"Louisiana Shell Refinery Left Spewing Chemicals After Hurricane Ida"

"Power outages from the storm have left air quality tracking systems out of commission, making public health concern hard to gauge"

"Behind a playground littered with downed tree branches, Shell’s refinery in Norco, Louisiana spewed black smoke from its stacks. The smell of rotten eggs, the signature scent of sulphur emissions, lingered in the air. In an effort to burn off toxic chemicals before and after Hurricane Ida, many industrial facilities sent the gases through smoke stacks topped with flares.

But the hurricane blew out some of those flares like candles, allowing harmful pollution into the air.

Health concerns linked to potential toxic exposure underscore the array of long-term impacts brought by the category 4 storm that struck south-east Louisiana earlier this week. As of Thursday afternoon, nearly a million homes and businesses were without power, leaving hundreds of thousands more without access to clean water. And with hundreds of chemical facilities located within the path of the hurricane, numerous air quality tracking systems were left out of commission. It’s unclear how long it will take to assess the full scope of the damage and its toll on residents."

Sara Sneath reports for the Guardian September 4, 2021.

Source: Guardian, 09/06/2021