Residents of New Castle, Penna., are curious as to why their city smells like cat urine. Air samples have been collected by state environmental officials for further analysis. Although they do not believe the smell to be harmful, finding the source and removing the smell is a priority.
The smell began to permeate the air on November 1 and residents of New Castle quickly began to notice the assault on their noses. According to the Associated Press, the smell seems to be strongest near the sewage treatment plant in the Mahoningtown neighborhood. State environmental officials used a mobile analytical unit to take samples from various areas within the neighborhood between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on November 5 and from 8 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. on November 6. The device took atmospheric samples during the peak times that the odors were at their worst. During the testing, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) also took upwind samples. The results are expected to take several weeks.
During the visits, the DEP monitored readings of oxygen, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, and lower explosive limits. A spokesperson stated that monitoring the compounds is essential to verify the levels of danger, according to NC News.
“These are all metrics that would determine if the odor posed an imminent risk to health and safety,”
The smell has become overwhelming for some residents and has impacted the quality of life for those that enjoy spending time outside. Although the smell has not, reportedly, been as bad as the area surrounding the home of the man that stored 300 gallons of urine in his home, it is troublesome nonetheless.
Speculation surrounding the origin of the odor ranges considerably. Some blame it on feral cats in the neighborhood that may be living near the waste management facility. Others blame it on natural odors from the sewage plant itself. Still, others suspect that the odor is the tell tale sign of a meth lab nearby. Some of the more controversial theories surround fracking and the government. Regardless of the source, residents want to discover the origins of the cat urine smell and ensure it is eradicated before it gets worse.
Residents of the quiet city are anxious to hear the results of the tests and hope the smell of cat urine is easy to eradicate. Luckily, the several weeks that they are waiting will occur during the winter, when most will be safely within their homes and away from the foul odor.
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