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Formosa Plastics (288), Baton Rouge

Causal Factor: Seal or Gasket

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source(s) Notes Amount of Release

Valve on Vinyl Chloride Monomer Unit
Cause: There was a gasket leak in the Vinyl Chloride Monomer unit. Ethylene dichloride, hydrogen chloride, and ethylene.

Followup: No

Notes: A clamp was placed on the leak and an emergency team was sent to secure the leak. Fence line monitoring showed no detectable readings.


12-inch flange
Cause: A bad gasket caused a leak from a 12-inch flange.

Followup: No

Notes: The equipment was valved out to stop the leak. The chemical was contained in a dike area and recovered. Amount of Ethylene Dichloride released is unknown. The release was below the reportable quantity of 100 pounds per 24 hours.


One-inch flange
Cause: The refinery reported a small release from a one-inch flange because of a gasket or flange leak.

Followup: No

Notes: At the time of the SPOC report, the refinery planned to depressurize the furnace and take the equipment out of service. This was estimated to take about 10 minutes. The release was sprayed with water so the vapors were knocked to the ground. Amount of ethylene dichloride released is unknown.


Flange on NC-204
Cause: Leak was coming from a flange on NC-204 Vinyl Stripper Column. Report was received on 11/14/07 (12 days later)and the RQ was not reached (1 lb).

Followup: No

Notes: Secured within 5 minutes of discovery.


6-inch isolation valve on
Cause: Formosa was repairing a buried fire water line in the area of the facility that was formerly known as the VCM 1 Unit. As part of the fire water line repair activity, maintenance personnel dug a shallow trench to access a buried pipe. Following digging, liquid was observed in the shallow trench. Near-by storm water sewer line was leaking into the repair trench. Source of the caustic contamination was determined to be from a leaking valve on an upstream caustic header system which drained to this storm sewer.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Formosa is collected and pumped the potentially impacted liquids from the trench for an on-site recovery. Contamination in the trench was recovered and neutralized. The area was blocked in an the job was shut down. Additional excavation was necessary to determine that the source of this leak was a near-by storm water sewer line which was leaking into the repair trench. The source was isolated and the contamination was recovered as much as possible from the sewer system and trench.
Sodium Hydroxide: 537.0 pounds

NR 301B
Cause: Had a leak on NR 301B. Valved out of service. The equipment was completely down at 2300 hours.

Followup: No

Notes: Amount of Ethylene dichloride released is unknown.


Cause: Blew a gasket on a HCL gas holder NV-203 due to plant upset from loss of power.

Followup: No

Notes: No information given.


gaskey into caustic mixer line
Cause: 1" gasket leak into the caustic mixer line. VCM release.

Followup: No

Notes: Isolated the line to stop the leak.


bottom man-way gasket #MF601A
Cause: A leak developed from the bottom man-way gasket on storage sphere MF601A.

Followup: No

Notes: Perimeter air monitoring by Formosa Plastics showed no detectable levels of Vinyl Chloride. The leak was isolated using nitrogen padding. Bottom gasket was inspected and replaced. Deinventorying the sphere.


20" manway gasket
Cause: Gasket leak on a 20" manway gasket on the HCL column.

Followup: No

Notes: no information given


Cause: Top head gasket on NE200A developed a leak.

Followup: No

Notes: Tightened the leak as soon as possible.


furnace system of pump NP202F, system NR201C
Cause: Unknown quantity of vinyl chloride, hydrochloric acid, and ethylene dichloride. A seal blew out on the pump on the furnace system of pump NP202F, system NR201C.

Followup: No

Notes: The leak was reported as secured at the time of notification, 8 minutes after being discovered.


release valve
Cause: A gasket failure on a release valve caused the release of 7/5 lbs of vinyl chloride.

Followup: No

Notes: Incident was discovered and secured within the same minute. No further action was taken.
Vinyl Chloride: 1.4 pounds

pump MP-204C
Cause: 14.62 lbs of vinyl chrloride released due to a blown seal on pump MP-204C on 09/06/11.


Notes: Blown seal immediately isolated and shutdown for repair, within 5 minutes of occurance, according to Mr. Harold Demmer (Environmental Manager for Formosa), the release was a fugitive emission associated with a permitted emission source, and therefore not in exceedance of a reportable quantity for vinyl chloride at their facility.
Vinyl Chloride: 14.6 pounds