Jackson County

Alert sent after Chevron released excessive amount of pollutant into the air, officials say

According to alerts sent out by environmental agencies Wednesday morning, the Chevron refinery in Pascagoula released an excessive amount of nitrogen oxide into the air.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency reported the release of nitrogen oxide during the start-up of a flare stack about 10 a.m.

Jackson County Emergency Management director Earl Etheridge said the alert happens when the refinery “exceeds its reporting requirements.”

Nick Hatten with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality said anytime levels are exceeded, they take note.

Refinery spokesman Alan Sudduth said Chevron made the necessary notifications to local, state and federal agencies through the National Response Center.

“Most importantly,” he said, “there’s no danger to the community.”

Nitrogen oxides are a family of poisonous, highly reactive gases and are formed when fuel is burned at high temperatures, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. It’s emitted by vehicles and trucks, as well as power plants and industrial boilers.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs