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Another toxic emissions release at Motiva Norco Refinery

Shell reports faulty instrument at Norco, LA, refinery

March 13 | Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:29am EDT

(Reuters) – Shell Oil Co on Tuesday reported emissions due to faulty instruments at a PGC unit at Motiva Enterprises’ 234,700 barrel-per-day Norco, Louisiana refinery, according to a filing with the U.S. National Response Center.

The incident happened around 06:00 am, local time, Monday, the filing said.



Motiva Enterprises toxic environmental record: 25 November 2011


During 2010, Motiva’s refinery in Norco reported seven accidents involving the same DU-5 unit, resulting in a total of 18,500 pounds of emissions. The largest accident happened in January, when a fire resulted in the shutdown of three refinery units, one worker injury and more than 17,000 pounds of toxic air emissions, including sulfur dioxide.

LDEQ’s report states that the “facility failed to perform operating procedures to prevent or reduce air pollution” as required by state regulations.3 In their final follow-up report, Motiva listed this accident as preventable with no further explanation.

After January, there were five more accidents at the DU-5 unit. These accidents illustrate a serious pattern.

On June 15, Motiva’s refinery in Norco reported a leaking pipe due to external corrosion. More than 250 gallons of naphtha (crude oil) spilled into the Mississippi River, upriver from New Orleans’ drinking water intake. Motiva classified the release as preventable, citing the discovery of “inadequate coating [to prevent external corrosion] on the blistered section of the piping.”1

Shell Chemical’s facility in Norco reported 19 accidents in 2010. Shell Chemical shares equipment with Motiva Enterprises refinery with the two facilities often routing chemicals to each other’s flares during accidents. Motiva’s refinery reported accidents which caused flaring at Shell Chemical 10 times, while accidents at Shell Chemical caused flaring at Motiva seven times.


US EPA fine Motiva for emissions and permit violations

Shell Motiva release of carcinogenic chemical at Norco plant

Forbes: Shell refineries settle with government: Associated Press, 03.31.2010, 02:40 PM EDT

NASDAQ: Shell To Pay $9.5 Million In Settling Clean Air Act Allegations: Mar 31, 2010 | 3:00PM

Motiva Enterprises Reports Flaring At Norco Refinery; Equipment Failure Cited

Shell Oil Company dumped toxic chemicals into waterway for over 60 yrs

Gulf Gasoline Rises Amid Problems at Shell, Delek Refineries

DEQ: cleanup completed at Bayou Trepagnier 21 Jan 2012 09:24 GMT Daily Comet Online

Cleanup of Bayou Trepagnier in Norco is complete, DEQ says 21 Jan 2012 02:33 GMT and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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