Last week, the Passyunk Post wondered where the pervasive cat urine smell in South Philly was coming from. There had been numerous anecdotal reports of it for a while now, but the smell was reported too widely to be from cats (or raccoons).
The South Philadelphia readers of Albert Stumm’s site had plenty of ideas in the comments: dog parks, chemtrails, refineries, drunks urinating in the streets, meth labs, sewers and even cats after all.
We may have an answer, and the “refinery” guess in the comments pretty much nailed it: The smell is likely from a New Jersey power plant.
The city's Air Management Services team said it investigated the smell after fielding complaints from city residents. PGW, the Fire Department and AMS weren't able to find any source of the odor in Philadelphia. But a new power plant built by New York's LS Power is opening in West Deptford, New Jersey, next month.
“We’re working diligently to try to pinpoint the odor, but it’s so difficult to determine the source because of so many chemical and industrial uses along the river,” a New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection spokesman told the Passyunk Post. “We’re not necessarily taking full blame for the odor, though the signals seem to be pointing in that direction.”
So there you have it. South Philly reeks of cat piss because of New Jersey. And you thought the only thing that stunk in Jersey was no-shower happy hour.