Strange Stench: Is The Salton Sea the Stinky Source?

Officials from the South Coast Air Quality Management District believe the source of the mysterious rotten egg smell in the Los Angeles area may be emanating from the Salton Sea.

Has Los Angeles' putrid predicament finally been solved?

Maybe, says South Coast Air Quality Management (AQMD) officials. The government body has been investigating the source of a and zeroed in on the Salton Sea as a smelly suspect Monday night.

"Several factors indicate that the Salton Sea may have been the source of these odors," said Barry Wallerstein, executive officer for the AQMD, in a written statement. "However we do not have any definitive evidence to pinpoint the Salton Sea or any other source yet."

More than 200 smelly complaints were leveled with the AQMD, according to the organization.

The AQMD sent field inspectors on a malodorous mission Monday to San Fernando Valley, Long Beach, Colton, San Bernardino, Riverside, Perris, Temecula, Banning, Palm Springs, La Quinta and the Salton Sea to search for the stinky source.

The conclusion? Speculation that temperatures at the Salton Sea may be releasing a smelly bacteria and winds from a thunderstorm may be spreading the stench around.

"Several sources have reported hot weather and a possible release of bacteria from the bottom of the sea due to winds there," the AQMD said in a news release. "Those conditions could cause strong sulfur odors."

The AQMD's next step is to collect and analyze air samples around the Coachella Valley and at the Salton Sea. Until then, there may be more noisome news.

"A strengthening onshore breeze [Tuesday] may keep any additional odors from spreading as far west as they did today," AQMD officials said.


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