Harris County Pollution Control working to find source of natural gas smell in La Porte

LA PORTE, Texas (KTRK) -- Residents in the La Porte area are continuing to deal with reports of strong natural gas odors.

Officials with the Harris County Pollution Control said they are working to find what is causing that smell. According to officials in a Facebook post, the smell has been reported mostly west of Bay Area Boulevard and Sens Road.

City of La Porte officials said there is no immediate risk associated with the odor. They also said the odor may be related to impacts from last month's winter storm, according to the Facebook post.

If you smell the odor, you're asked to call the Harris County Pollution Control complaint line at 713-920-2831.

The smell issue was also addressed last week during a press briefing in Houston in which Houston Fire Department's Chief Sam Pena said crews had not found the source of odors in Clear Lake.

"We got several calls of the smell of natural gas in the Clear Lake area. I want to share with the public that it's not a gas leak," said Pena. "[HFD has] gone out there and searched, we haven't found a source. We believe it's just the odorant, that's added to the natural gas - the mercaptan. And this is a reminder, if you smell natural gas inside your homes, go outside. Do not use a phone, do not flip any switches on or off. Go outside, use your phone, and call 911 and we'll go out there and evaluate the incident."

In a 4:29 p.m. update on Twitter, the La Porte Emergency Management posted that pollution control continues working on the odor affecting the communities.

In a 6:00 p.m. update, INEOS BMC shared that its company in La Porte was not the source.

"This morning our site along with several neighboring facilities experienced a mercaptan-type odor originating from an external source. We notified the City of La Porte and sent out a communication on this odor. Recently we learned that our communication was misinterpreted and some assumed the source of odor originated at our site. This courtesy message is to clarify that INEOS La Porte site was not the source," the company wrote.

La Porte OEM said it will keep residents updated on social media and CAER online.
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