Leak at Chevron Refinery

Residents in the Pascagoula area may notice a scent of gasoline in the air over the next couple of days. This is due to a leak at the Chevron refinery. News 25’s Kendra Turley has details on the safety precautions Chevron is taking to keep residents in the surrounding area safe.
Sunday’s heavy rain and high waters brought concerns to many Pascagoula residents. An even bigger concern was the strong smell of gasoline in the air that followed. Pascagoula resident Connie Hobbs said, “As soon as I smelled gas, I turned around. I thought maybe the gas cans in our mower maybe the water had gotten to it. Then I thought it was the flooded cars out front.”
The heavy amount of rain that fell in such a short amount of time caused the lid on a tank at a Chevron refinery to partially collapse. Chevron Public Affairs Manager Alan Sudduth said, “We had a tank roof that tilted. When it tilted, it allowed the product that’s in the tank, the vapors and the odors from there, to escape.”
Sudduth tells New 25 the odor residents smelled was unpleasant but not unsafe. The tank had about 100 to 200 thousand barrels of gasoline blend stock inside of it. Some of that product leaked outside of the tank. None of that product leaked outside of the area that the tank is confined to or the refinery.
Chevron is currently in the process of emptying the contents out of the tank. The transfer should be complete by tomorrow morning. “We’re following all of our safety procedures here,” said Sudduth, “There’s an odor. We’ve notified certain people. We’ve notified local officials about the odor. We’ve notified some of our residents.”
Chevron conducted multiple air quality tests in surrounding areas throughout the day and will continue to air monitor until the product transfer is complete. “As far as I know, Chevron’s always fixed everything that’s went on. I’m not really concerned with it,” said Hobbs.
Only one of the tanks at the Pascagoula refinery experienced damage from the rain.

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