Officials identify cause of mysterious odor in St. Charles Parish

Published: Jun. 20, 2014 at 12:31 AM CDT
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The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality is investigating the mysterious odor in St....
The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality is investigating the mysterious odor in St. Charles Parish. (WVUE)

ST. ROSE, LA (WVUE) - State officials say they have determined the cause of a foul odor that made some residents sick.

Officials say that a crude oil refining process coupled with vapor recovery caused odor spikes in St. Charles Parish.

The odor caused several residents to bring their complaints of a bad odor to Governor Bobby Jindal on Thursday.

Some people from St. Rose packed into cars this morning and went to Baton Rouge. They are complaining about a sulphur-like smell that has been in the air for 12 days.

Last week, the state department of environmental quality monitored the situation and said there was no toxic risk. But, many people in the area said the smell is making them sick and making it hard to breathe.

Now they are requesting medical assistance from doctors throughout the state.

"I had a double lung transplant and I just made two years," Jeraldine Young, a St. Rose resident said. "I can get lung cancer from just this odor, so I have to wear a mask when that odor comes."

Shell and IMTT have both performed stack tests under the supervision of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality in an effort to locate odor sources on the St. Rose site. The tests determined emissions to be well within permit limits. Officials say all ambient air test results from the site and in the community met EPA air quality standards.

Shell and IMTT say they are working collaboratively to immediately install additional odor control equipment to remove trace non-toxic sulfur compounds.

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