If the incident extends through March 2022, the cost for response and recovery might cost between $100 million to $220 million, according to county staff report.
The local air quality watchdog has sent violation notices to Los Angeles County and four companies in connection with the noxious odor.
Since at least the beginning of October, the Dominguez Channel, a 15.7-mile storm drain that prevents flooding, has been emitting elevated levels of hydrogen sulfide, a foul-smelling gas, into Carson, Gardena, Long Beach, Redondo Beach, Torrance, Wilmington and other Los Angeles County communities.
“I feel overlooked,” said one resident, who suffers from bronchitis and heart-related conditions. He applied for county assistance to relocate, but never received help.
County officials said the odors may continue, even if hydrogen sulfide levels are below the state standard.
According to the lawsuit, Gardena-based Art Naturals stored hand sanitizers at a warehouse in Carson and that these hand sanitizers washed into the channel following firefighting efforts to douse a massive fire at the warehouse on Sept. 30.
Despite the progress the county and partnering agencies have made, many Carson residents said they are not ready to move back as they are still suffering ill health from the exposure of hydrogen sulfide whenever they visit their homes.
The city of Carson on Wednesday authorized a lawsuit against the County of Los Angeles over the “lack of urgent reaction” to the foul odor crisis coming from the Dominguez Channel that has been disrupting the lives of thousands of residents.
Residents, businesses, students living in or around the channel have gagged at the foul odor from the Dominguez Channel, or even worse, experienced headaches, nausea, burning eyes, vomiting and other symptoms. Higher-than-normal levels of hydrogen sulfide gas, the source of the rotten-egg smell, have plagued the area since at least Oct. 3.
The city, in a statement Monday, said a permanent solution could involve dredging the channel and turning it into “an amenity to the city rather than a detraction.”