effluent gases were diverted to flares before the compressor could be repaired. Start up began around 8:45 pm on 2/18/09. Flaring during shut down through start up resulted in exceedances of RQs for ethylene, propylene, butadiene, nitric oxide, and sulfur dioxide. Also they had three compliance excursions from smoking of flares #10, #25, and #26. This was a non preventable incident from a malfunction. They are looking into preventing lube oil leaking and collecting near compressor wiring.
112824

2009-02-17
Point Source(s):
EPLA-W compressor
stripper tower

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 339 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide - 100 pounds
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

The EPLA-West compressor trip also caused the liquid to be sent to the hydrogen compressor at the benzene hydrotreater unit (BHLA). This led to the trip of the hydrogen compressor and shut down of the BHLA unit. This unexpected shut down caused the overpressure of the stripper tower above the PSV setting
This incident is linked to incident #112825, which is when the safety valve on the tower blew. The benzene release to air was above RQ limit.
112630

2009-02-09
Point Source(s):
corroded line that ties into bleeder valve

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 10 pounds
Napthalene - 100 pounds
Xylene - 100 pounds
Cause of Problem: Corrosion

Corroded line that ties into a bleeder valve started leaking
The line was isolated. Cleaned up with absorbent pads. Also clean up crew was en route to clean up the soil in containment area.
112558

2009-02-06
Point Source(s):
RGR Unit

Pollutant(s):
Propylene - 0
Ethylene - 0
Cause of Problem: Maintenance/Procedures

ExxonMobil is flaring. It is a permitted activity.
Exxon Mobil is flaring. Gave a courtesy call. RGR unit was shut down for planned mechanical activity. It is permitted activity. Flaring should last through the day as they continue with shutdown activities.