Home Search Emissions Pollutants About the Database

Motiva Enterprises (1406), Norco

Releases of n-Hexane

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

hydrocracker unit, HCU Flare (EPN #4-84)
Cause: A gasket on compressor K 1929's seal oil pot gauge glass was leaking, causing a loss of seal Oil level. Loss of level caused hydrocracker unit to trip out and require a shut down.

Followup: No

Notes: Remedial actions: Site supervisor was notified, unit was secured per procedures for shutdown. Gauge glass was inspected and it was found that the Jerguson valves did not contain ball checks; the ball checks were replaced.
5.5 pounds

Hydrocracker unit, HCU Flare (EPN #4-84
Hydrocracker unit
Cause: This incident is a normal part of a turnaround. Before the Hydrocracker can be worked on, it must be cleared of hydrocarbon. This is done by venting the unit to the flare and later to the atmosphere. This venting is considered a normal but infrequent part of plant operation.

Followup: Yes


DU-5 Unit
Cause: An atmospheric leak of light naphtha gasoline material was identified in Motiva's Distilling unit due to a piping failure on the crude column overhead line. Initially, operations personnel identified the line dripping in two locations, and vaporizing before reaching grade.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Operations developed a plan to safely remove insulation so that the leak could be stopped. Operations installed barricade tape around affected area and monitored the leak for benzene. A catch tray was fabricated and mounted directly to the crude overhead piping to contain atmospheric emissions while the associated insulation was removed from the crude overhead line. Once the insulation was removed, a pipe clamp was installed to permanently stoped the leak. The overhead piping will be replaced during the next unit turnaround in October 2006.
4,197.0 pounds

DU-5 Naptha Stripper Reboiler [E-1004]
Cause: A leak in the weld of a pipping elbow of the DU-5 Naptha Stripper Reboiler caused by internal corrosion on the reboiler.

Followup: Yes

Notes: RQ. Reportable quantities were exceeded for 8 chemicals including Ethane, Methane, Toulene, and n-Hexane. Refinery report states that "immediately following discovery of the leak, the site's emergency response team was activated and the naphtha stripper was blocked in and depressurized."
14.9 pounds

Hose from the frac tank
Cause: At 10:01 on October 9, 2012 Motiva Site Supervisor received a call of an odor around the SBA area. After responding to the issue, it was discovered that the odor was coming from the VAT sump. A contractor was in the process of removing material from one of the four frac tanks that were staged in preparation for Hurricane Issac to collect excess oil and water during the storm. During the storm material containing high benzene was mistakenly put into the frac tank. When the contractor disconnected the hose from the frac tank that was labeled oil and water, the material remaining in the hose spilled onto the pavement. The contractor attempted to wash the area, which in turn washed the material into the VAT collection sump.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Industrial Hygiene (IH) and ERT were contacted due to an odor in the area and high levels of benzene were detected. The area were secured and under fresh air, clean up efforts were immediately implemented. To prevent any further release of hydrocarbons, the VAT collection sump was immediately blocked in and the material was pumped into a frac tank. The VAT collection sump was water washed, pumped to a frac tank and cleaned. Air testing was performed and the benzene levels were below the limit. Liquids were recovered and returned to the frac tank. No soils were contaminated. Material that evaporated during the release and recovery operation was released to atmosphere and dispersed naturally. The following requirements were adopted to prevent reoccurence: A MSDS is required before any material can be removed by contractors; Procedures have been updated and include a tracking sheet for all loads. Motiva has no current knowledge of pollution migration as free product was contained to the VAT collection sump and recovered to a frac tank. Motiva exceeded the reportable quantity for benzene.
1.3 pounds

De-watering sump west of Tank F-501
Cause: On January 22, 2013 at 16:33 the de-watering sump west of Tank F-501 overflowed onto the ground. The check valve failed open with some of the material contained withing the concrete pump pad. Approximately 3 barrels of Crude oil spilled to the ground, with additional oil overflow into nearby surface drains. Follow-up Report: Operations determined that the source of the spill was the result of the check valve of the sump pumps failing open allowing crude oil to flow backwards into the sump and eventually overflowing with some of the material contained within the concrete pump pad.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Clean up efforts were implemented. A pumper truck was staged at the pump pad to remove the oil from the concrete pump pad, sump, drains, and ground. Once the oil was removed from the concrete pump pad the area and drains were water washed to a pumper truck to remove all residual oil. Follow-up report: Immediately after discovering the source, operations personnel closed the discharge block valve of the sump pump to isolate the leak source. Temporary small dikes were quickly set up to stop additional oil flow from entering the storm water drainage. Vacuum trucks were called out to begin picking up free liquid. The underground storm water system was flushed with water and all oil vacuumed up for recovery into the refinery slop system until oil could no longer be detected. The remediation began on January 24, 2013 once all free liquid was collected. This work continued through the weekend until all contaminated soil was removed for inspection. After a final inspection, fresh soil was brought in to restore the area back to its original condition. Liquids were recovered and returned to the site slop oil system. Contaminated soils were excavated and properly disposed of. Material that evaporated during the release and recovery operation was released to atmosphere and dispersed naturally. The following measures will be implemented to prevent this incident from reoccurring: the sump pump discharge block valve was tagged closed to stop such an incident from reoccurring; vacuum trucks are being utilized to remove any water from the pump pads in the short term; operator surveillance in this area has been increased; the pump discharge check valve will be replaced and any deficiencies repaired in the pump pad secondary containment. All impacted soils were excavated and properly disposed of. Motiva has no current knowledge of pollution migration as free product was contained near Tank F-501 and has been recovered. The amount of crude oil initially reported as (3 barrels or 126 gallons), but they actually released 9646.68 gallons (229.68) of crude oil. Motiva also exceeded reportable quantities for benzene, napthalene, PAH, xylene, and toluene.
426.6 pounds

Cause: On 2/27/2014, an unexpected leak occured on Motiva's Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit (RCCU) second cyclone dip leg. Due to the location of the leak, the catalyst leak cound not be safely repaired while the unit was fully operations. A partial shutdown of the RCCU was conducted to stop the leak and complete repairs. While the unit was partially shut down, flaring occured intermittently at the RCCU Elevated Flare (EPN FE201) to safely stabilize equipment that was still operational. During the start up of RCCU, untreated dry gas was flared at the GO1 Elevated Flare.

Followup: Yes

Notes: To minimize additional unit upset and to safely repair the catalyst leak , the RCCU Unit was partially shut down in a safe manner. The catalyst leak was stopped and the second cyclone dip leg was repaired. The original report and the first follow up report included in the event description that untreated dry gas was flared at the GO1 Elevated Flare during the start-up of RCCU. This was not included in the final follow up report. Additionally, two follow up reports were sent by Motiva, the first dated 4/24/2014 to provide a 60 day follow up. In this correspondence it is stated that they will provide a second update within 60 days, as data gathering and investigation was ongoing. The final follow up report was received on 6/24/2014.
0.4 pounds