A satellite view of White Rock. (Google)

White Rock seeks source of smell

Natural gas ruled out as source of mystery odour in areas of city, peninsula

Responding to reports from residents mystified by a lingering bad smell on the streets and in homes around the Five Corners-City Hall area Tuesday afternoon, the City of White Rock says it also extends to various areas of South Surrey and Langley.

A PSA on the city’s Facebook page says “we are aware of a smell that some describe as natural gas, manure or rotten eggs,” adds that, while Fortis BC is investigating, it can be confirmed that the odour is not coming from either a city or Metro Vancouver facility, or the Cherry Point Refinery in the U.S.

Fortis officials said Wednesday they fielded “around 80” calls regarding an odour. Those complaints started to come in around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday and continued until about 6 p.m., Grace Pickell, Fortis’s manager of communications for major projects, told Peace Arch News.

Pickell said crews investigated, however, “we did not find any indication that natural gas was the cause.”

Resident Marilynn McGlenen posts on the page that there is a “very strong sulphur/gas smell on Best between Russell and Roper, especially around the area of the Salvation Army church.”

Resident Melissa A. Smith posted that the smell is also present at 8 Avenue and Lee Street too. “It’s really nauseating actually and has a faint rotten egg smell almost like gas…”

The city PSA says that information received indicates that a facility around 172 Street and 8 Avenue in South Surrey may be the source of the odour, but that investigation continues.

Commenting on Facebook, resident and community activist Pattie Petrala passed on a statement from White Rock Fire and Rescue Chief Phil Lemire in which he says “we are quite confident that the odour is coming from a composting facility located by 172 Street and 8 Avenue in South Surrey.

“This is similar to a situation a couple of weeks ago and the odour seems to occur in pockets across parts of White Rock and South Surrey.”

Pickell said Fortis takes all such reports seriously, and said it is a good reminder of what residents should do if they suspect a natural gas leak: stop what you’re doing, do not use any source of ignition (including cellphones), go outside and call the 24-hour emergency line, at 1-800-663-9911, or 911.

More to come…

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