"There's a huge, big ole fire with all this black smoke coming out of it," one concerned caller told WWL First News.
A news release from St. Charles Parish says, "The Shell Norco Manufacturing Complex is experiencing elevated flaring caused by an operational upset at one of its units. The site will be flaring with heavy smoke for a period of time."
Spokeswoman Renee Allemand Simpson tells us, "There are no protective actions necessary and no threat to public health."
Founding Director of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade Anne Rolfes disagrees. "There is benzine, which is a know carcinogen, going into the community of Norco in St. Charles Parish," she insisted. "If you look at the numbers from the last year, they were flaring repeatedly."
She says it is part of a larger problem.
"Louisiana's 17 refineries reported 301 accidents - an average of 5.7 per week - to the state of Louisiana in 2011," Rolfes reported.
She says they have worked with other groups to compile a new report. It is posted here... http://www.labucketbrigade.org/
Simpson says they are in "constant communication with Shell Motiva, and if there is a health threat we know about it immediately."
(Photo from Louisiana Bucket Brigade report )