Chalmette Refinery likely source of gas-like smell

Chalmette, La. - The Coast Guard, along with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality are responding to reports of an odor Wednesday.

The Coast Guard received the report of an odor extending throughout parts of the New Orleans area, including parts of Jefferson, Orleans and St. Bernard parishes around 5am Wednesday.

Responders have been deployed throughout the area and coordinated an investigation at the Chalmette Refining, LLC, facility in Chalmette.

The facility reported and quickly stopped a leak early Wednesday morning 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

Chalmette Refinery has worked with LDEQ and Coast Guard response teams most of the day to survey and evaluate all potential sources of odors in the area, including at the refinery.

"We apologize to neighbors for any inconvenience this leak incident may have caused," said Chalmette Refining, LLC, Janet Matsushita, manager. "The health and safety of neighbors, community, and employees are our top priority."

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

Neighbors who have concerns are welcome to call Chalmette Refining, LLC, at 504-281-1212. A claims hotline has also been set up at 866-752-6339.