DEQ says foul odors across Uptown not a health risk

DEQ says foul odors across Uptown not a health risk

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - For more than two years, people who live in the Uptown area have voiced concern about odors coming from industrial plants on the Westbank of Jefferson Parish. The Department of Environmental Quality identified a number of possible sources.

“Based on the products that they use, sometimes they can give off odors,” says Brian Tusa.

DEQ says wind out of the south can push the odors across the river into Uptown neighborhoods.

The Agency says inspectors respond and investigate every complaint looking at wind direction and even conduct surveillance in the area where the complaint is coming from.

“They will make contact with the facilities that may have some type of odor related to the complaint,” says Tusa.

DEQ also has an air monitoring site on Marrero Road, about a half a mile southwest of the Vertex Energy plant.

New Orleans Councilman Jay Banks asked, “What do we need to do to have more of those placed out because we get complaints from the Irish Channel on a regular basis?”

DEQ, though, says right now the agency is dealing with the landfill odors in Jefferson Parish.

“They said once that project is done, based on what’s gong on, they’ll look at the possibility of putting it somewhere in the Uptown area,” says Tusa.

The monitoring site that’s in place now, takes samples of hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide and methane. It’s been there since December of 2017.

“To my knowledge we have not had any exceed any health standards,” says Tusa.

DEQ says while the plants could be emitting the chemicals that have an odor, it does not mean it’s harmful to a person’s health.

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