Main | Thursday, February 05, 2009

Proven: New Jersey Smells

Stop the presses! Mayor Bloomberg went live on NYC television today to announce that the source of maple syrup smell that has mystified Manhattanites for the last couple years has been discovered. Via Gothamist's liveblog of the press conference:

Bloomberg, who has not doffed a Sherlock Holmes cap, says that NYC, NY and NJ agencies have been working together to solve the maple syrup smell mystery (he says "maple sugar"). He emphasizes it's not a health hazard. The Mayor is detailing how the OEM put together the data about the ester (aka the smell reaction from the organic compound) from the past few years. He listed the clues:

1) Most complaints came from UWS and Morningside Heights
2) Winds were moving from West to East
3) Winds at the time were also blowing at a specific speed--fast enough to move smells across the river but not fast enough to disperse the smell.
4) OEM compiled list of smelly factories (okay, odor-producing factories)

The smell was tracked to a NJ company called Frutarom, which processes feugreek seeds for food additives. It does not appear that the company is violating any rules or laws. Mayor Bloomberg: "It's just one of the many aromas we're going to have to live with. I can think of a few things worse than maple syrup." He considers the case CLOSED and thinks the hero is 311, due to all the calls to the system querying the smell.

Three government agencies and who knows how many man-hours to prove that New Jersey smells. Like delicious syrup-drenched pancakes, that is. So all you "the gubmint is testing chemical weapons!" conspiracy nuts can rest easy. OR CAN YOU?

(Graphic via Gothamist)

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