State Watch

California city declares emergency over noxious smell


The city of Carson, Calif., declared a local emergency on Monday over a strong noxious smell that has been present in the area for weeks, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Residents say the odor, which has been described as that of vomit, flatulence, rotting eggs and body odor, has caused them health issues. Among the problems reported are incidences of headaches and nausea. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has recommended that residents avoid prolonged outdoor time during certain hours and that residents monitor their pets for side effects, including lethargy and trouble breathing.

The smell, coming from the Dominguez Channel, has reportedly been overpowering the town since Oct. 3. The odor is reportedly stemming from hydrogen sulfide gas in decaying material in the channel, noted CBS Los Angeles.

So far, residents say not much has been done to address the issue.

Carson Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes said the emergency declaration will help get the governor’s office on board with helping with management efforts.

“We are also urging the county, Governor Newsom and President Biden declare a state of emergency as well, to provide access to additional resources for residents and business owners, including but not limited to cutting through red tape to enable the county to move quickly to implement the permanent solution of restoring the channel and implementing environmental remediation,” Davis-Holmes said, according to CBS Los Angeles.

Since the problem began, 26 households have relocated away from the smell into three hotels; others have moved away from the city. Nearly 3,000 people have applied for reimbursement for expenses they’ve incurred in an attempt to deal with the odor, including the purchasing of air purifiers. 

Officials hope that Monday’s rainfall will help clear out trapped decaying material that is believed to be causing the odor, the Times noted.

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