UPDATED (11:45 a.m.)—Harford County is experiencing an overwhelming odor of natural gas and officials believe it has to do with a leak at a plant in New Jersey.
Harford County Government spokesman Robert Thomas said in a statement at 10 a.m. Friday, the odor "poses no significant threat to public health" and it "should be leaving the area and dissipating during the day."
The same statement confirmed the leak in a West Deptford Patch story was the source of the odor in Maryland.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection said in a statement, "Petroleum products have a low odor threshold, meaning they can be smelled readily even at very low levels that do not cause serious health risks.
The statement also said, "Air monitoring also indicates there should be no health effects from the odors caused by the spill."
Harford County acknowledged the odor just before 9 a.m., when Emergency Operations Manager Rick Ayers put out the following Connect-CTY message to the entire county: "Harford County has received several 9-11 calls reporting gas leaks along the Route 40 corridor. At this time, we believe the source of the gas leak smell is from a plant in New Jersey. At this time, there has been no gas leak source identified in Harford County. New Castle, DE and Cecil County fire departments have also been running numerous calls for service. Thank you and be safe."
The Harford County Emergency Operations Center had received 35 calls for service relating to the smell as of 10 a.m.
The and Aberdeen Volunteer Fire Department responded to numerous calls before 8 a.m. Friday, with residents and business owners complaining of the smell of natural gas. Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS spokesman Dave Williams said there was a high call volume Friday morning.
Because of the volume of calls, volunteer agencies in Harford County are treating the incidents as non-emergencies unless the odor is in a building.
"Atmosphere conditions are just bringing everything down the Route 40 corridor," Williams told .
A BGE representative confirmed to early Friday morning that they are not conducting any business in the area that would lead to a significant gas leak.
Stay with Patch for updates.
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