Urban centers rarely smell sweet, but South Philadelphia has apparently smelled particularly awful lately.
"The smell of cat pee is so strong it almost knocks you out," one resident wrote on Facebook.
The local newspaper the Passyunk Post set out to investigate, and Philadelphia city management told the paper Monday that New Jersey was to blame for the foul feline odor.
“Most likely [the smell] is coming from New Jersey due to the wind direction,” the city's Air Management Services office said, claiming it was unable to locate any likely source of the smell in Philadelphia.
A natural gas-burning power plant is slated to open in West Deptford, New Jersey, on Aug. 1, and the city pointed to the power plant construction as a possible smell source.
The Garden State doesn't seem to mind claiming the scent.
“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 [Delaware] river,” a spokesperson for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection told the Passyunk Post. “We’re not necessarily taking full blame for the odor, though the signals seem to be pointing in that direction.”
Philadelphia Magazine may have summed up the investigation best with their headline: "South Philly Smells Like Cat Pee, And It's New Jersey's Fault."
Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter