January 21, 2022

Dominguez Channel odor fix could cost up to $143 million, says LA County Public Works

View Original Notice ? Dominguez Channel odor fix could cost up to $143 million, says LA County Public Works

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Eliminating the persistent noxious odor that’s emanated from the Dominguez Channel and plagued Carson residents — and those of other communities — since early October has cost at least $54 million so far, officials say.

And that number could hit $143 million if the odor isn’t entirely gone by March.

That’s according to Mark Pestrella, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works. His agency oversees around 483 miles of open channel and has taken responsibility for the odor, treating the water in the Dominguez Channel with a non-toxic and biodegradable odor neutralizer called Epoleon.

Efforts to quell the stench — which has included multiple federal, state and local agencies — continue.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set to give routine approval for Public Works to continue treatment and monitoring of the odor during its Tuesday, Nov. 30, meeting.

Officials have said the rancid odor — about which residents as far away as Long Beach have complained — is caused by high levels of hydrogen sulfide being released from decaying vegetation in the channel.

But Public Works officials are also conducting an investigation into the odor, and whether something caused or catalyzed the odor emanating from the vegetation.

Pestrella, in previous statements, said that his department’s investigation would include local refineries, chemical plants, sewage treatment facilities and other sites near the channel.

Public Works began treating the channel water with an odor-neutralizing chemical on Oct. 15.

Since then, AQMD monitoring data show that hydrogen sulfide levels in the air have decreased consistently at all locations, excluding the station at the monitoring station at East 213th and Chico streets, in Carson.

The levels at that station, however, still fall within the legal limit allowed by state law.

“All this data tells us that we’re doing the right thing and that we’ve figured out what is actually happening within the water that is causing the smell,” Pestrella said in a recent town hall meeting. “We know what we’re dealing with, we know the quantity of it and we can now predict how long it will take until we’re completely done with treating this water.”

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