Strange odor in Houston not related to LyondellBasell facility, officials say

HOUSTON – The strange odor that swept through the heart of Houston on Monday morning is no longer believed to be related to an incident at a facility in Channelview, according to officials.

The sulfur-like smell was first reported about 10 a.m. in the downtown area of Houston and spread west along the Interstate 10 corridor.

"We never really had a concern because our air quality monitoring never showed it was a public health issue, but we are still monitoring cause it was definitely a cause for concern, and we're still trying to identify the source," said Houston Fire Department Captain Ruy Lozano.

Officials at the Houston Fire Department originally reported that the odor was related to a chemical release the LyondellBasell facility, 15 miles east of the city.

However, a statement from LyondellBasell reported there was a release of oil from a piece of equipment used to control temperature. That oil was contained and never traveled offsite, according to the statement.

“We understand there are reports of an odor around downtown Houston,” the company said in a statement. “At this time, it does not appear that the events are connected.”

Houston firefighters later confirmed that the smell is not related to the incident at LydondellBasell. They said investigators are still trying to determine where the odor originated.

While it is still unclear where the odor came from, officials assured the public that it is not hazardous.