Something Rotten in New Orleans: Coast Guard Investigate

Press Release
Friday, April 05, 2013

The Coast Guard, along with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality & partner agencies, respond to reports of an odor.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received the report of an odor extending throughout parts of the greater New Orleans area, including parts of Jefferson, Orleans and St. Bernard parishes at approximately 5 a.m. Wednesday. Responders have been deployed throughout the area and coordinated an investigation in concert with other agency responders and employees from the Chalmette Refining, LLC, facility in Chalmette.

Earlier the facility had reported and quickly stopped a leak and, while the investigation is still ongoing, officials currently believe it could be the source of the odor. The leak was contained to a unit at the refinery. Air monitoring was initiated immediately upon discovery, and all monitoring throughout the incident has indicated no detection of SO2, H2S or VOC emissions immediately beyond the vicinity of the leak source or at the fenceline.

Chalmette Refinery has worked with LDEQ and Coast Guard response teams to survey and evaluate all potential sources of odors in the area, including at the refinery. In addition, a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew conducted overflights of the affected area.

The company and agency say they will continue to monitor air quality until the integrated response effort concurs that the root cause of odors has been identified and eliminated.


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