The Thursday morning release of pressure via a relief valve at the ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Plastics Plant near Baker created a loud noise that could have startled neighbors but didn’t pose a health hazard, ExxonMobil officials said.
The loud noise could be heard about 11 a.m. from the La. 19 plant, said Lana Venable, ExxonMobil Baton Rouge spokesperson.
Officials notified the state Department of Environmental Quality that there could be a reportable quantity of ethylene released, but calculations were still being done Thursday night. A reportable quantity in East Baton Rouge Parish is a release of 100 pounds of ethylene or more.
“ExxonMobil monitored air quality at the facility fence line as a precaution. All levels were below detection limits,” Venable wrote in a statement. “We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our neighbors.”
There were no injuries and no shelters in place called for either inside or outside the plant, she said.
According to company fact sheets about the facility, the plastics plant sits on 118 acres and has 214 full-time and 120 contract employees. The plant makes low-density polyethylene, which is used in the manufacturing of plastic films, adhesives, oil additives, car hoses and belts, and other items.
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