ROSELAND, NJ - The odor of Mercaptan - the distinctively putrid smelling chemical additive which is intentionally mixed in with the odorless natural gas to make it easy to detect - is no longer present at the corner of Eisenhower and Eagle Rock Avenue in Roseland. For months, people have passed by and noted the foul smelling odor in the air and assumed it was coming from the gas compressor station which is being built in the area. However, when Williams Transco shut off all of their gas supply for three months this year, the odor was still in the atmosphere. It was at that point that Roseland Mayor John Duthie initiated contact with the local utility, Public Service Electric and Gas (PSEG), and requested that they look into the situation from their end.
As it turns out, PSEG conducted an investigation and discovered an underground natural gas leak at the intersection of Eisenhower and Eagle Rock. An old valve cover was eroding, allowing natural gas, and its Mercaptan additive, to escape into the air above the street.
According to Duthie, this past Thursday PSEG removed the metal plates that had been in place above the leaking valve road and replaced the valve cover with a new one that they needed to have specially fabricated. On Friday they filled the hole with asphalt and repaved the road.
Credit: Carolyne Volpe Curley
“This is good news for the Roseland residents who have been concerned about the odor,” expressed the mayor. “I'm grateful to the folks at PSEG for making their repairs as quickly as possible and for ultimately making the odor of mercaptan dissipate. They were cooperative at all times and kept us informed of the situation throughout the process.”
As of this past weekend, the smell of Mercaptan has disappeared, indicative that there is no longer any natural gas escaping into the atmosphere from the leaking valve.