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ExxonMobil Chemical Plant (286), Baton Rouge

Releases in 2013

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source/Release CauseNotes
152616

2013-11-28
Point Source(s):
NIG

Pollutant(s):
Butadiene - 1 pounds
Benzene - 1 pounds
Cause of Problem: No Information Given

A release of butadiene and benzene from the ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Chemical Plant on November 28, 2013.
Due to prompt incident response to mitigate the event duration, no reportable quantities were exceeded.
152563

2013-11-25
Point Source(s):
None Reported
Pollutant(s):
Cause of Problem: Maintenance/Procedures

Intermittent flaring occurred during a planned unit start-up. The releases occurred on November 25th and 26th, 2013.
All emissions were permitted and no reportable quantities were exceeded.
152527

2013-11-20
Point Source(s):
OLA-2X gas compressor

Pollutant(s):
Ethylene - 1,476 pounds
Propylene - 588 pounds
Butadiene - 382 pounds
Isoprene - 165 pounds
Benzene - 338 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide - 1,628 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 11,979 pounds
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

On November 20, 2013 at approximately 2 PM, the OLA-2X gas compressor tripped due to high vibrations; causing material to be released to the site's flare gas system. Follow-up investigation results indicate that the drain line for the compressor coupling guard became plugged with an extensive amount of coke, allowing oil to build up and degrade the inside of the coupling guard. Over time, the oil degradation impinged on the coupling, causing the high vibrations. The Reportable Quantities for ethylene, propylene, butadiene, isoprene, benzene, nitrogen oxide, and sulfur dioxide was exceeded as a result of this event.
Immediately after the trip, unit shutdown procedures were executed and feed was safely removed from the unit. Air monitoring was conducted on November 20 and November 21 and all results were below the level of detection. Insulated the coupling guard drain line. Will evaluate installing a manometer on the coupling guard to attempt to measure air flow in the coupling guards and establish a monitoring program to determine if coke is accumulating in the coupling guards. Note: the initial report claims that plugged drain lines are not able to be detected or repaired, so the incident was not preventable. However, the follow-up report claims that air monitoring might detect coke accumulation and allow prevention.
151581

2013-10-11
Point Source(s):
flange between two pipes

Pollutant(s):
bromine - 178 pounds
Cause of Problem: Seal or Gasket

On October 11, bromine was released to the air due to a leaking flange between two pipes.
Due to prompt incident response to mitigate the event duration, no reportable quantities were exceeded.
151451

2013-10-08
Point Source(s):
Underground pipeline

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

On October 8 at approximately 11 AM, a release of lubricating oil was reported. They were doing excavation work on an old, underground line. They are not sure if the excavator hit the line and caused the release or if the age of the line had caused wear that made the release. No more product was released to the soil, so they are sure it was probably residual material in the pipeline.
Due to prompt incident response to mitigate the event duration, no reportable quantities were exceeded. Some reports estimate 1 barrel of a mixture of oil and water was released into the soil. No specific remedial actions for release onto soil given.
151413

2013-10-05
Point Source(s):

Ethylene Refrigeration Compressor

Pollutant(s):
Propylene - 2,028 pounds
Ethylene - 7,392 pounds
Butadiene - 249 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide - 4,648 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 23,626 pounds
- 0
Cause of Problem: Power Failure

On October 5, 2013 at approximately 9:15 Am, the Ethylene Refrigeration compressor motor shut down, causing material to be released to the site's flare gas system. Preliminary investigation indicates the electrical motor shut down due to momentary low voltage resulting from a bird landing on an electrical transformer and causing an electrical fault. A detailed investigation is underway to confirm the root cause of the power trip and determine recommendations to prevent recurrence.
Feed was quickly and safely removed from furnaces upstream of the compressor to minimize the load on the flare system and emissions to the atmosphere. Air monitoring was conducted frequently on October 5, 2013 and all results were below the level of detection. A detailed investigation is underway to confirm the root cause of the power trip and determine recommendations to prevent recurrence.
151342

2013-09-29
Point Source(s):
OLA-2X Gas Turbine

Pollutant(s):
Ethylene - 3,456 pounds
Propylene - 1,376 pounds
Butadiene - 893 pounds
Isoprene - 386 pounds
Benzene - 792 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide - 3,810 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 28,041 pounds
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

On September 29 at approximately 11:20 PM, the OLA-2X gas turbine tripped causing material to be released to the site's flare gas system. The shutdown was caused by a loss of flame in the gas turbine. Initial findings indicate that a change in power augmentation steam quality caused the loss of flame. An investigation is underway to determine the root cause of the change in steam quality.
Feed was safely removed from five of the seven furnaces to minimize the load on the flare system and emissions to the atmosphere. The remaining two furnaces were operated at minimal rates to minimize start-up emissions. Air monitoring was conducted on September 30, 2013 and all results were below the level of detection. This incident is under investigation to determine the root cause of the change in steam quality. Short term mitigation steps have been implemented to ensure consistent steam delivery to the gas turbine.
151038

2013-09-15
Point Source(s):
Storage tank

Pollutant(s):
Sulfuric Acid - 920 pounds
Cause of Problem: No Information Given

On September 13, there was a release of sulfuric acid from due to a leak in a storage tank. The tank leaked only into the secondary containment area.
No offsite impact. Due to prompt incident response to mitigate the event duration, no reportable quantities were exceeded. Less than 920 pounds of sulfuric acid were released as a result of this event.
150818

2013-09-04
Point Source(s):
Tank #8

Pollutant(s):
Butadiene - 6 pounds
Benzene - 8 pounds
Cause of Problem: No Information Given

On September 4, tank #8 went above the pressure threshold resulting in a release of benzene and butadiene vapors.
Due to prompt incident response to mitigate the event duration, no reportable quantities were exceeded.
150492

2013-08-20
Point Source(s):
No Information Given

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

Planned unit shutdown and startup of compressor.
Intermittent flaring occurred during a planned unit shutdown and start-up. All emissions were permitted and no reportable quantities were exceeded.
150346

2013-08-12
Point Source(s):
EPLA-S unit

Pollutant(s):
Propylene - 5,985 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

On August 12, a propylene leak above the reportable quantity was discovered on the ethylene unit (EPLA-S) and reported. Initial El Paso sampling indicated a leak rate of 730 lbs/day. Further refinement of the leak rate estimate indicates a current leak rate of 798 lbs/day. Investigation results indicate the exchanger had been in service for an extensive amount of time. However, the chiller is in a clean, non-corrosive service and there was no expectation that this equipment would have leaked. As discussed with LDEQ, the BRCP planned and safely executed a controlled shutdown of the EPLA-S unit.
ExxonMobil safely executed a controlled shutdown of the EPLA-S unit. To prevent recurrence, exchanger tubes were plugged as short term mitigation. The bundle will be replaced during the next scheduled unit maintenance interval. ExxonMobil was fined in 2011 for similar leaks in the ethylene unit as a part of a settlement agreement with LDEQ (Settlement Tracking No. SA-MM-13-0030).
No LDEQ Number Available

2013-08-09
Point Source(s):
None Reported
Pollutant(s):
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

The ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Chemical Plant (BRCP) reported that a "malfunction" occurred at the Butyl Unit. Report states that ExxonMobil BRCP plans to use the affirmative defense to civil penalties clause of the Clean Air Act, which provides the facility an affirmative defense to civil penalties in cases of malfunction.
The report promises additional information within 45 days.
150134

2013-08-05
Point Source(s):
No Information Given

Pollutant(s):
Ethylene - 213 pounds
Cause of Problem: Instrument Failure

On August 5 at approximately 2:17 PM, the ECLA-W cracker compressor shut down due to an unplanned processor card failure in the compressor control circuit. Feed was immediately isolated from all furnaces serviced by the compressor to reduce flaring until the compressor was restarted. This incident is under investigation to determine which component(s) of the processor card failed.
Feed was isolated from all furnaces serviced by the compressor to reduce flaring until the compressor was restarted. This incident is under investigation to determine which component(s) of the processor card failed and to provide mitigating actions to prevent this incident from occurring in the future.
150124

2013-08-04
Point Source(s):
Piping from BELA-5

Pollutant(s):
1,3-Butadiene - 38 pounds
Cause of Problem: Corrosion

On August 4 at approximately 8:47 AM, a leak of butadiene was detected ont he butadiene extraction unit (BELA-5) at the Baton Rouge Chemical Plant (BRCP). Follow-up response using a thermal camera revealed butadiene leaking from insulated piping. Immediately upon discovery of the leak, a controlled shutdown of the BELA-5 unit was initiated. Final investigation results indicate the leak was caused by external corrosion. The leaking pipe and insulation were replaced prior to unit startup.
A controlled shutdown of the BELA-5 unit was executed upon discovery of the leak. As part of the shutdown, the piping was isolated and removed from service to stop the leak. To prevent recurrence, the leaking pipe and insulation were replaced prior to unit startup.
149925

2013-07-25
Point Source(s):
No information given

Pollutant(s):
Propylene - 0 pounds
Cause of Problem: No Information Given

On July 25, a release of propylene occurred.
Due to prompt incident response to mitigate the event duration, no reportable quantities were exceeded.
149640

2013-07-11
Point Source(s):
No Information Given

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 5 pounds
Butadiene - 1 pounds
Cause of Problem: No Information Given

On July 11, 2013, there was a release of butadiene and benzene that occurred at the ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Chemical Plant. Due to prompt incident response to mitigate the event duration, there were no reportable quantities exceeded.
No information was provided in the refinery letter regarding point source or duration of the incident.
149517

2013-07-10
Point Source(s):
No Information Given

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

On July 10, 2013, there was a release that occurred at the ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Chemical Plant. Due to prompt incident response to mitigate the event duration, no reportable quantities were exceeded.
No information was provided in the refinery letter regarding the substance released, the duration or point source.
149577

2013-07-10
Point Source(s):


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

leak of sewage to soil due to a cracked pipe weld.
There is not information on the point source, duration or the location in the facility at this time 9/24/14. There is also a huge time lapse between the seven day letter and the LDEQ Incident report form which was filed on 5/22/14 almost a year later. There is no explanation given to the delay.
149553

2013-07-09
Point Source(s):
No Information Given

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

ON July 9, 2013, there was a release that occurred at the ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Chemical Plant. Due to prompt incident response to mitigate the event duration, no reportable quantities were exceeded.
No information was provided in the refinery letter regarding the substance released, the duration, or the point source.
149351

2013-06-25
Point Source(s):
WILA unit

Pollutant(s):
1,3-Butadiene - 2,100 pounds
Benzene - 33 pounds
Cause of Problem: Instrument Failure

ON June 25, 2013, the Baton Rouge Chemical Plant WILA unit experienced a series of intermittent PV vent liftings on TK 8 & 9. This event was due to level instrument malfunction on a water/butadiene separation drum during startup of the BELA-5 unit caustic scrubber system. As a result, butadiene was sent to the WILA unit. The butadiene vaporized in TK 8 & 9 causing elevated pressures, resulting in the PV vent liftings. The source of butadiene was immediately stopped and the WILA feed line was purged of butadiene to the flare system. Approximately 33 pounds of benzene and 2100 pounds of 1,3-butadiene were released as a result of the event.
The source of butadiene was stopped and the WILA feed line was purged of butadiene to the flare system. Repaired level instrument/control valve. Repaired site glass to restore visibility and enable confirmation of level instrument reading. Conducted refresher training for the process organization on improved alarm response to low level readings.
150018

2013-06-17
Point Source(s):
Waste Water Treatment Unit

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 6,577 pounds
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

On July 29, 2013 at approximately 6:33 pm, predictive modeling showed increased benzene emissions from the Baton Rouge Chemical Plant Waster Water Treatment unit (AWT). Prior to being sent to AWT for final treatment before discharge, steam cracking furnace water effluent is stripped to recover benzene. The steam stripping distillation tower experienced abnormal operations in June as a result of internal fouling. This resulted in tower temperatures lower than the minimum temperature required to efficiently remove benzene. During this period of abnormal operations, benzene levels were higher than normal but these elevated benzene levels were not detected until routine compliance samples caught at AWT were analyzed at a third party laboratory in July. Therefore, the results of these samples were not available until after tower operations were stabilized. Initial notification indicates the release lasted for approximately 7 days. Initial notification occurred 7/29/13, incident started more than a month before, 6/17/2013. A field inspection was conducted by LDEQ Inspection Division on 8/9/13 in response to this event.
The incident was detected upon third party sample analysis of scheduled monthly environmental samples taken to track compliance with the AWT Title V permit. While the BRCP permit requires annual modeling and sampling, the site voluntarily models samples on a more frequent, monthly basis to provide a back-up monitoring program. The sample results were not available until after appropriate measures has been taken to stabilize lower operations. Stable operations were validated by samples taken on July 1, 2013 which were within historical values. The tower has been taken out of service, cleaned, and returned to service. Alarms for critical operating parameters are being updated to ensure effective benzene stripping. The sampling protocol has been modified such that ExxonMobil will receive VOC concentration within 48 hours of arrival at the third party laboratory.
149002

2013-06-04
Point Source(s):
Valve

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 3 pounds
Butadiene - 6 pounds
Ethylene - 26 pounds
Propylene - 11 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

Release of materials to air due to malfunctioning valve.
Necessary repairs were made. No additional information was provided in addition to the amounts released and duration.
148949

2013-05-31
Point Source(s):
NACC "X"Furnace

Pollutant(s):
Flammable Vapor - 2,913 pounds
Cause of Problem: Under Investigation

ON May 31, 2013, the Baton Rouge Chemical Plant discovered flooding conditions on the NACC "X" furnace. Upon discovery, furnace firing rates were reduced. Furnace flooding conditions occur when there is more fuel gas inside of the furnace than can be completely combusted. The uncombusted fuel gas resulted in RQ exceedances for flammable vapor. Approximately 2,913 pounds of flammable vapor were released as a result of this event. An investigation is underway to determine the root cause.
Upon discovery, furnace firing rates were reduced. As of December 18, 2013, LABB was unable to locate a follow up letter from the refinery.
148926

2013-05-29
Point Source(s):
No Information Given

Pollutant(s):
Sulfuric Acid - 5 pounds
Propylene - 2 pounds
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

ExxonMobil Chemical plant identified a hole in a pipe. The product was being released to the pavement and then evaporated to the air. The facility has determined that no reportable quantities were exceeded. The propylene released to soil and air - and was determined to have resulted in offsite impact although no air motioning was conducted by ExxonMobil. There was also an injury reported
Prompt incident response was implemented to mitigate event duration, and it was determined that no reportable quantities were exceeded.
148922

2013-05-27
Point Source(s):
Tank #784

Pollutant(s):
Benzene - 1 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 7 pounds
Cause of Problem: No Information Given

On May 27, a benzene leak was detected by infrared camera coming from tank #784.
No specific remedial actions given. There was an attempt to minimize vapors coming from the tank. All air monitoring results were below detectable limits, and an infrared camera inspection of the tank showed no damage. Initially 10 pounds of benzene released was detected by infrared camera and no VOCs were detected.
148929

2013-05-25
Point Source(s):
KGF-01

Pollutant(s):
Ethylene - 883 pounds
Flammable Vapor - 54,000 pounds
Cause of Problem: Instrument Failure

On May 26, 2013 smoke was discovered coming from the stack of the steam cracking furnace KGF-01 at SACC. Upon investigation of the smoking, flooding conditions on the furnace were discovered and immediately mitigated. After further evaluation, it was determined that the furnace began experiencing flooding conditions during routine operation on May 25, 2013 at 3:23 am. Furnace flooding occurs when there is more fuel gas inside of the furnace than can be completely combusted. The uncombusted fuel gas released resulted in RQ exceedences for ethylene and flammable vapor. An investigation is underway to determine the root cause. An oxygen analyzer false reading caused the furnace to go into a flooded condition.
Upon discovery, the furnace flooding conditions were mitigated. An oxygen analyzer false reading caused the furnace to go into a flooded condition. Conflicting analyzer readings caused the unit operator to make adjustments that extended the event duration and increased the degree of flooding to the point of generating smoke in the stack. Immediately upon discovering smoke from the stack, the furnace operation was corrected. Improvements to furnace controls and operator training are being implemented to prevent recurrence. Final investigation results indicate that the furnace flooding conditions were a result of an oxygen analyzer false reading. The follow up letter dated August 29 indicates a false reading, but the document scanned into EDMS only included one document and no additional information.
148872

2013-05-24
Point Source(s):
BELA-5

Pollutant(s):
Dimethyl formamide - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Corrosion

On Friday, May 24, 2013, a leak of dimethyl formamide (DMF) solvent was detected on the butadiene recovery unit (BELA-5) and reported. Initial estimates indicated that the atmospheric leak rate exceeded the 100 lbs/day reportable quantity for DMF. Further refinement of the leak rate estimate has determined that the leak rate is below the reportable quantity amount. As discussed with LDEQ, BRCP has been working toward a controlled shutdown of the BELA-5 unit. Based on the current state of planning, the earliest the unit will be ready to shutdown is June 6-9, 2013. The unit was safely shutdown on June 6, 2013 as planned. The leak occurred due to the corrosive nature of the process material combined with a weld defect on a thermowell. The leak rate was monitored routinely and never exceeded the RQ amount.
The material is currently being collected in a barrel and rerouted back to the unit until permanent repairs are completed. ExxonMobil is currently planning to execute a controlled shutdown of the BELA-5 unit between June 6-9, 2013, and permanent repairs will be completed during this time. Permanent repairs were completed prior to unit startup.
148828

2013-05-21
Point Source(s):
T-7 Tower

Pollutant(s):
Methyl Chloride - 810 pounds
Cause of Problem: Corrosion

On May 21, the Baton Rouge Chemical Plant RLA-1 unit experienced a leak on T-7 Tower due to corrosion under insulation. After further investigation a leaking thermowell was found on the bottom section of T-7.
Immediate remedial action was to isolate tower feed and hydrocarbon was removed from the vessel. ExxonMobil has inspected other similar plugs on the tower for potential corrosion and all findings indicate no corrosion. A Thermal Spray Aluminum coating has been applied to the thermowell to prevent further corrosion under insulation. There were no injuries, complaints, or offsite impact as a result of incident.
148832

2013-05-21
Point Source(s):


Pollutant(s):
Ethylene - 3,709 pounds
Propylene - 1,477 pounds
Benzene - 850 pounds
Isoprene - 414 pounds
1,3-Butadiene - 959 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 30,097 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide - 4,089 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 5,267 pounds
Cause of Problem: Instrument Failure

On May 21, the Baton Rouge Chemical Plant experienced a turbine trip at the OLA-2X unit. The material released was sent to the site flare gas system. After further investigation, it was determined that this event was due to the failure of the fuel gas control valve servomechanism actuator. The servomechanism actuator failed due to particulate matter build up in the hydraulic oil system.
Immediate remedial action was to reduce unit feed rates to help minimize emissions. The hydraulic oil filters and servomechanism actuators were replaced prior to restarting the machine.
148693

2013-05-05
Point Source(s):
No Information Given

Pollutant(s):
Ethylene - 333 pounds
Flammable Vapor - 2,712 pounds
Cause of Problem: Weather

On May 5 at approximately 4:20 AM, the ECLA-W unit HC-01 compressor tripped due to low lube oil pressure. The compressors' automatic trip system detected the low lube oil pressure and tripped the machine. The compressor valves on the suction side automatically opened to relieve pressure to the flare. Subsequently, a unit upset on the downstream unit, EPLA-W caused the atmospheric safety valve to lift, and briefly flare off-specification ethylene product.
Immediate remedial action was to reduce the feed rates to minimum and the furnacys were put in standby to further reduce flaring until the compressor was restarted. Improvements are being made to assist operators in detecting low lube oil pressure and refresher training will be conducted to improve controller response.
147797

2013-04-02
Point Source(s):

seal on unit pump, EFP-60A

Pollutant(s):
Biphenyl - BRQ
T-butene2 - 0
Cause of Problem: Seal or Gasket

On April 2, 2013 the Neo Acids unit pump, EFP-60A, seal developed a leak releasing approximately 50 gallons of therminol to the sewer. Of which approximately 110 pounds were biphenyl.
All of the material released remained in the liquid phase and no evaporation of the material occurred. After further evaluation, it was determined that no reportable quantities were exceeded.
147267

2013-03-01
Point Source(s):
N/A

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

Personnel working on an excavation project when an odor was detected. Initial air monitoring was conducted in the area with a Drager CMS using 0.2-10 ppm chip. Initial results indicated a benzene concentration greater than 10 ppm. Additional air monitoring was conducted and results indicated measurements greater than 250 ppm benzene. The site was immediately evacuated and barricaded to prevent personnel re-entry to the area. All readings conducted by the onsite Industrial Hygienist were below the detectable limits of the monitoring equipment. There is potential for the reportable quantity for the characteristic hazardous waste D018 to be exceeded depending upon final sample results. In the 60 day follow-up, no cause of problem was stated. The Baton Rouge Chemical Plant conducted soil sampling, and all results were below the detection limit. There were no reportable quantities exceeded as a result of this event.
As a precaution, 27 employees and contractors in the area were tested for potential benzene exposure. Test results were satisfactory and and demonstrated no effects on these individuals. All potentially contaminated soil has been segregated. Until further information is available ExxonMobile is treating this material as hazardous waste pending final sample results. Immediately upon discovery, the excavation site was evacuated and all personnel working in the area was tested for potential benzene exposure. Routine testing and respiratory protection steps were implemented. The Baton Rouge Chemical Plant conducted soil sampling, and all results were below the detection limit. The soil sampling included the excavated dirt piles, all soil previously place in bins and the areas not yet excavated in the vicinity of the project site.
146606

2013-02-11
Point Source(s):
railcar

Pollutant(s):
Tar mixture with sulfuric acid - 28 gallons
Cause of Problem: No Information Given

A railcar was overfilled and 0.67 barrels of a tar mixture with sulfuric acid ran out the top and fell to the ground. Initial correspondence with LDEQ indicates original estimates to be around 3 barrels. No information was provided on how the railcar was overfilled, whether it was caused by human factors or equipment design.
146614

2013-02-10
Point Source(s):
convention tube on C furnace

Pollutant(s):
Ethylene - 7 pounds
Propylene - 0 pounds
Butadiene - 0 pounds
Benzene - 0 pounds
Hydrogen - BRQ
Methane - BRQ
Ethane - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Piping or Tubing

On February 10, 2013, a release of uncombusted ethylene (6.7 pounds), propylene (0.2 pounds), butadiene (0.2 pounds), butadiene (0.2 pounds), benzene (0.2 pounds), and other gases in smaller amounts (hydrogen, methane, and ethane). The incident began at 1000 hours and ended at 1045 hours. The release was caused due to a leaking tube in a steam cracking furnace (furnace C), which caused feed to enter the furnace. It was stated that most of the gases combusted inside the furnace. Some did not combust inside. The feed was stopped and the leaking tube later filled with water to prevent feed from entering that tube.
The leaking tube was filled with water to prevent feed from entering tube. The tube was reported to stay in this condiction until a more feasible time to replace or repair the tube and would not affect the operation of the furnace.
146536

2013-02-07
Point Source(s):
Cogeneration unit

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

On February 7, 2013, ExxonMobil experienced an uncontrolled leak of carbon monoxide for three minutes from a cogeneration unit. At the time of the incident, the facility was unable to determine the amount of the release, but wanted to report within one hour in the event the CO permit was exceeded. The release was caused by the malfunction of a control on the cogeneration unit, which developed a decrease in operating rate and insufficient combustion. The malfunction occurred while the turbines were being cleaned of carbon deposits. A written notification dated February 14, 2013, was received by LDEQ from the facility, which indicated that after further evaluation, no reportable quantities were exceeded.
146061

2013-01-15
Point Source(s):


Pollutant(s):
Propylene - 35,590 pounds
Flammable Vapor - 37,820 pounds
Cause of Problem: Seal or Gasket

The Ethylene Purification Unit experienced an unanticipated atmospheric safety valve lifting prior to reaching its set point for approximately 26 minutes. Unanticipated safety valve was due to a broken O-ring causing material to be released into atmosphere.
The safety valve was immediately blocked upon discovery. To return the unit to normal operating conditions, the DeEthanizer overhead and splitter bottoms were flared. To prevent recurrence, the preventative maintenance frequency of the atmospheric safety valve will be increased, and ExxonMobil engineers are evaluating potential upgraded material type for the O-ring.
146054

2013-01-15
Point Source(s):


Pollutant(s):
Ethylene - 43 pounds
Propylene - BRQ
Ethane - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Seal or Gasket

Release occurred due to failure of a control valve for a splitter tower in the Ethylene Purification Louisiana South Unit (EPLA).
Valve was in the process of being repaired. Feed to the unit was cut to reduce material going to the flare while air monitoring was conducted around the perimeter of the facility.
146024

2013-01-12
Point Source(s):
IPA Unit

Pollutant(s):
Propylene - 203 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

While operators worked to repair a leak on the Isopropyl Alcohol Unit (IPA) by installing a spare extract pump, a flange on the downstream control valve station began leaking extract. As operators began troubleshooting the leak, the flange gasket failed, causing 2,844 pounds of extract to be released onto the concrete, of which approximately 203 pounds were propylene vapor.
The unit was immediately shut down to isolate the leak. The gasket was replaced and the flange bolts were tightened.
145808

2013-01-10
Point Source(s):


Pollutant(s):
Propylene - 32 pounds
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

Compressor RLA-3 C-201 tripped, resulting in flaring.
145693

2013-01-01
Point Source(s):
cooling tower water chiller UE-07

Pollutant(s):
Propylene - 64,179 pounds
Unknown Substance - 1,000 pounds
Cause of Problem: Under Investigation

On January 3rd a propylene leak was discovered coming from cooling tower water chiller UE-07 to GFLA-3 cooling tower. On January 1st at approximately 3 PM, the Refinery Gas Recovery Unit noticed that the propylene refrigeration inventory was decreasing at an increased rate. Operations immediately began troubleshooting by utilizing the HAWK camera, testing unit safety valves, checking cooling tower gas detectors, and verifying all unit line-ups until the source of the leak was discovered. On January 3rd at 11:06 AM cooling tower water chiller UE-07 was isolated as part of this troubleshooting activity. The propylene inventory levels returned to the normal operating range by 1:00 PM, confirming the leak had been isolated. Inspection of the chiller, UE-07, is being expedited to determine the root cause of the leak. Based on the mechanical inspection results, repairs will be completed and ling-term mitigation plans developed.
Unknown product is a flammable vapor. An exchanger leaked to the cooling tower, which was blocked in and secured prior to discovering the leak. The site has been secured. Highly reactive volatile organic compounds were released. Material went offsite and air was monitored at the perimeter of the facility. The incident was classified as an unusual event. This facility exceeded the RQ of propylene by more than 64x the reportable quantity. Based on the mechanical inspection results, repairs will be completed and long-term mitigation plans developed. While SPOC was notified of the discharge on January 7th, the Unauthorized Discharge Notification Report, also known as the 7-day letter, was not submitted till January 10th, 2013. While the source of the problem was identified on January 3rd, the problem was recognized on January 1st, which means that the 7-day letter should have been submitted on January 8th, or seven days after the problem was initially recognized.