O.C. beach cities beset by mysterious nauseating odor demand answers

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A recurring foul odor that some residents say causes headaches and nausea is a serious issue and needs more focus, says a Huntington Beach city councilman who wants a special committee to be formed on the issue.

“Not enough progress is being made to address the source of the odor,” Councilman Billy O’Connell said in a statement proposing the item.

The city said in a post last week on its website that the odor wasn’t believed to be “an immediate life safety issue.”


The South Coast Air Quality Management District is leading an investigation.

The agency’s website says that multiple sources in the area are capable of producing disagreeable odors and the periodic nature and varying location of complaints makes assessing the cause difficult. SCAQMD spokesman Sam Atwood said last week that the analysis of complaints and wind directions points to an offshore source.

The Huntington Beach Fire Department has also been working with the agency.

Seal Beach and Long Beach have reported similar odors.

Several residents showed up to a council meeting on Sept. 18 to request help from the city with the odor and complained of headaches, nausea and sore throats.


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