49°F
Sponsored by

Strong Gas Smell Causes Concern in Susquehanna County

People living in part of Susquehanna County are asking questions after a strong smell of natural gas filled their neighborhood Thursday night.
People living in part of Susquehanna County are asking questions after a strong smell of natural gas filled their neighborhood Thursday night.

Some say the smell made their eyes burn. Others say they left their homes temporarily because the smell was so strong.

In a statement, Cabot Oil & Gas said that just before 6:00 PM Thursday night, there was an "inadvertent release" of mercaptan from its CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) fueling station in Springville Township.

Cabot officials say there was never a public safety concern but neighbors say they were never informed what the smell was.

Cathy Herne has lived along Phillips Road in Springville Township for nine years.

She was eating dinner Thursday night when the strong gas smell caused concern.

"It was immediate. You could smell and it actually made you a little nauseous. It was overpowering," Cathy Herne said.

Her neighbor, Cynthia Larson, smelled it too.

"It was overpowering, like I said, it made my eyes burn, a sickly smell. It's not something you want to walk outside and smell," Larson said.

According to a statement from Cabot Oil & Gas, there was an "inadvertent release" of mercaptan from the CNG fueling station right across the street.

Mercaptan is an odorant that is injected into natural gas to give it a distinct smell. Officials say no natural gas was released Thursday night.

"We heard the sirens go off and there was quite a bit of traffic over there going in-and-out, I guess checking to see what happened," Herne said.

Cabot Oil & Gas said it notified the local fire department and both the Susquehanna and Wyoming County 911 centers about the situation.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection was also notified Friday morning of the situation but a spokeswoman says her agency does not oversee CNG fueling stations like this one.

For neighbors, Eyewitness News was the first to tell them exactly what happened.

While they weren't upset, they wish someone from the gas company had put their minds at ease as soon as the release was contained Thursday night.

"It's scary because you don't know what is going to happen because you have those things over there," Larson said. "You don't know if they're going to blow up one day and we're right here."

"I wish they at least notified us that," Herne said. "It was overpowering."

A Cabot Oil & Gas spokesman could not be reached by phone Friday to find out exactly "how" the mercaptan was released into the atmosphere.

A Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman says her agency was told roughly a half-gallon of mercaptan was released. She also indicated that people called 911 from between 15 to 20 miles away from the CNG station to report the smell.
Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus