“Smells Like Pollution in Chalmette”

Anna Hrybyk 2By Anna Hrybyk, Program Director

LABB received 10 reports to the iWitness Pollution Map on Thursday May 9, 2013 from the Greater New Orleans/Chalmette area concerning sulfur and petroleum odors and flaring from the Chalmette facilities.  Many more came in on Friday May 10, 2013 and through the weekend as well.

Very strong gas smell in New Orleans

5/12/13 0:05

Louisiana Avenue & Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70115, USA There is a very strong gas smell bunsan-burner type/gas range near
Louisiana Avenue and Magazine 70115.
Really strong gas smell in New Orleans

5/12/13 0:01

Louisiana Avenue & Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70115, USA I am at Louisiana and Magazine Street and outside. It’s about 11 o’clock and now I am smelling a really strong gas smell.  There’s no wind at this time but I’m not outside much so I don’t have much health effect.  If I were I would probably have a headache.  Thanks.
Sulfur smell like bad eggs in Covington

5/11/13 0:09

Interstate 12, Covington, LA 70433, USA Sulphur smell. Like bad eggs @ I- 12 and 190. Covington LA 11PM
Stinky chemically smell in New Orleans

5/10/13 22:19

Mid-City, New Orleans, LA, USA Stinky smell in Midcity New Orleans tonight…chemically
Sulfur smell blowing in through car vents

5/10/13 21:26

2710–3198 S Claiborne Ave, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States Stinky stinky
Very strong sulfur smell, came into house in New Orleans

5/10/13 20:09

734 France Street, New Orleans, LA 70117, USA Very strong sulfur smell. Even came into the house.Wind blowing from
chalmette. 734 france street in new orleans.  My eyes are watering and my nose is tingling.
petro chemical odor in Lower Ninth Ward, New orleans

5/10/13 13:15

430 Tupelo Street, New Orleans, LA 70117, USA Strong petro-chemical odor in the air right now at 430 Tupelo St. New Orleans, LA 70117.  7:15 pm, friday 5/10/13
Strong sulfur smell, mixed with fertilizer type smell, flaring, haze in Chalmette

5/9/13 20:35

8606 West Saint Bernard Highway, Chalmette, LA 70043, USA Hi I am in front of the entrance to the Chalmette National Cemetary on St. Bernard parish very close to the RAIN CII plant and I’m smelling a sulfur smell, it smells almost like a strange, almost fertilizer type smell mixed in with it.  There is very strong sulfur and a little bit of haze.  I don’t see any flaring there.  Oh no, wait, I see thy are flaring.  Ok.  Kristen 504-729-0550.  Thank you. Bye.
Flaring at Valero Meraux

5/9/13 20:28

East Saint Bernard Highway & Mary Ann Drive, Meraux, LA 70075, USA Hi I am in front of the Valero Meraux refinery at Mary Anne Drive and St. Bernard Highway and I see that it is flaring, it’s not creating a bunch of smoke but they are flaring and the wind direction is heading to the north.  So its heading away from me so I can’t detect anything, if there’s a stinky odor or anything coming from it.  I wanted to let you know about the flaring.  My phone number is 504-729-0550.  It’s Kristen.  Ok, bye.
Strong oily smell, nausea and mild headache

5/9/13 19:08

Magnolia Street, New Orleans, LA 70115, USA (1/2) Reporting a strong oily smell beginning at 1, 3, 4, am on may 8
through today may 9th. Can bs smelled from uptown new orleans 70115. Nauaea
and mild headache. Very disturbing. Thank you
Jason Miner
Magnolia st
New Orleans LA–
Sent using SMS-to-email.
Smells strong like sulfur, two flares burning in Chalmette

5/9/13 17:21

West Saint Bernard Highway & Jackson Boulevard, Chalmette, LA 70043, USA Hi I’m on St. Bernard Highway right by the RAIN CII plant at the entrance of Jackson and St. Bernard Highway.  It smells strong like sulfur and there are two flares burning.  Right now I am at the entrance of CHalmette Refining and there’s a heavy stench in the air.  It smells like sulfur mixed with some other smelly thing.  the wind direction is blowing, goodness, I guess a little bit northish.  It’s blowing from the refinery right towards St. Bernard Highway right in the direction of where I am.  So and this is Kristen.  If you need more information you know where to find me. Thank you.  Bye.
Smells like pollution in Chalmette

5/9/13 15:53

Chalmette, LA, USA Smells like pollution in chalmette
Air quality still bad in uptown

5/9/13 10:39

Saint Charles Avenue & Napoleon Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70115, USA 9:30 am 5/9. St. Charles n Napoleon. Air quality still bad
Petroleum smell Uptown New Orleans

5/9/13 9:49

Tulane University, 6823 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA My neighbor and I both smell a petroleum odor in the neighborhood this morning.  The last time I smelled this kind of odor here, there had been an incident at the Chalmette refinery.  We live Uptown near Tulane University.  We aren’t experiencing any apparent health effects at this point.  Thank you for tracking this!  Laura Stell  tel 504-861-1143
Burning Asphalt Smell in the Air

5/9/13 1:54

Camp Street & State Street, New Orleans, LA 70115, USA I’m smelling a terrible asphalt/burning smell in the air similar to one I smelled down in the French Quarter back in March.
Smells like Chalmette in Uptown New Orleans

5/9/13 1:13

Saint Charles Avenue & Napoleon Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70115, USA 12:10 am 5/9.
St. Charles n Napoleon. Smells like Chalmette
Smells like sulfur

5/9/13 1:10

4730 South Liberty Street, New Orleans, LA 70115, USA Heavy sulfur smell blowing in through the windows.  Scratchy throat.
Flare smell rotten egg tar mix

5/8/13 21:26

East Saint Bernard Highway & Octavia Drive, Chalmette, LA 70043, USA On st banard qnd Octavia there is a flare smell rotten egg tar mix
flaring at Valero

5/5/13 21:00

2700 Ventura Drive, Chalmette, LA 70043, USA return of night time flaring at Valero, noticed last two nights
Valero flaring

5/4/13 21:00

2700 Ventura Drive, Chalmette, LA 70043, USA around 9pm flaring at Valero refinery in Chalmette, causing sinus issues
Odor or oil in air

5/2/13 1:21

Aurora Drive & Brighton Place, New Orleans, LA 70131, USA Smell of oil/crude persisting in the air. 5:15 am (CDT)

The response from Lee Lemond, LDEQ Emergency Responder on this was as follows:

I was in Chalmette on 5/9/13 and visited all 3 major SO2 emitters while out there and performed air monitoring downwind. No detections were noted.

–          We received a complaint on 5/9/13 stating a haze near Ch. Ref/Rain from the St. Bernard FD.
–          From Peter Cazeaux referring to 5/9/13: “There were elevated SO2 levels at the Chalmette Vista site on 5/9/13 at 16:00 CST logger .”

Valero Meraux

Email update from me on 5/9/13:

·         Valero Meraux has been flaring and emitting SO2 over the RQ since last Friday (5/3/13).

·         Current release rates are between 20 to 40 lbs/ hour.

·         This is related to the hydrocracker unit startup; however after other measures to fix the problem have failed, the Hydrocracker unit will need to be shutdown in order for repairs.

·         The shutdown is going to occur next Wednesday (5/15/13) and can’t last any longer than 10 days (due to the catalyst).

·         They have reported no complaints.

·         I monitored today downwind on Jacobs Dr and no detections of SO2 occurred. There was a noticeable odor.


·         New SO2 release associated pushed emissions to approximately 400 lbs/hour.

·         This incident was secured that evening; though flaring has been ongoing.

Chalmette Refining

On 5/9/13:

·         SO2 flaring likely to exceed RQ; though permitted.

·         Associated with the shutdown of the Alky unit.

·         Air monitoring by their contractor was in place.

·         This flaring lasted through Friday evening, 5/10/13.


·         SO2 release incident; likely to exceed RQ.

·         A high pressure alarm went down preventing computer control until it was isolated.

·         Began at approx. 7:20pm and lasted to 10:30 pm.

This entry was posted in Grassroots Mapping- Gulf Coast, Oil Refineries, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to “Smells Like Pollution in Chalmette”

  1. anonymous says:

    what are the investigation results for the April 29th industrial flaring on the west bank, across from Tulane University? that may be the source of the Uptown problems.

    Description http://www.oilspill.labucketbrigade.org/reports/view/10032
    The clouds above the west portion of the sky were pulsating red so I did some investigating and discovered there is a plant flaring something in that direction. Looks to be across the river from Tulane’s uptown campus. I cannot smell anything from it. It has been going for about an hour now

  2. anonymous says:

    video here:

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