911 centers in at least four states were getting calls today about an odor of gas that can be traced to an oil spill yesterday at a refinery in Paulsboro, New Jersey.
The spill occurred Thursday at 1:15 p.m. from an oil tank at the Paulsboro Refinery Company facility. Refinery personnel discovered the leak shortly before 1:30 p.m. Crews were able to contain the oil before it reached the Delaware River.
The Department of Environmental Protection says the spill is not expected to impact the Delaware River local drinking water supplies. Numerous residents in Salem County , Delaware County, Delaware and Maryland have complained about the smell caused by the spill. Despite this, the DEP says air monitoring indicates the odor should not cause any major health effects.
Emergency management officials believe an oil spill at a New Jersey refinery is responsible for gas odors that have been reported in Lancaster and York counties.
Randall Gockley, Lancaster County's Emergency Management Coordinator, said the county's 911 center received several reports of the odor throughout Friday morning and afternoon.
He said fire companies were sent to investigate, but found no gas leaks.
"What people are smelling is the fumes. They are attempting to control it, but the wind is blowing it toward us," said Elise Armacost, a Baltimore County police spokeswoman.
Armacost emphasized that the smell was not a public health hazard and would likely dissipate when the wind changed direction.
(Kevin of Del. EMA) Wison said the New Castle County 911 center has received numerous calls about the odor this morning and is asking that people refrain from calling 911 for petroleum odors unless they believe a true emergency exists.
Delmarva Power said it was experiencing a high volume of gas odor complaints because of the oil spill, which is similar to natural gas.
Delmarva is asking natural gas customers in northern New Castle County to recognize that there is a strong outside odor emanating from this oil spill.
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