Residents in coastal cities from Long Beach to Huntington Beach reported pungent sulfuric smells for three days to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, though investigators haven’t been able to track down the source of the odor.
The complaints started Saturday night, Aug. 26 at 7:18 p.m. with residents from Long Beach and Seal Beach reporting powerful smells. On Monday morning the district received seven more calls from residents in Huntington Beach, and 15 more complaints early Tuesday morning.
The AQMD deployed inspectors each day the agency received complaints, but officials were unable to detect an odor or find the source of the smell. The investigation into the source is onging, said Sam Atwood, the agency’s spokesman.
Such pungent odors along the coast became increasingly common last fall, prompting residents in Huntington Beach to start a petition in November asking officials to take stronger measures to curb these odorous days. Within days of its launch the petition had more than 400 signatures. As of Wednesday, the petition had more than 800 signatures.
“The gas smell is disturbing and scary,” wrote Susan Faris, who signed the petition Tuesday. “I called the fire department; they said they’d send a unit out to investigate. As far as I know nothing else came from it. This is a serious health issue that needs to be resolved promptly.”
Eleven people have commented on the petition since Tuesday, voicing their concern over the source and saying the most recent odors have given them headaches and stomachaches.
“My children and I stopped what we were doing to evaluate and try to detect where the odor and what the odor was,” wrote Shannon LeMieux from Long Beach of the smells Tuesday. “I began to feel light headed as I searched Google to find any information about the odor. I looked on all the local authorities’ websites to see if we were in imminent danger.
“My head began throbbing while I discovered many reports of this…