CARSON (CBSLA) — Residents in Carson who have been dealing with a putrid odor that has lingered for the last two weeks may finally get some relief.
The smell along the Dominguez Channel in Carson is enough to make residents gag.
"Last night it was really awful. We couldn't breathe," said one Carson resident.
"I have a condition," said Carson resident Hermel Rivera. "I'm in remission from cancer so that makes it worse and I have asthma." said resident Hermel Rivera.
People who live near the channel are desperate for relief and city leaders said relief is coming. On Friday, public works crews were out in boats trying to neutralize the smell with Epoleon.
Epeoleon is an odor neutralizer often used at landfills and sewage treatment plants. County workers are dripping it into the water and also spraying it on the surface. County officials say it should make a difference in three to five days.
"I am going to keep my fingers crossed that this is the solution. They seem confident, and I am going to rely on that. But if not, we will take another step and declare it an emergency," said Mayor Lulu Davis-Holmes.
Davis-Holmes said her staff is drafting a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom asking him to step in with state funds.
The county said it will reimburse residents for hotel rooms and air filters. According to the mayor, the city has already allocated $100,000 to relocate low-income residents.
"Rooms are being identified as we speak. Right now I can tell you that there are 40 rooms that the city has already locked in for our residents who would like to leave the city because they can't tolerate the smell anymore," Davis-Holmes said.
The mayor criticized county health officials for not acting sooner.
"It's been proven that the Black and brown communities are not responded to in an expeditious manner. I can say that once I called our supervisor, the ball started rolling," Davis-Holmes said.
Carson residents rallied outside Carson City Hall earlier Thursday, urging city leaders to do more to help.
U.S. Congresswoman Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragan called on Newsom Friday to declare a state of emergency to fix the situation.
"The people of Carson deserve the same level of response as the people that have experienced public health emergencies in el Segundo, Porter Ranch and Malibu," Diaz Barragan said.
"Now this is a matter of public health and is quickly becoming an environmental justice issue," she said.
Residents can request hotel vouchers, masks and air filters through the city's hotline at 310-830-7600
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