Residents of area complained of burning eyes, shortness of breath Thursday night
The state Department of Environmental Quality has sent its mobile air monitoring lab and field staff to the Chalmette area to pinpoint the source of a chemical odor that prompted residents of St. Bernard and West Jefferson Parish to complain of burning eyes and shortness of breath Thursday night.
DEQ spokesman Rodney Mallett tells 99.5FM they believe the odor is sulfur dioxide, or SO2.
Mallett says there are three facilities located in the area where the odor was reported that are permitted to release SO2, and there's also naturally occurring SO2 in that area.
Initially, it was reported that the odor appeared to be coming from the Rain CII facility in St. Bernard Parish, but the company denied that it was responsible and the DEQ said it was too early to determine the source.
Complaints about the odor came from residents of Chalmette and Terrytown.