Officials: Flares spotted near plant no cause for concern
BATON ROUGE - Officials say flares with heavy black smoke in the sky Tuesday afternoon is no cause for concern.
Photos show huge flares coming from a nearby plant. Though the flaring may look worrisome, officials say it's done as a safety precaution—the flares won't cause any type of danger.
A spokesperson at ExxonMobil tells WBRZ there's been a change in EPA requirements for flaring. Essentially, adding more steam makes the flare look less threatening. More smoke and less steam produces a more complete burn.
Exxon released the following statement Tuesday:
"The ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Refinery is experiencing some flaring today due to an equipment malfunction. Flares are safety control devices intended to consume excess hydrocarbons. We are working to minimize flaring as operations return to normal, and we apologize for any inconvenience this flaring may cause. All appropriate agencies have been notified.
The safety of our workforce and community is ExxonMobil's highest priority."