BEAUMONT — A spokesman for Williams Transco natural gas pipeline said Friday that the rotten egg smell around the Chapin Dehydration Station on Tuesday was not the result of a gas leak.
Transco operates the dehydration station, which removes liquid from natural gas that forms as it travels through pipelines, for PVR Partners, the station owner.
Williams spokesman Christopher L. Stockton said the presence of an odor of mercaptan, which gives natural gas its smell, occurred when a Transco technician responded to a lower level odorant alarm while he was switching odorant tanks, which are part of a sealed system that does not vent or leak any odorant during this process.
“We believe what could have contributed to the odor is that the door to the building was left open during the procedure. This is not uncommon; however, high winds that evening may have caused the odorant smell to spread more quickly than normal,” Stockton said.
During normal operation, the door is closed, with louver vents for air exchange and a charcoal filter system that draws on the building interior that strips odor before venting the building. The winds were high, and perhaps blowing in through the building louver and out the door. This would have made the charcoal filter system less effective, Stockton said.
“We sincerely regret any concern or inconvenience that this event caused our neighbors in the area. We make a continuous and deliberate effort to be a good and inconspicuous neighbor and we regret when we cause any disturbance to the community,” he said.