The air in Astoria Park (Queens) has been far from fragrant these past few months; in fact, it’s been overwhelmingly putrid-smelling. Residents have never experienced such a powerful stench (in a city where stenches are commonplace, coming and going with the wind) and many are becoming understandably frustrated, as well as nauseated, with this exceptionally persistent mephitis.
“It’s eye-watering,” said KellyAnn Tobin, 31, a nurse who lives on Crescent St. “I don’t need coffee in the morning to get up, it’s that bad.”
Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) and others believe that the source of the big stink is the waste-water treatment plant on nearby Wards Island. However, a Department of Environmental Protection spokesman denied that the plant was responsible. Despite the plant having one malfunctioning blower (which serves to aerate wastewater during the treatment process) the remaining five pumps are still working, according to Farrell Sklerov.
In any event, the DEP has begun using “odor-counteracting machines” at the plant in an effort to neutralize the smelly and dangerous hydrogen sulfide (that infamous rotten egg aroma). Additionally, the agency is treating the air with a citrus-scented spray; this will serve to, if not eliminate, at least mask the odor.
As with fouls smells of old that came and went, the source of this present one afflicting Astoria Park is still uncertain.
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