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Salton Sea Eyed As Culprit Of Big Stink In SoCal

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Dead tilapia fish rot on the mud of the shore of the Salton Sea in an area where a controversial development would create a new town for nearly 40,000 people on the northwest shore of the biggest lake in California, the Salton Sea, on March 20, 2012 south of Mecca, California. The Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club have filed a lawsuit against Riverside County after the Board of Supervisors approved a record-sized development project for Riverside County, saying that it would increase pollution and threaten wildlife in nearby parks at the Salton Sea and in the largest state park in California, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Though massive fish die-offs occur annually, drawings in the Travertine Point plans feature peaceful marinas but the lake has been plagued by dropping water levels and increasing salt levels for decades. Scientists say that a catastrophic decline in the fish population is inevitable and a resulting 25 to 50 percent drop in the migratory bird population will destroy a major stopping point in the Pacific bird migration route. The shrinking salt lake is exposing more and more fine dust, posing health problem as blows it across the region. Funding to stop the ecological collapse of the sea is not likely in the near futures with its $9 billion price tag.  (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Dead tilapia fish rot on the mud of the shore of the Salton Sea in an area where a controversial development would create a new town for nearly 40,000 people on the northwest shore of the biggest lake in California, the Salton Sea, on March 20, 2012 south of Mecca, California. The Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club have filed a lawsuit against Riverside County after the Board of Supervisors approved a record-sized development project for Riverside County, saying that it would increase pollution and threaten wildlife in nearby parks at the Salton Sea and in the largest state park in California, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Though massive fish die-offs occur annually, drawings in the Travertine Point plans feature peaceful marinas but the lake has been plagued by dropping water levels and increasing salt levels for decades. Scientists say that a catastrophic decline in the fish population is inevitable and a resulting 25 to 50 percent drop in the migratory bird population will destroy a major stopping point in the Pacific bird migration route. The shrinking salt lake is exposing more and more fine dust, posing health problem as blows it across the region. Funding to stop the ecological collapse of the sea is not likely in the near futures with its $9 billion price tag. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

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SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Regional air quality managers in Southern California are awaiting an analysis of air samples as they try to determine the source of a foul, rotten-egg odor that invaded the region Monday.

The rotten-egg smell appears to have largely dissipated Tuesday.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District took the samples late Monday in the Coachella Valley and near the Salton Sea, a massive saltwater lake 150 miles southeast of Los Angeles that could be the culprit.

They also took samples in locations farther from the sea and across the region.

Officials received 200 complaints about the pungent aroma.

A massive storm late Sunday could have stirred up decay from a recent fish die-off at Salton Sea, but air quality officials say they haven’t ruled out other sources yet.

 

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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