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UPDATE: DEQ discovers the source of ‘bad smell’ in Idaho Falls


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A strong, unpleasant smell that lingered across Idaho Falls Thursday afternoon was from a sulfuric acid solution sprayed onto a farm field.

Troy Saffle with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality tells he investigated the cause of the smell. After visiting several industrial facilities that did not seem to be putting out unusual smells, Saffle discovered the source.

In a 300-acre stubble field west of the Interstate 15 exit and 11 miles southwest of Idaho Falls, the DEQ found the smell.

“The grower responsible for the field stated the stubble had been sprayed with a sulfuric acid solution earlier in the day to enhance the decomposition of the crop residue following tilling back into the soil,” Saffle said. “It appeared the majority of the field had been treated but not yet tilled. It appears as burnt but is from the application of the solution.”

Officials say in this instance the odor is not hazardous to people’s health. Sulfuric acid is approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency for certain agricultural purposes.


IDAHO FALLS — There is some kind of unpleasant odor in Idaho Falls, and no one seems to know what it is.

As of 5:15 p.m., has heard from hundreds of people all over the community about some kind of smell. It appears to be widespread as we’re hearing from people all over Ammon, Idaho Falls and even in Shelley.

The city of Idaho Falls and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, which monitors air quality in the area, said they have not gotten any complaints of the smell. With no complaints, they had no answers for

The Idaho Falls Fire Department also gave no answers as they noted they could smell the odor but were not sure where it came from.

About a dozen people have independently said the air smells “organic” or like “wet dog.” will update this story if we get to the bottom of the stinky situation.