CHALMETTE, LA (WVUE) - The heavy flaring at the Chalmette Refinery Saturday night that lit up the sky around 11:15 p.m. was the result of an accident during a turnaround project and was not routine, according to a spokesperson with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.
The spokesperson adds that the project resulted in a number of flares being shut down. During the project a malfunction with a compressor caused it to trip and shut down. As a result of this, emissions were re-routed to the one large flare.
According to plant officials, the flaring came from a safety device that was designed to safely combust hydrocarbons. Personnel at the refinery said they notified the appropriate officials and agencies, but DEQ said they were not informed of the incident until after it had happened.
Refinery officials said the plant continues to operate according to plan and they apologized to surrounding residents for any inconvenience caused by the flaring.
Spokeswoman Elizabeth Ellison-Frost issued the following statement:
Earlier in the week, St. Bernard Parish Government posted the following message from Chalmette Refinery on their Facebook page: