Carson declares local emergency over noxious rotten egg smell – NBC Los Angeles

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What there is to know

  • Thousands of residents of Carson, West Carson and parts of Gardena, Torrance, Redondo Beach, Wilmington and Long Beach have reported the smell.
  • Some have complained of headaches, burning eyes, nausea and other ailments.
  • The department also urged to keep the animals indoors and take them to the vet if they appear lethargic, have trouble breathing, or vomit.

As residents of the Carson area continue to put up with a noxious smell from decaying organic material in the Dominguez Canal, the city declared a local emergency on Monday and urged Los Angeles County, state and the White House to issue similar proclamations.

“Today the city took decisive action by declaring a local emergency on behalf of the residents of Carson,” said Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes.

We are also urging the County, Governor (Gavin) Newsom and President (Joe) Biden to also declare a state of emergency, to provide access to additional resources for residents and business owners, including, but not limited to reducing red tape to enable the county to act quickly to implement the permanent solution of canal restoration and implementation of environmental remediation. ”



People sickened by the smell complain. Gordon Tokumatsu reports for the NBC4 News on Friday, October 22, 2021.

Davis-Holmes was joined by members of city council to make the local proclamation. He attended a special meeting to combat the lingering foul odor, which comes from hydrogen sulfide gas, and has been described as akin to the smell of rotten eggs.

Thousands of residents of Carson, West Carson and parts of Gardena, Torrance, Redondo Beach, Wilmington and Long Beach have reported the smell. Some have complained of headaches, burning eyes, nausea and other ailments.

Carson’s decision to declare a local emergency comes days after LA County announced “drastic reductions” in the amount of hydrogen sulfide gas emanating from the canal. Yet even low concentrations of gas continue to create a nuisance for neighboring communities.

The city, in a statement on Monday, said a permanent solution could involve dredging the canal and turning it into “a convenience to the city rather than a nuisance.”

However, it would be a complicated, months-long process, according to Mark Pestrella, director of the county’s public works department.

He said this should be done very carefully to avoid separate environmental problems caused by other chemicals being released from the canal. If the canal is to be dredged, that would involve draining about five acre-feet of water, which equates to about five Rose Bowls with one foot of water depth.

In the short term, Pestrella said, Public Works is spraying Epoleon, a natural, biodegradable spray that alleviates the odor of hydrogen sulfide by converting the gas to a salt byproduct, which the county will dispose of in a separate process.

The city, meanwhile, requires county, state, and federal regulatory agencies with oversight “in, near, or over the Dominguez Canal to expedite all clearance processes involved in the cleanup and immediate restoration of the waters, bottoms and banks of the canal under a state of emergency. “

Dominguez Creek is technically under county jurisdiction.

The LA County Board of Supervisors voted last Tuesday to speed up support for residents of Carson and neighboring communities suffering from the stench. Supervisors Holly Mitchell and Janice Hahn co-wrote a motion calling on the Department of Public Works and the county CEO to do whatever it takes to provide quick relief to residents, including directly distributing air filters and filtration units HEPA, distributing hotel vouchers, reimbursing cities for supplies, and hiring a third party to administer relief supplies and reimbursement.

More than 2,939 residents have already requested reimbursement for related expenses, Pestrella said.

Twenty-six households have been placed in three hotels, and people can purchase air purifiers at the Victoria Community Regional Park, 419 Martin Luther King Jr. St. in Carson.

The county public health department and Carson City Council had previously declared the foul smell a “public nuisance.”

Last week, the health department recommended residents affected by the odor to avoid prolonged outdoor activities between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m., based on patterns seen with air monitoring results, and to reduce exposure whenever odors are strong.

The department also urged to keep the animals indoors and take them to the vet if they appear lethargic, have trouble breathing, or vomit.

Schools in the region have also been asked to exercise discretion regarding outdoor student activities.

The stench has already sparked a dispute.

A group of Carson residents have sued a warehouse owner and a tenant who they say share responsibility for the stench. The proposed class action lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, says that days before the first odor complaint, a fire broke out in a nearby warehouse containing a highly flammable ethanol-based hand sanitizer and that Art Naturals, the tenant of the warehouse, maintained unsafe conditions that caused the fire.

The warehouse owners, Prologis Inc. and Liberty Property LP, are co-accused in the lawsuit. The lawsuit seeks an injunction ordering the defendants to pay the resettlement costs of the residents as well as their future medical follow-up.


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