Several factors indicate the Salton Sea may have been the source of a foul odor that has been reported around the Southland, Air Quality Management District Executive Officer Barry Wallerstein said tonight, but the investigation will continue.
“Several sources have reported hot weather and a possible release of bacteria from the bottom of the sea due to winds there,” Wallerstein said.
“Those conditions could cause strong sulfur odors… However, we do not have any definitive evidence to pinpoint the Salton Sea or any other source.”
Wallerstein added that “…strong thunderstorm activity in the Salton Sea area and resulting high winds from the southeast could have pushed odors into the Los Angeles basin…However, it is highly unusual for odors to remain strong up to 150 miles from their source.”
Investigators continued to work tonight to determine the source, Wallerstein said.
“A foul `rotten egg-like’ odor has been sensed across vast expanses of Southern California since early this morning,” Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department said. “LAFD is not aware of any specific hazard associated with the odor.”
The AQMD received more than 100 calls since midnight “reporting a strong, foul rotten egg/sulfur odor” and field inspectors are investigating the possible cause, district media relations manager Sam Atwood said.
“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. 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.”
Some schools in the foothills areas of Los Angeles County implemented their “rainy day” schedule, which means activities normally taking place outdoors took place indoors,
said Monica Carazo of the Los Angeles Unified School District. One of the affected schools was Osceola Street Elementary in Sylmar, according to ABC7.