BALTIMORE, MD (Feb. 24, 2012) – Maryland officials have determined that strong petroleum odors today in areas of the state are being caused by a large oil spill at a refinery in New Jersey.
Weather conditions that allowed the odor to reach Maryland are expected to change later today, causing the odor to subside.
State and local emergency officials received numerous reports early today of the petroleum odors, primarily in Harford and Cecil counties. State officials conferred with utility operators to identify any potential local source of the odors, but none was found.
According to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the spill at the Paulsboro Refining Company facility in Gloucester County was discovered yesterday afternoon, and by later yesterday about 6.6 million gallons of oil had leaked into a 12-million-gallon emergency containment area.
New Jersey officials said the spill is not expected to impact the Delaware River, and that air monitoring indicates there should be no health effects from odors caused by the spill. There are not believed to be significant health or safety concerns related to this odor within Maryland.
The National Weather Service has indicated that a cold front expected to arrive in Maryland today should shift wind directions and cause the odor to subside in Maryland.
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