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Marathon Petroleum Tank Fire

Site Contact:
Bray Fisher
On-Scene Coordinator


Site Location:
4663 West Airline Highway
Garyville, LA 70051
NRC#: 1377238


EPA was notified through the National Response Center of the fire at the Marathon Petroleum facility in Garyville, LA on August 25, 2023 at 9:45am. The agency activated its emergency response protocols, and deployed a federal on-scene coordinator to the site to oversee the response and provide technical support including emergency response air monitoring in downwind communities. EPA conducted roving community air monitoring for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and particulates (particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter [PM 2.5]). If any VOCs were detected equal to or greater than 1 ppm, then START was tasked with monitoring for benzene. Action levels were 9 parts per million (ppm) for benzene, 0.33 ppm for H2S, and 300 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3). Containment systems for firefighting foam and water remain effective, with no offsite runoff. EPA response personnel demobilized from the site on Sunday evening. The state has taken lead for overseeing further cleanup activities, and EPA remains available for consultation or assistance.  


On August 25 at 9:45 AM, the EPA was notified by the National Response Center of an incident involving an aboveground storage tank (AST) containing sour naphtha catching fire at the Marathon Petroleum facility in Garyville, St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana (see attached NRC Report #1377238).  According to Marathon Petroleum, the AST containing sour naptha has a total tank capacity of 150,000 barrels. The fire from the AST containing sour naptha spread to an adjacent AST which contains 300,000 barrels of diesel. There are several other tanks containing fuel oil, light cycle oil, and sour gas oil adjacent to the compromised ASTs. The compromised ASTs are about 0.5 miles away from the Mississippi River. Marathon Petroleum and fire crews from neighboring facilities are actively fighting the fire with water and non-PFAS containing foam. The compromised ASTs have secondary containment designed to accommodate 110% of the tank capacities; however, due to the firefighting efforts which could result in the secondary containment being overwhelmed, there is substantial threat of a discharge of oil into the Mississippi River. According to the National Weather Service, there is 0%-20% chance of rain in Garyville between today and Saturday August 26.  The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) and Marathon Petroleum are conducting air monitoring for volatile organic compounds, benzene, and hydrogen sulfide in downwind communities. LDEQ reported a transient VOC reading of 11ppm early during the incident but has not observed any readings above instrument detection limits since then.

The EPA Phone Duty Officer activated OSC Kelsey Fisher and EPA START contractors to respond to the incident and provide oversight of the efforts to contain firefighting runoff and conduct air monitoring in downwind communities. EPA will monitor for volatile organic compounds, benzene, hydrogen sulfide, and PM 2.5. The spill location is in the EPA Area of Responsibility; therefore, EPA is the lead agency. There are 4 Environmental Justice Indexes that exceed the 80th percentile (State, USA) within a 3-mile radius of the incident location. The Marathon Petroleum facility located at 4663 W Airline Hwy Garyville, LA 70051 is a FRP and RMP facility.