Kuna officials identify mysterious odor

Posted at 4:45 PM, Aug 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-08 18:45:47-04

Mayor Joe Stear along with the fire department and police were able to identify the strange smell that residents have been complaining about the past several days.

Stear said that L&R Environmental was responsible for the odor because the company is complying with the Department of Environmental Quality to shut down one of their wastewater ponds, but that pond has a fungus growing in it that is causing the smell.

"Most everybody had a different take on it, the first time I smelled it I thought it was hot asphalt," said Stear. "There were other people that thought it smelled like cat urine and there were others that thought it smelled like natural gas."

Intermountain Gas Company received more than one hundred calls from residents as people who thought that was what the smell was.

"It's kind of unnerving," said Stear. "It was a relief to find out where it was at so we knew that although it smells bad, it isn't harmful."
L&R Environmental has been in Kuna since 2004, the company has never had an infraction with the DEQ or the EPA.

Reagan Hardy, a representative of the company we spoke with said that the company is taking this very seriously and putting in significant treatment to include adding a citrus odorant to try and combat the smell.

Hardy also said that while L&R is acting as if they are responsible, they don't know that for sure, Hardy said that the DEQ sniff test came back inconclusive so they ordered more tests from a third party.

L&R's operation is on Thompson Road that is almost twenty miles away from Kuna, the hot weather played a role in growing the fungus while the winds carried the odor all the way to Kuna.

"L&R is usually a good company," said Mayor Stear. "They provide a very vital service for the area, they try to be good neighbors, they are working very hard to mitigate the smell."