Gas leak fixed

BOZEMAN, Mont. - After dozens of reports came in to Bozeman’s dispatch about a natural gas smell in the air on Tuesday morning, Northwestern Energy is letting residents know that the smell is the result of routine maintenance.

Somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 calls came in from around Bozeman, including from one elementary school, concerned about the smell of natural gas outside.

Northwestern Energy says the smell is the result of a process called a natural gas purge.

A spokesperson for the company told Montana Right Now that the smell comes from a “blow down,” where engineers cut into a section of the natural gas transmission pipeline to test its integrity. During the process, some natural gas is released into the air.

While the gas disperses quickly, the smell sticks around a little longer.

There is no threat to the public and the smell is expected to be gone within a few hours.

All of the reports this afternoon were about a natural gas smell outside, but if you smell gas inside, make sure to exit the house or building immediately without using any electronics (including cell phones). When you are a safe distance away, call 911 and Northwestern Energy.

Northwestern adds that anyone who called in on Tuesday did the right thing, and they’re thankful for the public’s diligence.

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