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ExxonMobil Chemical Plant (286), Baton Rouge

Releases in 2011

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source/Release CauseNotes
135902

2011-12-14
Point Source(s):
PV vents in tank field on OXO vapor recovery system

Pollutant(s):
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 47 pounds
Methanol - 0 pounds
Methane - 47 pounds
2,2,4-Trimethylpentane - 0 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

OXO vapor recovery system compressors malfunctioned causing an increase in the system pressure which resulted in tank vents opening to the atmosphere. Discharge check valve was leaking through causing the system to circulate and decrease the compressor's effectiveness. In combination with another event (11-07738) from the preceding 24 hours the RQ for flammable vapor was exceeded.
Inconsistency in reported quantities released. Initital SPOC verbal notification listed release of 403 lbs of Methane to the atmosphere through PV vents. This release occurred when a OXO vapor recovery system compressor tripped off which lead to the tank vents being opened. A spare compressor was used to reduce system pressure. The check valve was replaced, and the compressor internal cooler has been cleaned.
135868

2011-12-13
Point Source(s):
OXO furnace F-635

Pollutant(s):
Flammable Vapor - 921 pounds
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

OXO furnace (F-635) experienced a loss of instrument air causing the furnace to trip. As a result o the furnace trip, the vent stream, normally combusted in the furnace, was diverted to the atmosphere.
No information given regarding remedial actions. This event is combined with a subsequent release LDEQ incident # 135902. Their combined release exceeded reportable quantities for flammable vapors over a 24 hour period.
135834

2011-12-09
Point Source(s):
Flange

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

Ground level flange leake. Air monitoring in the area showed readings which required isolation of the area. Perimeter monitoring showed no detect.
Plant workers tightened the flange. Mr. Ernesto Johnson stated that the fresh air breathing trailer was going to be utilized for the plant workers to tighten the flange. Inconsistency in the reported quantity released - there was no written notification from the facility to clarify the quantity - the original SPOC verbal notification stated the benzene was being released at about 12 lbs per hour (which would be closer to 24lbs total quantity) but the report stated 6 lbs was the total.
135246

2011-11-11
Point Source(s):
KD-14 charge gas drier bypass line

Pollutant(s):
Hydrogen - BRQ
Methane - BRQ
Ethylene - BRQ
Methyl Acetylene - BRQ
Propylene - BRQ
Propane - BRQ
1,3-Butadiene - BRQ
T-butene2 - BRQ
Isobutylene - BRQ
Benzene - BRQ
Acetylene - BRQ
Ethane - 15 pounds
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

A line leak was discovered on the KD-14 charge gas dier bypass line. 107 lbs of charge gas was released as a result of a line leak on the KD-14 charge gas drier bypass line.
Area monitoring was conducted and monitoring results repeatedly indicated low levels of hydrocarbon present at the leak site but at concentrations below the limit of detection at the BRCP fence line. A clamp has been placed on the line to isolate the leak. Prior to the permanent clamp being installed, a temporary clamp was installed on the line. Area monitoring was conducted. A permanent clamp was installed on the line on November 11.
135181

2011-11-09
Point Source(s):
compressor KC-01

Pollutant(s):
Hydrogen - 492 pounds
Carbon Monoxide - 13 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide - 24 pounds
Methane - 2,564 pounds
Acetylene - 140 pounds
Ethylene - 7,951 pounds
Ethane - 2,609 pounds
Methyl Acetylene - 180 pounds
Propylene - 2,422 pounds
Propane - 163 pounds
T-butene2 - 169 pounds
1,3-Butadiene - 530 pounds
Isobutylene - 347 pounds
Butane - 47 pounds
Isobutane - 4 pounds
Cyclopentadiene - 27 pounds
Pentadiene - 16 pounds
Isoprene - 38 pounds
Pentene - 38 pounds
3-Methyl-1-Butene - 29 pounds
Isopentane - 24 pounds
Benzene - 138 pounds
Toluene - 60 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 58 pounds
Water - 56 pounds
Highly Reactive Volatile Organic Compounds - 122 pounds
Carbon Dioxide - 7 pounds
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

A combination release occurred due to a cracked pipe in the thermo well of the ethylene production unit.
An engineered clamp is being fabricated and will be installed to isolate the leak. Estimated 72 hours to install clamp and secure leak. Individually this event did not exceed the RQ for HRVOC, but in combination with another incident (#11-07037) the RQ for HRVOC was exceeded on Friday, November 11. Approximately 122 pounds of HRVOC's were released. On November 11, 2011 at approximately 13:51 Derek Reese stated the ongoing release subsided to 4.25 lbs/hr and was now below RQ. (still ongoing on report date 11/16/11) Area monitoring and LDEQ monitoring on the fenceline (including grab sample) did not detect anything. LDEQ did pick up .25ppb of Benzene. A total of 108 pounds per day of charge gas is being released as a result of this event. Cumulative emissions which include the total emissions from the incident and complete response, will be included in the follow-up report.
135114

2011-11-07
Point Source(s):
Aromatics unit

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

Loose water seal on a flare blowdown drum BD-106 of the Aromatics unit caused a Benzene release.
No information given. Four people were sent to Medical as a standard for being in the area. All four were asymptomatic.
135136

2011-11-05
Point Source(s):
Control valve

Pollutant(s):
Ethylene - BRQ
1,3-Butadiene - BRQ
Highly Reactive Volatile Organic Compounds - BRQ
Nitrogen Oxide - BRQ
Benzene - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

Control valve malfunctioned releasing several materials into the air. Released to the flare after control valve malfunctioned.
No reportable quantities were exceeded.
135080

2011-10-28
Point Source(s):


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

Routine start-up for maintenance as part of a turnaround. Flaring occured during a planned start-up. On occasion they will be flaring butadiene.
All emissions were permitted and no reportable quantities were exceeded.
134878

2011-10-26
Point Source(s):
None Reported
Pollutant(s):
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

Chemicals flared due to unit start up.
Chemical released is unknown. All emissions were permitted and no reportable quantities were exceeded.
134193

2011-09-27
Point Source(s):
safety valve: #ECR-01

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

The leak occurred at an inlet to a safety valve on equipment #ECR-01. Carbon Monoxide was released. The release was located at a block valve on the Neo Acids Unit.
Less than one pound of flammable vapor was released.
133994

2011-09-16
Point Source(s):
Halobutyl Finishing Unit

Pollutant(s):
Hexane - BRQ
Cyclohexane - BRQ
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

A thermocouple failed, which resulted in the release. Halobutyl Finishing Unit Thermotreatment unit tripped.
The thermocouple was replaced allowing the unit to be restarted around 8:30am. no injuries, complaints, or offsite impact resulted from this event. Amount of chemicals released is unknown. After evaluation, it has been determined that all emissions were permitted and no reportable qualities were exceeded.
133598

2011-09-01
Point Source(s):
vent tanks 8 & 9

Pollutant(s):
1,3-Butadiene - 2 pounds
Benzene - 3 pounds
Nitrogen - 585 pounds
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

Pressure vacuum vent on a tank released to atmosphere.
The release was located at Tanks 8 & 9. Approximately 649 pounds of total vapor were released.
133562

2011-08-26
Point Source(s):
EPLA-S

Pollutant(s):
Propylene - BRQ
Propane - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

Pinhole leak in a valve body at the Ethylene Purification Unit (EPLA-S).
The propylene is leaking at a rate of 80 pounds per hour. Approximately 34 pounds of propylene and propane were released.
133130

2011-08-16
Point Source(s):
reactor flange

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

Small flange leaking on a reactor. Release believed to releasing <1lb per hour and could exceed the 100lb RQ for Methyl Chloride. Less than one pound of catalyst was released.
Flange was isolated then repaired.
No LDEQ Number Available

2011-08-11
Point Source(s):
tankfield piping

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

Tnk 784 was determined to not have any unauthorized release of benzene. Tankfield and piping was determined to have a minor release, allowing less than one pound of benzene to reach the environment.
No reportable quantities were exceeded. Less than one pound of benzene was released.
132803

2011-07-29
Point Source(s):
a pipe system

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 10 pounds
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

Release of 10lbs of Benzene came from small leak in piping system.
Material leaked onto the concrete and into a drain that is contained within the facility. Only verbal report in the file, no written 7 day letter by the facility.
132248

2011-07-08
Point Source(s):
BHLA Unit

Pollutant(s):
Water - BRQ
Hydrogen Sulfide - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Under Investigation

There was a leak on a BHLA Unit. An unknown liquid is coming from the unit.
A shelter was in place for that area and the shelter was confined to the plant. Based on a total release of 10 gallons of water, as well as the solubility of hydrogen sulfide in water, less than one pound of hydrogen sulfide was released.
132235

2011-07-05
Point Source(s):
Exchanger E502/T5 Tower on Unit BPLA

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

Verbal report states Exchanger E502/T5 Tower on Unit BPLA was leaking process into condensate, which was released to the sewer.
The letter dated July 11 says that 25 lbs of MTBE were released per 24 hour period since July 5. Amount of time of release is not stated.
132204

2011-07-03
Point Source(s):
West Ethylene Purification Unit (EPLA-W)

Pollutant(s):
Propylene - 1,181 pounds
Cause of Problem: Other - See text

The propylene at this time experienced higher than normal methyl acatylene and propadiene concentrations, so it was required to be flared. The root cause was suspected to have been contaminated feed, since no equipment or operational issues had been identified at EPLA-W.
Feed rates were reduced to minimize flaring and attempt to isolate a source of contamination until the feed quality improved. LDEQ Verbal report also mentions that they also released more than 1,000 pounds of Nitrogen Oxide to the air. This was not mentioned in the 7 day letter. Facility conducted air monitoring.
132209

2011-07-03
Point Source(s):
Outfall 001

Pollutant(s):
Wastewater - 130,000,000 gallons
Cause of Problem: Under Investigation

Wastewater treatment facilities suffered a loss of biological degradation capability at its Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant, which was expected to result in LPDES exceedances through Outfall 001 (treated wastewater). Outfall 001 was discharging treated process wastewater into the Mississippi River. The letter from the refinery dated 7/11/11 states that the root cause of the upset condition was still being investigated, but the letter states a belief that inhibition of biomass began mid-June and was exacerbated by cooling system issues in late June. Effluent permit limits were exceeded on three different days - June 29, July 1 , July 4 - for elevated BOD count above the permitted 4,765 lbs BOD/day as indicated by sampling results. On June 29 the plant released 5,408 lbs of BOD/day. On July 1, they released 5,501 lbs BOD/day. On July 4, they released 12,820 lbs BOD/day.
At the time of the letter dated 7/11/11, the discharge was still occurring, and mitigation and recovery steps implemented included increased storage of influent wastewater, addition of biomass to AWT, restored cooling tower capability to lower wastewater temperature to optimum, and initiation of significant wastewater load reduction measures.
132165

2011-06-30
Point Source(s):


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

There was a pinhole leak in a pump.
Approximately 30lbs of propylene released to the atmosphere. All of the liquid released was captured in secondary containment.
132132

2011-06-29
Point Source(s):
Safety valve

Pollutant(s):
Natural Gas - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

Methane release occurred when a safety valve reached it's pressure setting. Released to atmosphere.
Due to prompt incident response to mitigate the event duration, no reportable quantities were exceeded.
131640

2011-06-04
Point Source(s):
piping

Pollutant(s):
Varsol - BRQ
Hydrogen - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

There was an equipment leak. OPerations worked to isolate the sectino of piping that was leaking. There was a fire that was extinguished by the facility's internal fire department. 39lbs of Varsol and 488 pounds of hydrogen were release.
Due to prompt incident response to mitigate the event duration, facility representatives have determined that no reportable quantities were exceeded.
130645

2011-04-13
Point Source(s):
RT-03

Pollutant(s):
Propylene - 4,619 pounds
Ethylene - 3,414 pounds
Flammable Vapor - 19,903 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

The South Ethylene Purification Unit (EPLA-S) experienced operational difficulties from depropanizer tower RT-03. RT-03 experienced operational difficulties with its overhead condensers when a control valve failed, resulting in EPLA-S receiving unsteady feed rates and material molecular weights. Due to teh unsteady feed, material was routed from EPLA-S to the flare system and an atmospheric safety valve released material. A control valve failed.
Material was routed from EPLA-S to the flare system. To end the release, rates at RT-03 and EPLA-S were reduced. The failed control valve has been isolated. It will be repaired prior to being returned to service.
130412

2011-04-03
Point Source(s):
vapor recovery unit

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 10 pounds
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

Aromatics intermittent short duration vapor recovery unit compressor tripped.
Steam jets were used to secure the incident.
130238

2011-03-30
Point Source(s):
overhead piping of process tower

Pollutant(s):
Propylene - 4 pounds
Propane - 82 pounds
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

Leak on overhead piping of process tower.
Due to rapid response, this leak did not result in reportable quantities being exceeded.
130068

2011-03-20
Point Source(s):
exchanger head

Pollutant(s):
Propylene - 52 pounds
Propane - 3 pounds
Cause of Problem: Seal or Gasket

Leak found on the head plant of an exchanger. Approximately 52lbs of propylene and 3lbs of propane.
Prompt incident response to mitigate the event duration, no reportable quantities were exceeded.
130066

2011-03-19
Point Source(s):
no information given

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

Flaring of ethylene and propylene due to routine plant start up.
All emissions were permitted and no reportable quantities were exceeded.
130274

2011-03-19
Point Source(s):
EPLA-S

Pollutant(s):
Propylene - 2,218 pounds
Ethylene - 1,282 pounds
Cause of Problem: Seal or Gasket

Prior to March 19, 2011 the South Ethylene Purification Unit was isolated for mechanical work. On March 20, 2011, and exchanger developed a head leak during start up operations. On March 30, 2011, the Poly unit developed a leak from a ring join flange.
To end the release, the flange was isolated. To end the EPLA-S pot venting, the vents were directed to the flare system. To end the EPLA-S exchanger head leak, the head was tightened and teh equipment brought to normal operating temperatures. To end the Poly T-2 release, the flange was isolated.
129849

2011-03-15
Point Source(s):
None Reported
Pollutant(s):
Cause of Problem: Start Up, Shut Down

Shut down the part of the plant for maintenance. Flaring occurred during a planned shutdown.
All emissions were permitted and no reportable quantities were exceeded.
129840

2011-03-13
Point Source(s):
ethylene unit (EPLA West)

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

There was a small flash fire due to an oil leak on the ethylene unit (EPLA West).
Fire was extinguished by site personnel without incident.
129620

2011-03-02
Point Source(s):
BD-106

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 15 pounds
Cause of Problem: Power Failure

Approximately 15 pounds of benzene was released due to an overpressured seal (BD-106) following a power flip at Louisiana Station.
Initial report dated 3/2/2011 reported of a release of approximately 15 pounds of benzene. Subsequently, written notification dated 3/3/2011 claims no reportable quantities were exceed. No material was released from blow down drum BD-106, as the drum maintained positive seal pressure throughout the event.
129557

2011-03-01
Point Source(s):
No Information Given

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

Leak on a piece of piping caused a release of propylene.
Due to prompt incident response to mitigate the event duration, no reportable quantities were exceeded.
129511

2011-02-25
Point Source(s):
BELA-5

Pollutant(s):
1,3-Butadiene - 356 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

Flaring resulted in 365 lbs of 1,3-Butadiene. Compressor BAC-01 on the 1,3-Butadiene Unit (BELA-5) tripped, which caused an unplanned shutdown.
BAC-01 compressor motor was replaced and the unit was restarted. To prevent recurrence of the compressor trip, the motor was replaced.
129439

2011-02-24
Point Source(s):
PSV valve

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 3 pounds
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

PSV valve released gas into the air when two drums were switched and had a momentary over pressure. Approximately 3 lbs of benzene were released.
Due to prompt incident response to mitigate the event duration, no reportable quantities were exceeded.
129163

2011-02-09
Point Source(s):
BELA-5 1,3-Butadiene Unit

Pollutant(s):
1,3-Butadiene - 121 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

Approximately 121 pounds of 1,3-Butadiene was released from the BELA-5 unit after a compressor tripped, causing an unplanned shutdown. The compressor trip was caused by a significant fouling incident on both parallel feed filters. The unit's solvent balance was disrupted when the filters fouled, and the compressor tripped due to a high suction drum level.
Material was routed to the flare per design. The unit was shutdown and multiple filters were cleaned.
129081

2011-02-07
Point Source(s):
Tube on an exchanger

Pollutant(s):
Propylene - BRQ
Propane - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

85lbs of propylene and propane were released into the atmosphere in a 24hr period when there was a tube leak on an exchanger.
85 pounds of propylene and propane were released.
128886

2011-01-27
Point Source(s):
Clamp on Aromatics Unit

Pollutant(s):
- 2 pounds
Cause of Problem: Seal or Gasket

Initial report says there was more than 10 lbs of benzene released when a clamp on a drum maniford on the aromatics unit began leaking. The unit personnel discovered the leak during normal rounds. They collected the material into a 3'x3' catch plan and recovered the spilt material with an onsite vacuum truck. Industrial Hygiene conducted air monitoring during the event and no offsite impacts were noted. Approximately 1/2 gallon of material was released and 2 lbs of benzene were released to air.
128774

2011-01-21
Point Source(s):
Exxon's Baton Rouge Refinery

Pollutant(s):
Combustion Products - 290 pounds
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

Flare due to an event in the adjacent refinery that caused an upset in the system.
An event occurred in the adjacent refinery which caused an upset in the system. This caused a release of ethylene and propylene to the flare. Plant's written report says all releases were below RQ.
128499

2011-01-05
Point Source(s):
C9 OXO unit

Pollutant(s):
Flammable Vapor - 34 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

A pinhole leak developed on the C9 unit.
Written notification stated that no reportable quantities were exceeded.