Agencies provide follow-up on reports of unusual odor

DOWNEY -- A follow-up meeting was held March 4 to review the findings from the suspicious odor incident reported in January. The Gas Company was the host at the Energy Resource Center.The purpose of the meeting was to determine what could be done to stop suspicious odor incidents such as the one that occurred on Jan. 29. The meeting was a joint effort of the Gas Company, Downey Fire Department, city administration and the Air Quality Management District (AQMD). Tricia Zemblano, a Downey resident who lives on Adwen Street, also attended as a guest of the fire department. The AQMD and Gas Company staff discussed research they had performed since January. Both groups had done searches on their databases with intentions of finding patterns of releases. The AQMD had done additional inspections of facilities in the vicinity. The AQMD said one of their inspectors had found problems at one of the South Gate facilities just west of the Downey border. The problems had since been corrected and a subsequent, follow-up inspection confirmed the mitigation of the problem had been completed, AQMD officials added. A second facility in South Gate was subsequently inspected, and that facility was also found to be in compliance with AQMD codes. The AQMD does annual inspections of many commercial and industrial facilities. The best method to report a suspicious odor was discussed. Gas Company representatives recommended residents and business owners who believe they smell natural gas to immediately call (800) 427-2200. Once notified, a Gas Company service person will investigate the problem. AQMD officials recommended people immediately call (800) CUT-SMOG (288-7664) to report any suspicious odors. An investigator will respond after they receive one phone call during business hours. After hours, the AQMD waits for the third call before sending out an investigator. Residents can also file written complaints with the AQMD, which follows up on public nuisance problems when at least 10 residents have complained. The Downey Fire Department responds to investigate suspicious odor incidents immediately. The Gas Company and AQMD representatives advised residents they should call the numbers listed above when they notice suspicious odors. Without early notification, it is difficult to track down the possible sources. ********** Published: March 13, 2009 - Volume 7 - Issue 47