A hazardous-materials team Wednesday will oversee the process of treating and neutralizing a small spill of a chemical used to “odorize” natural gas at an abandoned oil field in the Compton area.

The problem, involving the chemical “mercaptan,” was reported about 11:20 a.m. Thursday near Main Street and Rosecrans Avenue, and resulted in complaints of a foul smell from numerous residents.

The final step includes removing the empty tank that contained the chemical, scheduled for Friday, Sept. 18, according to the county fire department.

“While the minor spill has since been stopped, the initial pungent, rotten egg odor has lingered but is harmless and non-toxic,” a county fire statement said. “Please be assured the smell is not a gas leak and it poses no fire or health concern.”

Personnel from the South Coast Air Quality Management District have been on scene monitoring the removal process.

A recorded and updated phone message directed toward those who live or work near the affected area will be sent via Alert LA County Wednesday morning, informing the public that there are no health or hazard risks due to any possible odors, along with information on the tank removal.

Community members who want additional information may contact 213-200-2477.

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