Smell Identified as Menands

By Fred Furnace

Published December 1st, 2014

ALBANY -- The odor that has wafted over the Capital Region since the early 1940s has, at long last, been identified.

The culprit? Menands.

Scientists for the SUNY Center for Scientific Studies confirmed the findings at a press conference Monday.

"We can now confirm that the epicenter of the smell is Menands," said Merck Shmelman, lead scientific studier for the project at the SCSS.

The smell — often described as a combination of hard-boiled egg and flatulence — has baffled area residents for decades.

"Well, it is good to know that the smell has been identified," said long-time Albany resident Candice Gooden. "I have been smelling something stinky in the air my whole life. I often suspected it was coming from Menands or Watervliet, or possibly Troy, but was never really sure. It is a relief to finally get some answers on this one."

Shmelman identified several possible causes for the smell, including the high sulfur content in the soil stemming from years of factory operations and related pollution. The exact cause of the odor, however, has not been identified.

"We are still at the hypothesis stage with respect to the exact cause of the smell," said Shmelman. "We are fairly certain it is not caused by an overly stinky population, but we have yet to scientifically rule it out. Until science tells us otherwise, it remains a possibility."

"We are also continuing to assess whether Watervliet plays a role in the stink," he added. "It very well might."


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