Port Allen looking for details, long-term plans following tank leak

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Posted: Aug 1, 2011 10:19 PM by Ashley Rodrigue
Updated: Aug 1, 2011 10:19 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: Port Allen, tank, leak, Center Point, DEQ, ammonia

PORT ALLEN- People in Port Allen, near the Port of Greater Baton Rouge wanted answers Monday night about a chemical leak two weeks ago and made their concerns heard loud and clear.

On July 18, Ammonia leaked while crews were moving asphalt into a storage tank. People complained the smell upset their stomachs and burned their eyes, but the company that manages the tanks says no one was in danger.

At the Monday community meeting, the company responsible for the vapor leak told a crowd of more than 100 that a permanent fixture is in the works now, and the Department of Environmental Quality told the crowd they were making sure of it.

For some people, that was enough to move forward.

Port Allen Mayor R.J. Loupe said, "Now we're hoping that they will learn, a lesson learned and put scrubbers on these tanks and put a stop to this type of odor and smell and eyes burning, and all that good stuff, so that's where I'm at."

But some homeowners are still in the dark about what happened in the past, and can't look to the future without those answers.

Robin Woodring said, "I feel like DEQ has still not gotten enough answers fast enough, to satisfy me and this meeting itself, to the questions that were there before this incident happened."

DEQ vows to meet with the community ahead of any future permit decisions for the company responsible for the accident, including its request to expand.

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