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Air quality officials verify stink problem due to Salton Sea

Posted: September 11, 2012 5:44 p.m.
Updated: September 11, 2012 5:44 p.m.

Air Quality Management District officials Tuesday verified what most people suspected Monday: The stink that permeated much of the Los Angeles area — stretching from Ventura County to the Inland Empire — was due to the Salton Sea.

“We now have solid evidence that clearly points to the Salton Sea as the source of a very large and unusual odor event,” Barry Wallerstein, executive officer of the South Coast Air Quality Management District, said in a statement issued late Tuesday afternoon.

As unlikely as it seemed that the rotten-egg smell wafted more than 150 miles from the inland sea in southeast Southern California to the Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys and as far as Simi Valley, field testing done in the Coachella Valley and across the agency’s four-county jurisdiction verified the source, Wallerstein said.

A combination of a fish die-off, a moist and warm air flow from the southeast and strong winds of some 50 mph pushed odors from the Salton Sea to the northwest — across the Coachella Valley, through the Banning Pass and across the Los Angeles Basin, air quality officials said.

AQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.




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