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Glatfelter equipment malfunction causes gas leak panic throughout York County

David Weissman
York Dispatch
Work continues at Glatfelter paper company in Spring Grove after an equipment malfunction at the plant caused a gas leak according to an alert from the Spring Grove Borough, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. The smell of gas spread as far as York City. As a result, more than 30 gas leaks were reported Friday morning throughout York County. Bill Kalina photo

An equipment malfunction Friday morning at Glatfelter paper company in Spring Grove created an odor that led to dozens of reports of gas leaks throughout York County.

More than 30 gas leaks were reported Friday, Jan. 19, throughout the county, primarily in York City, but the smell people thought was a gas leak was actually a malfunction in the paper mill's venting collection system, according to a company news release.

Work continues at Glatfelter paper company in Spring Grove after an equipment malfunction at the plant caused a gas leak according to an alert from the Spring Grove Borough, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. The smell of gas spread as far as York City. As a result, more than 30 gas leaks were reported Friday morning throughout York County. Bill Kalina photo

Eileen Beck, a Glatfelter spokeswoman, wrote in a statement that the odor is not harmful to the public and is associated with the pulping process.

Beck emphasized that the malfunction was corrected in a timely manner, and their operations remain below venting limits established by the state Department of Environmental Protection and federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Russ Bedell, spokesman for Columbia Gas, said the company received a lot of calls Friday morning and investigated, but all indications were that the smell people were reporting was not coming from gas leaks in their lines.

York County's 911 log Friday, Jan. 19, shows more than 30 reports of gas leaks, primarily in York City.