Residents in St. Rose know they are surrounded by plants and refineries. Most say they can put up with the noise, but not the stink.
“All night (noises) and then the smell be coming from over there. It stinks,” exclaims St. Rose resident Gloria Smith.
Smith is one of several fed up and wanting answers. For over a week now St. Rose residents have been dealing with a sickening rotten egg smell associated with sulfur, and while Louisiana DEQ crews have been on site for a week no one has pinpointed the source of the stench.
“And they can’t find out where it’s coming from? That’s kind of strange,” questions St. Rose resident Harry Smith.
St. Rose resident Audrey Vinnett says, “It’s just all over. It’s even in the house! One day I got so choked up; like it was all in your throat.”
St. Rose resident Johnathan Eugene says, “It’s just ridiculous to come home and have this odor that’s in the air and makes you sick to your stomach.”
“All night I’ve been throwing up and I’ve been sitting on the toilette just now. My stomach is just like it’s burning; hurting real bad, describes Gloria Smith.
“My sister and them came from Baton Rouge. We were barbecuing, and the smell, they just took off in their car and left,” says St. Rose resident Edwin Brown.
Brown lives across the street from the Shell refinery. It’s one of the locations in question. Louisiana DEQ crews believe the smell is either coming from Shell or from the IMTT, but LDEQ crews they believe the stench is not hazardous and they maintain that all levels tested so far are normal and residents are safe.
LDEQ Emergency Responder Lee Lemond was asked how the smell could not be hazardous if it is making people sick. Lemond says, “I understand that. I think that’s what we’re looking to see; what else there could be. We obviously want to find the source of this odor, and I don’t blame anyone in this neighborhood that they want to know the source of this odor, and I can guarantee you we will find the source!”
Meanwhile Anne Rolfes with the Louisiana Bucket Brigade says she feels not enough is being done to ensure residents are safe. Rolfes feels the EPA should step in and residents should be evacuated.
“It is that serious when you have people who are vomiting for a week because of chemical exposure, and meanwhile our governor is hanging out with the Duck Dynasty people. Shouldn’t he be in St. Rose!”
The state confirms trace amounts hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide detected in the air, however they say it’s not enough to be considered toxic or hazardous.