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Boxer Asks EPA To Save Desert Families From Stinky Odor

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(credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

(credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

PALM SPRINGS (CBS/AP) — One of the state’s most prominent lawmakers wants the federal government to step in and fix the source of a foul odor that has sickened residents in a Southland desert community.

In a blunt letter to the Environmental Protection Agency, Sen. Barbara Boxer called for officials to act urgently to save the town of Mecca from seeing more people fall ill.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District has blamed a waste recycling facility on tribal land just north of Mecca as the source of the stinky fumes.

The Palm Springs Desert Sun says Boxer, a California Democrat who has a home 25 miles from Mecca in Rancho Mirage, wrote the EPA on Thursday saying the agency must take immediate steps to protect families.

Boxer chairs the Senate’s Environment and Public Works committee.

California Rural Legal Assistance lawyer Megan Beaman says east Coachella Valley residents welcome Boxer’s help.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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