PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - There has been another mishap at the Chevron Refinery in Pascagoula. The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality confirms 10,000 gallons of an oil product spilled sometime before midnight Thursday.
An MDEQ inspector on site Friday reported Chevron has the hydrocarbon product contained in a ditch on its property, and there's little risk to air or water exposure.
"Chevron is in the process of picking it up with vacuum trucks and putting it back into the process system," said Ernie Shirley, MDEQ's enforcement chief.
Shirley said Chevron reported the spill to MDEQ around midnight. Exactly what happened is under investigation. Shirley described the incident as "a process upset."
"There was a problem with the regular refining process, and liquid material that was supposed to go one place went another place and overflowed at the flare stacks onto the ground and collected in a ditch," Shirley said.
The ditch connects to several small retention ponds on the Chevron property which are used for firefighting and water treatment at the plant. Though those ponds eventually could connect to the gulf, Shirley said the risk is minimal.
"We expect them to keep this on their property," said Shirley.
This spill is the second incident at Chevron in recent weeks. Last month, the roof on a storage tanker partially collapsed, spilling approximately 4 million gallons of hydrocarbon material and releasing gasoline fumes into the air prompting complaints from residents and requiring additional air monitoring outside the plant.
Chevron released this statement just before 3 p.m. Friday: