Formosa Plastics’ Point Comfort plant has been fined US$7,425 by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for failure to route displaced vapors from the marine loading of ethylene dichloride to the dock incinerator/scrubber on Feb. 1, 2008. Formosa has confirmed the violation happened when the incorrect vent hose directed EDC vapors to a flare, instead of an incinerator, while a barge was being loaded at the Calhoun Port Authority docks. The flare was not an authorized control device for the vapors.
30.47 lbs of EDC and 1,123.25 lbs. of hydrochloric acid gas were released from the dock flare, and 63.04 lbs. of EDC were released from a pressure relief valve associated with dock fugitives, when a light oil vapor hose was mistakenly connected to the EDC barge, sending EDC vapors to the dock flare instead of the incinerator, the TCEQ report said. The permit does not authorize emissions of EDC and hydrochloric acid gas from the dock flare.
Operators are to be retrained by the company to prevent future occurrence- now the supervisor has to unlock the proper hose before the operator can connect it to the vent system.