An Obscenely Stinky Waste Facility Is Destroying a California Town

Illustration for article titled An Obscenely Stinky Waste Facility Is Destroying a California Town

I'm pretty sure everybody in this world hates foul smelling things. So I can't for the life of me imagine what life is like at Mecca, CA, a small, dusty town that's been decimated by the stench of a waste facility.

Even worse, no one knows what's going on. It's like the stink manifested out of thin air. The AP reports:

A powerful, propane-like stench had swept over the school grounds and was bringing children and teachers alike to their knees. By the time it was over, as many as 40 people had been treated by paramedics for headaches, nausea, dizziness and asthma attacks.


Furthermore, the coming months would lead to 200 more complaints about the smell. Who's to blame? Federal environmental agents pointed at Western Environmental, a permit-less soil recycling facility that "treats and recycles dirt laced with petroleum, heavy metals and other chemicals that qualify as hazardous materials in California". But they don't even know what's inside the facility.

It's a touchy situation as Western Environmental leases its land from an Indian reservation, which leaves room for a lot of gray area about federal involvement. Either way, residents are hoping the government will still put pressure on the facility as living in a place that smells like shit is, well, pretty shitty. [AP]

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What about the smell like a cattle barn that almost knocks me over on cool mornings in Gilbert, Az.? What is the source and why don't the people who own homes in the area complain?