Valero refinery release sprays vehicles, closes section of St. B - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Valero refinery release sprays vehicles, closes section of St. Bernard Highway

Updated:

MERAUX, La. - A section of East St. Bernard Highway in front of the Valero Meraux Refinery was closed Friday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. because of a release of an oil-like liquid from the refinery.

Sheriff James Pohlmann said several sheriff's cars, at least two school buses and numerous other vehicles were struck by the dark spray as they passed on the roadway or were parked in a lot across the street and south of railroad tracks that parallel the highway.

No injuries were reported, and refinery officials spoke to several vehicle owners about having their cars cleaned. The exact number of vehicles affected wasn't immediately known.

About a one-mile section of East St. Bernard Highway from Jacob Drive in eastern Chalmette to Munster Drive in Meraux was closed by the Sheriff's Office because of the problem, Sheriff Pohlmann said.

State Police hazardous materials officials were on the scene as well as the Sheriff's Office and Fire Department.

A private firm, U.S. Environmental Services, was called to the scene and sand was placed on the road to absorb the liquid, and then removed afterward so the highway could be opened.

Most drivers use East Judge Perez Drive in the area, which was not affected by the release.

There were few details on what caused the incident, but a tank at the refinery reportedly malfunctioned, causing the release.

 

 

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