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Special Council Meeting Recap: Oct 14, 2021

All council members were present for the Thursday, Oct. 14 City Council meeting. Open session started at 6:00 p.m. and ended at 8:32 p.m. Here's what you missed:

LA County Public Works Director estimates notable improvement with foul odor smell in 3 to 5 days. The City Council continued Monday's special city council meeting on Thursday Oct. 14 to amend the resolution declaring a public nuisance due to the foul stench arising from the Dominguez Channel. According to the staff report the amendment adds the following:

City staff shall:

  1. Assist City residents in contacting the County to receive appropriate mitigation measures offered by the County.

  2. Work with any and all interested Adversely Affected Residents to provide the following mitigation, as appropriate until October 31, 2021 or the public nuisance is abated and to seek reimbursement from the County:

    • Upon request, City shall assist any senior citizens or disabled residents with either delivery of County approved masks and County approved filtration systems or assistance with acquisition of same subject to reimbursement from the County.

    • Upon request and income qualification proof deemed appropriate by the City, the advancement of payment for necessary and reasonable costs for acquisition of County approved masks and County approved filtration systems to be reimbursed to the City by the County immediately.

During the meeting, LA County Public Works Director Mark Pestrella identified the main suspect that strengthened the anaerobic digestion in the channel causing hydrogen sulfide emissions. Pestrella claimed that a pallet fire, which occurred two weeks ago upstream from the channel, resulted in an illicit discharge of cardboard, ethanol, pallet pieces, and other materials. These objects accelerated the digestion's process resulting in more toxic odors.

LA County's Public Works Director outlined a plan of action which aims to clear the stench and revitalize the creek. "We talked to Orange County Flood Control and they too have experienced this and they use a specific product, epoleon. It’s a biodegradable organic matter[…] that we are going to spray on top of the water," noted Pestrella, "there will be a reaction with that organic matter that will essentially change the hydrogen sulfide into a salt. The salt will become heavier than water and drop to the bed of the channel. The application of this organic spray will begin [Friday, Oct 15]. We expect that within 3 to 5 days, the citizens in Carson should see a notable difference in the odor." Additionally, the department will implement aerators inside the creek to increase the dissolved oxygen levels in an attempt to change the anaerobic digestion to aerobic which does not produce hydrogen sulfide. In the future the county plans on restoring the channel by replacing a large portion of sour water and decaying vegetation.

Pestrella included a list of general reimbursement options that the county will cover. He noted that while the list should cover a large portion of general needs, any and all receipts associated with the smell should be indicated in the application, especially urgent care/hospital receipts. He also urges any LA county resident affected by the smell to apply for reimbursement, not just residents in Carson and West Carson. Residents may apply for multiple reimbursement options:

  • Homes with heating and air conditioning systems: County will reimburse households for filtered inserts for those systems that are HEPA rated with activated Carbon. Those replacements can be found on 211 phone number and LA county Public Works website. The department will reimburse at $60 per unit per household and more than one unit of reimbursement can be claimed. Receipts are required of reimbursement within 14 days of the reimbursement request.

  • If you don’t have a HVAC: Purchase a mobile filtration unit. Limit $400 for households below 1000 sqft in size. $800 for households above 1000 sqft. Receipts are required.

  • Relocation: County will reimburse a household for one hotel room in LA county up to $182 per day and hotel parking for one vehicle per day. Groceries will also be reimbursed at $66 per day. Receipts will be required for hotel and parking but not required for groceries.

The council also passed a resolution approving a line budget item of $100,000 and requested that a letter be sent to Governor Newsom asking him to declare the issue a state of emergency. Los Angeles County Department of Public Health released a new press release on Oct. 14 with updated recommendations on how to minimize exposure and protect your health. If symptoms feel life threatening, please seek immediate medical care. To reach LA County Public Works hotline for anyone seeking help or reimbursement: Dial 211 and the operator should be able to assist you.

If you are having trouble reaching out to the county, Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes encourages you to call the City at (310) 830-7600 and explain your situation.


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