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$200K Approved to Monitor Salton Sea Stench

The new system is needed to let fire agencies know if any future stinks are from the lake, according to the AQMD.

Months after a nasty stench was traced from the San Fernando Valley 150 miles to its origins in the Salton Sea, local smog regulators have approved a $200,000 stink monitoring system, it was reported Saturday.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District will establish two station near the salty inland lake to warn people when the stench of decaying organisms at the lake reaches critical levels, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported.

On Sept. 9, tons of rotting fish and algae rose to the surface of the Salton Sea, and very-noticeable levels of hydrogen sulfide—rotten egg smell—blew through Indio, Palm Springs, Riverside, Pomona and the San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys.

Hundreds of worried people jammed 911 lines, and it took two days for the smog agency to track the stinky source down. The new monitoring system is needed to let fire agencies know if any future stinks are from the lake or from oil refineries or an industrial accident, said AQMD spokesman Sam Atwood.

The Salton Sea stink issue is expected to worsen as the lake shrinks, due to freshwater diversions from Imperial Valley farms into aqueducts feeding San Diego. Coastal water agencies in San Diego have purchased Colorado River water from El Centro-area farms that formerly flushed their fields with water, which had then flowed into the Salton Sea.

The Salton Sea was a dry lake bed until developers accidentally flooded it with Colorado River water a century ago. The diversions to San Diego have prompted worries that the declining water level will cause dust storms and occasional stink storms as animals die and rot by the millions.

harriet January 06, 2013 at 04:34 PM
Boy they have money for everything except to help the people suffering from Hurricaine Sandy!
Jay Stern January 07, 2013 at 06:15 AM
Propaganda! First, the source of water for the Salton Sea is the New River. It is the sewage stream from Tijuana, Mexico. But, oh, no! That is not politically correct. And then the article blames "developers" of a century ago for flooding the sea basin. Uh, no. It was flooding OF the Colorado River! It was one reason why we now have Lakes Mead and Powell, and Hoover Dam to generate hydroelectric power. BTW, did you know that we spend untold millions to remove the salt from the lower end of the Colorado River to fulfill treaty obligations with Mexico. So we spend money to give them fresh water and we spend more money to deal with the literal "shit" that they give to us.

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