COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) — Some residents in Coventry have been noticing an unpleasant smell in various neighborhoods across town.

“It is a very acrid, sulfur type of smell,” Coventry Town Councilman Greg Laboissonniere said.

He said the odor comes and goes and is scattered throughout the town. He said it has been plaguing the area for years, but has been especially bad recently.

Recently, the smell has been the worst in the Hope area of Coventry along Colvintown Road.

Laboissonniere said this strange smell has a history that goes back many years, and it may have something to do with a nearby site.

“There was illegal dumping for many years, there is a lot of information on that,” he said. “It’s certainly not due to the owners that are there at the present time, but they are left holding the bag.”

It’s difficult to to pin down whether this current bad bout of bad odor is related to this issue. Coventry residents have taken to a Facebook thread to share theories about the smell’s source.

Whatever it is, some residents, like Regina Kingsborough, do have concerns about their health.

“We thought everything had gone away, it was almost 17 years ago that this happened, and it was supposed to be remedied, and so now it’s a nightmare that’s coming back to our neighorhood again,” Kingsborough said.

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) said they’ve been investigating the unpleasant smell and are searching for the source.

“Inspectors spent four hours in the area yesterday morning and did not detect any odors during that time,” the DEM said in a statement. “Inspectors were also in this area again this morning and did not detect any odors. The department is continuing to investigate these complaints in order to identify the source of the reported odors.”