Saturday, July 2, 2016

Communities for a Better Environment

Last Friday [June 24 2016] afternoon there was a problem at the Valero refinery in Benicia, prompting the facility to send out flares for at least the next 63 hours.
The “unscheduled flaring” released more than 500 pounds of sulfur dioxide into the air, according to a report the company filed with the [California] Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.
The company will not answer any questions about the incident.

That lack of information frustrates local activists who have called for tighter emissions regulations for the region’s refineries.

“What we don’t know is killing us,” said Andres Soto with Communities for a Better Environment.  “It’s a deliberate policy strategy to keep the media and the public ignorant of what is going on with these dangerous chemical processes at the refinery.”   

The Independent July 1, 2016  by Roger Straw

Here at the Valero refinery in Meraux, Louisiana are incidents in 2016.

LA DEQ EDMS documents select download document to view (LA DEQ EDMS document viewer dysfunctional)  AI #1238
March 25, 2015, January 13, 2016, and January 27, 2016 incidents under investigation, due to potential impact to groundwater.  No indications it is associated with current or historic refining operations.

Earlier observations were believed to be residual surface runoff from an October 2013 crude oil release.   It was only on January 27 2016 when seepage was described by AT&T personnel inside the box, that Valero determined that this may, instead, be the result of historic groundwater contamination.

Variance in January 2015 to operate the crude tower over head fin fan banks with a leak  document 9599408 and document 9595798 January 2015 

Leak in fin/fan cooler discovered and secured 2/24 Released 1422 # hydrogen, 1316# hydrocarbons, 71# hydrogen sulfide. The in-plant responders used fire water to knock out the fumes.
2/26 flaring from middle distillate shutdown, FGRU bypass, treated fuel to flare header
3/5 horrible odor
3/7 horrible odor    FGRU bypass for catalyst change our naphtha hydrotreater and benzene unit
3/18  NHGT and benzene catalyst change out and FGRU bypass and amine in refinery sewerage system and amine in sour tank
3/18 strong odors  process upset sent amine to refinery sewerage, waste water treatment and the sour tank needed to replenish its diesel fuel blanket
4/10 resident reports being sick from sour burnt garbage odor.  attributed to from the waste water treatment plant

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