From Long Beach to the Salton Sea, state officials spent much of the Monday trying to hunt down the sources of s sulfuric, rotten egg-like odor that has prompted hundreds of complaints.
Sam Atwood of the South Coast Air Quality Management District said his agency, since midnight, has received more than 200 calls ``reporting a strong, foul rotten egg/sulfur odor'' and field inspectors are investigating the possible cause.
``Residents have complained from a very wide area including the Inland Empire and much of the Los Angeles Basin,'' Atwood said.
``Fish kills, algae blooms and other biologic conditions in lakes can cause strong odors,'' Atwood said. ``Industrial facilities such as wastewater plants also can cause sulfur odors. At this time, AQMD hasn't confirmed any
source as the cause of the widespread odor.''
"Several factors indicate that the Salton Sea may have been the source of these odors,” Barry Wallerstein, executive officer for the AQMD said in a written statement. “However we do not have any definitive evidence to pinpoint the Salton Sea or any other source yet.”
According to the air quality agency, several sources have reported hot weather and a possible release of bacteria from the bottom of the sea due to winds there. Those conditions could cause strong sulfur odors, and strong thunderstorm activity in the Salton Sea area and resulting high winds from the southeast could spread the odors toward the coast. However, it is highly unusual for odors to remain strong up to 150 miles from their source, Wallerstein said
Since midnight last night, AQMD has received about 200 complaints of sulfur- and rotten-egg odors. Most callers were from the Coachella Valley and other portions of Riverside County as well as San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties. Only a few calls came from Orange County.
- City News contributed to this report.