2013 incidents

Dec 14 2013  Incident 152843  local noise ordinance violations http://edms.deq.louisiana.gov/app/doc/view.aspx?doc=9133565&ob=yes&child=yes

Dec 8th slop oil spill.  An 84 gallon spill with no pollutants detected.  Dec 7th gasoline odor emanating from  plant reported http://edms.deq.louisiana.gov/app/doc/view.aspx?doc=9130327&ob=yes&child=yes

December 5th after midnight startup of ALKY unit at Valero. large flaring, noise and vibrations of homes

November 26 Compliance Order for SRU Stack Test -- turnaround scheduled for February 2014 http://edms.deq.louisiana.gov/app/doc/view.aspx?doc=9119173&ob=yes&child=yes

November 16 4am very large quantities of steam releasing from plant, associated noise audible in homes and horrible stench the infiltrated homes.  November 18 4am again very large quantities of steam releasing from plant, noise levels in violation of local noise ordinance.  November 20th around noon, jet engine noises.  early evening sometime after 6pm refinery noises audible in homes, flaring and releasing of large amounts of steams (similar to November 18th).  

LDEQ incident report #152600, beetween 11/18/2013 and 11/20/2013, the plant was shutting down #6 Boiler, and on 11/20/2013 above-average flaring occurred due to maintenance activities on the NHT (Naphtha Hydro Treater).  

Incident 152462   flares between November 7th and 10th with permit deviations.

On Nov 14 2013 LDEQ received a call from an anonymous citizen about the recent foul odors in St Bernard Parish.  LDEQ requested information for "the day listed" and received reports from Rain CII that the facility was not operating ""on the day listed"", from Valero Energy that the facility experienced "no plant changes, process changes or upset conditions at the time listed", and from ExxonMobil stating the same.   Case closed, no further action.

Nov 8 2013 headaches. Incident 152227 VOC emissions from gasoline tank
November 6 2013 headaches and black smoke

Oct 30 2013 diesel leak at dock

Oct 26th Flaring during startup and shutdown exceeded emission limits and will be reported in the semi annual report. Reports of odors from Valero infiltrating homes   http://edms.deq.louisiana.gov/app/doc/view.aspx?doc=9119894&ob=yes&child=yes

Oct 28th 3am noise violation and steaming release from crude unit startup , heavy sulfur odors

October 27 2013 fuel type diesel odor ; reports of odors infiltrating homes October 26 th early morning noise audible in homes; later it sounded like the ocean. sour odor in neighborhoods on eastern side of plant. late afternoon and evening with still winds heavy sulfur in community during flaring.October 27th early morning spike in H2S.

October 25 2013 crude unit spews oil nearly 30 feet high and into community. 

Offsite benzene detected at 0.015 ppm or 15 ppb. Release of 200 barrels of crude oil and estimate total benzene release in range of 12 – 120 pounds.   http://edms.deq.louisiana.gov/app/doc/view.aspx?doc=9086406&ob=yes&child=yes

9-27-2013  EDMS 9066500 


6-oil spill to ground in Tank 200-7 area on 9-22-2013. No pollutants detected.

Pump seal failed and approximately six barrels (252 gallons) had spilled within the containment area and another six barrels overflowed into the surrounding grassy area.  Volatilization was negligible.

9 29 2013 445am 5am flaring, extremely loud jet engine noises, excessive noise possibly the boilers.  CEMs data shows release around Sept 25th Sept 26th with spike in hydrogen sulfide reportedly from the hydrocracker heater and hydrocracker boiler fuel drums and a spike in sulfur dioxide from the SRU #2.  Valero also reported reduced boiler availability. .

Sept 4 2013 incident 150811 release of propylene reports of burnt licorice odors, burnt and burning odors

August 2013  Valero in-house lab received "not acceptable" rating for two analytes, TOC and COD

August 21 2013 Incident 150516 release of propylene

8 14 2103 oil in rain drainage ditch, nothing reported in public meeting
Incident 150383 unidentified oil releasing to roadside ditch from unknown source
parking lot violations

6 29 2013 T149430 North Flare sulfur analyzer malfunctions  

April inspection:  Tank 200-4 crude oil on top of tank apparently from a leak.  Records review reveals annual visual tank roof and seal inspections not conducted on internal floating roof tanks in 2012.
2013 excess emissions 1st half

August 2013 diesel odor present deep orange flare; pattern of higher hydrogen sulfide readings at ambient monitor around 7am .  also, from Aug 16 to Aug 27 pattern of high tone, high frequency noises audible in homes.

August 8 2013 SRU shutdown release of 5,779 pounds Sulfur Dioxide ; reports of early morning refinery high toned noises audible in homes.  Evening large flaring and associated noises audible in homes, heavy refinery smell in neighborhood.  Call to refinery could not identify source.

July 30 2013 16 hours of flaring from ROSE Unit and dark smoke release at flare from VOC's from hydrocracker

July 18, 19 start of of the benzene unit  (no information of when it shut down)

June 21 fuel gas, ROSE unit trip  June 22 several calls to SB Fire Dept for gas odors

June 13 2013 restart of benzene unit after being shut down for several weeks (from May 15 to June 12) ; as Jacob Drive is west of the refinery, it is unlikely that the odors described were associated with flaring or other refinery operations

May 31st - June 3rd LDEQ's inspector report: According to database research, the facility did not have any upset conditions at the time ......   #3SRU shutdown from May 18th-31st and startup June 1st.  Fuel drum spikes May 30thhttp://edms.deq.louisiana.gov/app/doc/view.aspx?doc=8956249&ob=yes&child=yes

May 31 and June 1 2013 loud noises and odors

May 20 2013 Valero Energy has large flaring event with loud roaring and vibrations from the plant that shakes houses, light fixtures, ceiling fans, etc.  This is reported to be the hydrocracker again.

posted to LDEQ EDMS in May 2013  Valero discovered inconsistency in calculations of firing rate capacity of boiler, B-7 and    Fugitive Emissions programs agreement

May 20 2013 high gas flows and excessive assist steam produced a deep helicopter like noise from the North Flare  ---  vibrations shook houses

May 17 2013 hydrocracker release ongoing and emissions estimated to be above reportable quantities.  Sulfur recovery unit tripped , release from heater stacks of VOCs, SO2, and H2S.  Air monitoring is non detect (? not above 0.5 ppm or not above 0.1 ppm depending on device utilized)

May 17 2013 Sudden shutdown of #3 Sulfur recovery unit released 2,708 pounds of sulfur dioxide and May 8 startup of ALKY unit  (when was Alky shutdown?)

 May 12 2013 Incident 148704 wet gas compressor shutdown due to control valve malfunction.   http://edms.deq.louisiana.gov/app/doc/view.aspx?doc=8903982&ob=yes&child=yes

High pitched cycling refinery noise audible in homes around 3am 5/10, flaring and associated odors with pressure relief type noises and high frequency noises 5/11 through 5/21/13


May 9 2013 Valero to shutdown the hydrocracker again but it can’t last any longer than 10 days (due to the catalyst).  Valero have reported no complaints.  LDEQ monitored on 5/09/2013 downwind on Jacobs Dr and no readings were above the detection level of 100 parts per billion sulfur dioxide.  SO2 levels below 100 ppb are not detectable on these specific monitoring devices.  LDEQ reports a noticeable odor.  LDEQ update on 5/12/2013 reports a new sulfur dioxide release of approximately 400 pounds SO2 per hour.  This incident was reported to be secured but with ongoing flaring. 



May 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16,17 2013 flaring.  Sulfur dioxide readings in Meraux reflect the emissions.  Spikes in hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide at both sites correlate to the night time pattern of noise.  High pitched, high frequency type noises audible in homes May 7 11pm to May 8th 3am.  sleep deprivation again for the neighborhood.  high frequency cycling and high pitch tones early morning and throughout day May 9 with evening flaring. 

High pitched cycling refinery noise audible in homes around 3am 5/10, flaring and associated odors with pressure relief type noises and high frequency noises 5/11 through 5/21/13

May 3 2013 hydrocracker startup

April 26 and April 27 airport type noises audible in homes over radios and televisions; noise levels after 10pm ranged from 64 db to 79 db. High noise levels continued through mid morning April 27.



April 9 2013 extremely high level noises in neighborhood from FCC turnaround.  Resident's noise meters measured from 68db to 71db in the neighborhood.   March 23 2013 refinery noise similar to sirens.

April 5 2013  Sulfur recovery unit trip from power outage


4/02/2013 April 1st and April 2nd pattern of night time noise, loud reverberating humming and cycling type noise, audible in homes, constant from 10pm to 7am

3/15/2013 hyddrocracker shutdown

3/9/2013  strong nasty & nauseating odor- north flare - flaring deep orange - wind blowing directly from fare (sse) sinus began acting up; couldn't stop coughing.  Reported malodorous reduced-sulfur compounds volatilized to the atmosphere

3/10/2013 nasty odor http://edms.deq.louisiana.gov/app/doc/view.aspx?doc=8820212&ob=yes&child=yes

3/10/2013 flaring, horrible odor triggered headache

March 9 2013 Fire Dept responds to odor complaints; malodorous reduced sulfur compounds volatilized to the atmosphere

March 5 - 8 2013 hydrocracker shutdown and startup  --  Valero has determined the hydrocracker/hydrotreater unit canot be started up as currently designed without venting a quantity of H2S containing gas to the flare. http://edms.deq.louisiana.gov/app/doc/view.aspx?doc=8802780&ob=yes&child=yes

spill at terminal dock

March 1 2013 crude compressor trip

February 25 2013 discharge into neighborhood canal page 7 http://edms.deq.louisiana.gov/app/doc/view.aspx?doc=8778461&ob=yes&child=yes

February 19 2013 chemical injection line leak and Crude Unit compressor failure
February 18 2013 sulfur odor caused adverse health effects

February 10 2013 sulfur dioxide concentrations violate sulfur health standards

February 10 2013 release of over 57 tons (115,570 pounds) sulfur dioxide

February 8 2013 valve positioner malfunction at dock flare

January 2013 oil in neighborhood canal



SO2 presentations

SO2 non-attainment Meeting

Administrative Order

Tank 80 - 12 significant repairs

January 2013 extremely high level noises in neighborhood from ALKY unit.  Resident's noise meters measured nearly 70 db between 430am and 630am. 

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