After being plagued by an elusive smell all day yesterday, West Deptford Emergency Management Coordinator Joseph Gill said that the source of the odor has been identified.
While the odor has a gas smell to it, it wasn't a gas leak, Gill said. The smell stemmed from Sunoco purging gas lines at the Eagle Point Refinery as part of the demolishing work currently taking place.
Sunoco will continue to purge the gas lines for the next few days, according to Gill, and during that time the odor will most likely shift from area to area depending on the wind patterns.
Even with the odor still hanging in the air, Gill reiterated there is no danger to West Deptford residents or residents in neighboring towns.
“That odor tends to linger,” said Gill. “But the meters are picking up nothing.”
With the fire department monitoring the air, Gill said that there has not been any detection of natural gas in the air; it is only the odor added to natural gas that seems to be remaining. Natural gas is odorless, yet during its processing an additive is mixed with the gas to give it a distinct and foul odor. Gill explains the odor is a proactive measure aimed to promote early detection in the event of a gas leak.
The South Jersey Times reported that West Deptford police were out looking for the source of the smell early Wednesday, after it was noticed along the Delaware River.
Today it seems that the wind has blown the smell directly up Red Bank Avenue into Woodbury, Gill said; he'd already received a phone call from Underwood Memorial Hospital about it.