Mysterious Stench Plagues Bayonne; Officials Can't Find Source

HUDSON COUNTY, NJ — Something stinks in Bayonne and nobody knows where it’s coming from. But local authorities say they’re trying to track down the source of the offensive odors, and they need the community’s help to solve the mystery.

The Bayonne Office of Emergency Management (OEM) first gave notice about the enigmatic stench on Tuesday, Sept. 24.

“Our office has received numerous complaints about a foul odor in the air tonight, mostly in the uptown area,” the OEM stated. “We have been in contact with Hudson Regional Health Commission and they are aware, as this is an ongoing sporadic problem. They are sending an inspector into Bayonne tonight to perform ‘odor surveillance.'”

The OEM asked residents to send any stink-related complaints with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) hotline at 1-877-927-6337.

On Wednesday, the Bayonne OEM offered an update about the situation, stating that the source of the odor “could not be determined.”

The OEM wrote:

Meanwhile, the smell continues to turn stomachs in Bayonne.

On Thursday, the OEM said that it was getting yet more calls from frustrated residents. Some locations that residents reportedly smelled the odor included Avenue A, uptown on 49th Street, near the 78 bridge, 42nd Street and 40th Street.

According to comments left on social media, here’s what the mysterious odor smells like:

“Well, I finally went outside and smelled that odor everyone is talking about. 26th and Blvd. Def smells like rotting meat, and throw in a couple of fish. Real nasty!””This happens a few times a month always after 11:00… terrible odor burns your throat and nose.””The smell evolves from a fishy/seawater smell to a chemical smell.””I thought something crawled in the bushes and died.””Smells like garbage.””I thought I smelled hot dog water outside… no kidding.””It smells like burning hair or flesh.””Smelled like a burning chemical smell.”

One resident commented that the smell was “probably from Newark processing plants like last time.” The Bayonne OEM said the resident may be barking up the right tree.

“That’s what we suspect also, but HRHC wouldn’t tip their hand until they did a proper investigation,” the OEM stated.

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The mystery stink in Bayonne has joined a growing list of odor-related complaints in the area.

Earlier this month, Kearny Mayor Al Santos ordered an evacuation of Harvey Field due to allegedly high levels of hydrogen sulfide gas coming from nearby Keegan Landfill. About 160 children were practicing on the field, which hosts local youth soccer games.

Levels of the gas — which smells like rotten eggs — reached around 75 parts per billion on the field, and on Saturday and the previous Tuesday, reportedly exceeded the state threshold of 30 parts per billion.

See related article: Stinky Gas From NJ Landfill Shuts Down Hudson County Soccer Field

On Sept. 19, New Jersey state officials filed a lawsuit against Darling Ingredients Inc. The plant, which is located at 825 Wilson Avenue in the Ironbound section of Newark, recycles animal byproducts and grease into materials such as feed and fuel ingredients.

The lawsuit developed after nearby residents filed a wave of complaints about the facility, including persistent “animal carcass odors,” state prosecutors said.

See related article: Newark Plant Sickening Community With Putrid Odors, Lawsuit Says

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