Foul odor in Santa Fe Springs caused by hydrogen sulfide


After receiving more than 330 complaints about a foul odor wafting across Santa Fe Springs last week, air quality officials said Monday they had pinpointed the smell to increases in the amount of hydrogen sulfide in the air.

“Hydrogen sulfide does give you that rotten-egg type smell,” said Sam Atwood of the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

Atwood said field inspectors tracked the odor to a wastewater storage tank on the property of Ridgeline Energy Services USA. The facility, at 12345 Lakeland Road, collects and processes nonhazardous industrial water for treatment and discharge into sewers.


“The problem appears related to a hole in the roof of the tank,” according to a news release from the air quality district.

Inspectors collected 11 air samples near and around the tank and found that the “concentrations of hydrogen sulfide ranged from less than 5 parts per billion to 112 parts per billion, significantly higher than levels generally seen in Southern California, which typically range from nondetectable to 2 parts per billion.”

The agency has issued seven violations to Ridgeline this year, including two last week for “causing a public nuisance and one for operating a storage tank without a SCAQMD permit.”

The agency emphasized that no long-term health effects are expected from the foul odor or from the increase in hydrogen sulfide.

Ridgeline was ordered to immediately fix the problem, and officials said they removed some 700,000 gallons of liquid and “initiated repairs to [the tank], which are expected to take another three weeks to complete.”


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