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Atmos Energy releases statement regarding odor in Odessa

Atmos Energy is actively responding to odor calls in the Odessa area.
Atmos Energy is actively responding to odor calls in the Odessa area.(CBS7 NEWS)
Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 11:58 AM CST
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - In a press release, Atmos Energy has stated that the smell that has been in the air around Odessa since Wednesday evening is a result of a chemical used to detect gas leaks.

The chemical, mercaptan is harmless and nontoxic. The chemical has a rotten egg smell. Atmos Energy has reported that they have not found any leaks and that the smell is the result of an excess of the mercaptan.

The full statement:

Atmos Energy responded to a higher than normal number of odor calls the past two days in Odessa. In responding to those calls, our highly trained technicians verified that our system is operating safely and did not find any hazardous leaks on our system; therefore, no evacuations were issued by Atmos Energy.

Because natural gas has no scent or color, mercaptan, which is a harmless, nontoxic chemical that has a rotten egg smell, is added to the natural gas we deliver. We follow precise steps to ensure proper levels or mercaptan are in the natural gas we deliver, so a person with a normal sense of smell will notice a leak if one happens.

We believe the source of the odor the past two days is excess mercaptan. If too much mercaptan is inadvertently added to the system, it causes a higher than normal concentration of the odor that is associated with a gas leak. The safety of the public, our employees and our system is our highest priority, and we have investigated every odor call received over the last two days and have verified that our system is operating safely and did not find any hazardous leaks. More information on mercaptan is available here: https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/safety-awareness/pipeline/pipeline-leak-recognition-and-what-do

We appreciate the residents who did the right thing by calling our emergency number. We respond to every odor call and will continue to do so as part of our vision to be the safest provider of natural gas services.

Thank you also to Odessa Fire Rescue and Odessa Police Department for their continued support and care of our customers.

If you think you smell gas, as always, we ask that you please call the Atmos Energy emergency line at 1.866.322.8667, so that we can have a highly trained technician immediately respond and investigate. To learn how to recognize a natural gas leak using all of your senses, go to www.atmosenergy.com/safety/recognizing-leak.

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