Smelly fumes in South Jersey have been contained and identified, officials say

Authorities cracked the code on what stank of southern New Jersey this week, after authorities pulled out a truck that was giving off chemical fumes on Thursday morning.

According to New Jersey officials, the foul smell was reported in several counties before being identified on Wednesday.

A tanker truck at a truck stop was releasing a chemical that was causing the stench around Paulsboro, Gloucester County, officials said.

Gloucester County Emergency Management issued shelter-in-place around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday for East Greenwich, Paulsboro, Gibbstown and areas across the Delaware River after the fumes worsened. The problem was lifted about two hours later.

“It’s doing exactly what it’s supposed to. When the temperature hits a certain level, the ship itself will expel fumes. So it’s designed for that,” the East Greenwich Township Police Chief said on Wednesday. , Matthew Brenner. “There is no escape per se.”

The smell, which affected the noses of many South Jersey residents, led to multiple 911 calls to emergency crews around 3 p.m. Wednesday. Shortly after, authorities found the stinking vehicle in the TA truck service area on the 100 block of Berkley Road in Paulsboro near I-295 where it was emitting fumes from its rear tank truck.

A tanker truck at a truck stop was releasing a chemical that caused the stench around Paulsboro, NJ on August 10, 2022.


Officials say complaints have come from neighboring counties all the way to Buena Vista Township in Atlantic County.

However, the truck was not removed until Thursday morning.

The East Greenwich Township Police Department said the tanker was expelling vapors of a chemical fuel additive called Lubrizol 1395 (zinc alkyldithiophosphate).

According to its safety data sheet, the chemical may cause health risks, such as possible skin irritation and eye damage. However, its data does not tell the level of its toxicity when inhaled.

Hazmat teams monitored and tested the air quality around the scene and officials confirmed there was no risk to the public, despite the uncomfortable smell.

To remove the truck, officials evacuated the surrounding area within 200 feet of the tanker, as officials said the chemical is combustible under the right conditions. Officials said there was little risk to the public, however, especially as the truck is now retired.

No injuries were reported due to the chemicals released.

A representative for Lubrizol told ABC News Philadelphia station WPVI that they were aware of the situation and were investigating but had no further comment.

The Gloucester County Emergency Management Office will open a call center for residents with questions or concerns. The call center phone number is 856-384-6800. It will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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