Meck County: Company behind Charlotte’s odor violated ‘objectionable odor’ rule

CHARLOTTE — Mecklenburg County said the company behind the smell in Charlotte last week violated the county’s “objectionable odor” rule, our partners at the Charlotte Observer reported.

People across Charlotte could smell the odor for hours on July 14. Authorities also said they were getting a high number of 911 calls regarding the smell.

Channel 9 later learned a Legacy Environmental Services crew that was destroying mercaptan tanks that were “mistakenly reported empty,” accidentally released the gas mercaptan.

“Violations are determined based on odor characteristics like nature, intensity, pervasiveness, and duration,” Megan Green, air quality mobile sources program manager, said in an email to The Charlotte Observer Thursday.

Meteorologist Keith Monday said temperature inversion also caused the smell to be more pronounced.

According to the Charlotte Observer, county officials want information from Legacy so they can determine next steps.

The county rule defines air pollution as a contaminant or contaminants “that in such quantities and of such duration that they are or may tend to be injurious to human or animal life, or to the property of others, or that interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property or the conducting of business.”

Channel 9 has reached out to Legacy Environmental Services for comment on the county’s notice. We have not heard back at this point.

This is an ongoing investigation. Return to this story for updates.

(WATCH BELOW: What’s that smell in Charlotte? Authorities blame weather for lingering odor)