After receiving hundreds of complaints, the South Coast Air Quality Management District issued a violation notice to a Santa Fe Springs waste water treatment plant. The smell was so bad, that it caused some people to get nauseous. Hetty Chang reports from Santa Fe Springs for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on July 30, 2013.
In and near Santa Fe Springs, a pungent, gas-like odor continued to fuel complaints to air quality control officials Tuesday.
"You can probably say it smells like gas, it's a really bad smell," said German Mayen, a Norwalk resident.
"The smell is like the burning of a match, or a lot of people say a rotten egg," said another Norwalk resident, James Madrid.
By Tuesday morning, the South Coast Air Quality Management District had received more than 270 calls since Sunday from residents in the Santa Fe Springs area and neighboring Whittier and La Habra. The complaints prompted the district to issue a violation to Ridgeline Energy, the company now operating a now defunct oil facility on Lakeland Road in Santa Fe Springs.
Air samples obtained Monday confirmed low levels of sulfur in the area.
"We've told them to do whatever it takes to stop this odor," said Sam Atwood, spokesman for the South Coast Air Quality Management District, who said the odor has been an on-going issue.
"We issued them three citations for odors earlier this summer, and another citation for operating equipment without a permit," he said.
The foul odor is sulfur coming from one specific storage tank on the property, being used to process industrial waste water.
A manager with Ridgeline Energy gave NBC4 direct access to the tank, which had a large hole on the roof -- where the odor is coming from. A roof replacement had been ordered and repairs were slated to begin Wednesday.
The company so far, has spent more than $500,000 to clean up the old oil facility, and prevent odors from seeping out, according to a spokesperson.
While health officials confirm the odor does not pose a serious health threat, residents said the smell was enough to make them feel nauseous.