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A mysterious, ‘noxious’ odor is keeping people awake in a Maryland town

The Washington Post logo The Washington Post 9/5/2019 Dana Hedgpeth

graffiti on a wall: There's a stinky smell in the town of Cheverly, Md., that's itching some residents' throats and keeping them awake. Officials said they've gotten complaints and are trying to figure out the cause. © Town of Cheverly/Town of Cheverly There's a stinky smell in the town of Cheverly, Md., that's itching some residents' throats and keeping them awake. Officials said they've gotten complaints and are trying to figure out the cause. The town of Cheverly in Prince George’s County — population 6,173 — has a new, strange odor that’s been so strong at times that it’s awakened some sleeping residents, and town officials say they’re trying to figure out what it is.

Officials said in a statement on the town’s website that some of the odors have “also caused residents to gag and experience a burning feeling in the back of the throat.”

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In the posting that went up Wednesday, they said the reports of the smell started Tuesday evening, but it’s not clear where the stench is coming from.

Officials said they’ve reported the conditions to the state’s Department of the Environment and also reached out to the local fire department, Washington Gas, the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission and Pepco. 

“Our conversations have stressed that residents have been experiencing noxious odors sufficient to wake them out of their sleep,” town officials said.

Mayor Laila Riazi said Thursday that she didn’t want to comment further because “we’re looking into things.”

“Until we figure out where the odor is emanating and from what, we can’t make a comment,” she said.

In the statement, town officials said “we take the matter of our air quality and impacts to our community’s health very seriously and are closely following the situation.”

dana.hedgpeth@washpost.com

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