British Columbia

Mystery odour stirring up complaints in White Rock

The City of White Rock says it's received dozens of complaints from residents in the past few weeks, stemming from a pungent smell. Fortis B.C. is investigating. Metro Vancouver says it believes the odour is coming from an agricultural composting facility on 172nd Street and Eighth Avenue in South Surrey.

Metro Vancouver believes the prime suspect is an agricultural composting facility in South Surrey

The City of White Rock confirms residents started noticing the smell mid-December, garnering dozens of comments online. (Shutterstock)

A pungent smell has blanketed parts of White Rock over the past few weeks, triggering a wave of complaints.

"To me, it smells mostly like gasoline or diesel fumes," said Mayor Wayne Baldwin. "But some people say it smells like the rotten egg smell that comes from natural gas."

The City of White Rock confirms residents started noticing the odour around mid-December, garnering dozens of comments on its Facebook page this week.

The City confirms Fortis B.C. has been investigating.

Baldwin says the smell seems to be stemming from a composting facility on 172nd Street and Eighth Avenue, which is within Surrey's boundary.

"We don't know why it's just started now; it could be they're doing something different and that's causing the odour to drift this way."

The mayor says they're now contacting Metro Vancouver, as air quality standards are an issue that fall under regional jurisdiction.

But he added it'll likely take some time for the source of the smell to be confirmed.

"We're going to do what we can to do to mitigate it and make sure the problem is resolved," said Baldwin.

In an email to CBC, Metro Vancouver confirmed it has received some odour complaints and also believes the smell is coming from an "agricultural composting operation."

Metro Vancouver has also been dealing with odour complaints from residents in Richmond.

Composting facility Harvest Power was ordered to follow stricter regulations that took effect Jan. 1.