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Source of bad smell around Idaho Falls discovered

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - UPDATE 9/10/21: Officials have discovered what caused the bad odor that filled the air around Idaho Falls Thursday.

According to Rensay Owen with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, the smell came from a field treated with a sulphuric acid solution used to break down grain stubble.

The field is located in Bingham County, southwest of Idaho Falls.

Owen said they found the field after checking local industrial plants and other areas.

He said after checking with the Department of Ag, the chemical is commonly used by farmers. They can also use it to kill potato vines before they are harvested, he said.

Normally after a field is treated, a farmer will disc or turn the soil shortly after treatment. But apparently, that didn't happen as quickly as they wanted. The airflow just happened to land over the city.

The farmer will not be charged or fined, since it's not illegal to apply the chemical.

ORIGINAL - A very bad smell has taken over the air in Idaho Falls.

The mystery smell has officials baffled at what it is. The foul odor seems to have taken over a large portion of the city.

Idaho Falls Fire PIO, Kerry Hammon, said they've had no calls about a spill or an accident that would cause the smell and calling other agencies to see if they know.

The smell is described by some as dead animals rotting or an overpowering dairy sewer pond on a hot day.

If you happen to know where the smell is coming from, please let us know. You can contact us at 208-525-2520 or email

Article Topic Follows: Idaho Falls

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Curtis Jackson


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