Fishy odor mystery in east Odessa solved

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EAST ODESSA -- It's a story we first told you about over the summer, residents complaining about a fishy odor lingering around east Odessa.

We're happy to report that the smell has been taken care of, hopefully once and for all.

Living in an oil town you're bound to come across some not so pleasant smells.

Some would say it just comes with the territory.

But the smell of fish in Odessa? That just didn't add up.

"To be honest, the first time I noticed it I decided something crawled under our storage building in the back yard and died, because it just smelled like a dead animal to me," Ector County Commissioner Greg Simmons said.

Simmons lives on the east side of town and like many wondered what the smell was.

It wasn't until October that someone in his community expressed their frustrations with the state, claiming they weren't taking the odor case serious.

Back in August, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the City of Odessa both said standing rain water was to blame.

This is when Simmons reached out to the Ector County Environmental Task Force to investigate.

In a matter of days, the agency came to the conclusion that oil field company Ace Completions was responsible for the fishy smell.

"It was a ground spill, and I feel like probably what happened, they just tried to cover it up and bury it, and then every time it would rain, it would raise that to the surface," Simmons explained.

According to Simmons, the smell was coming from the company’s retention pond.

Ace Completions has since followed the Environmental Task Force's orders to empty the pond.

In fact, the company took it a step further and lined the retention pond to make sure no chemicals would seep into the ground.

Simmons says residents can rest assure knowing the spill didn't cause any contaminations.

"We will continue to monitor them very closely just because of the history there, so we’ll make inspections periodically to make sure that there’s not any additional problems,” Simmons explained. “At this point we feel like they’ve progressed to the point where we’ve closed our case on this.”

Simmons wants residents to know that chemicals naturally have a strange odor to them, meaning that from time to time there might be a light smell in the air, but nothing as strong as this initial one.

We reached out to Ace Completions for comment, but our phone call was not returned as of newstime.