Residents in small communities throughout western Arizona are continuing to press for a state investigation into the conspiracy theory that chemtrails, the condensation that lasts after a jet flies overhead, are dumping chemical or biological agents on their towns.

The widely debunked theory, first posited in the 1990s, was the subject of a meeting convened by Republican state Senator Kelli Ward, of Lake Havasu City, in which she called on members of the Arizona Department of Environmental quality to address the audience.

Chemtrail rumors first began to make the rounds of conspiracy-inclined Americans when the U.S. Air Force was forced to respond to allegations that it was “spraying the U.S. population with mysterious substances” from airplanes that were “generating unusual contrail patterns.” Statements from various public officials in both the U.S. and Canada have done little to dissuade concerned citizens, with chemtrails becoming a popular topic on online community boards and late-night radio shows like “Coast to Coast AM” with George Noory over the past 20 years.

The supposed evidence has been debunked countless times by scientists and meteorologists who have explained that contrails are nothing more than vapor trails created by water gasses found in the exhaust of aircraft engines. While a contrail's visibility time depends on temperature and humidity, the atmospheric phenomenon has also been described as the result of military weapons test and a government attempt to control the population with toxic chemicals.

State senator Ward felt that the issue had gained enough traction among her constituents (about 50,000 people make up Lake Havasu City) that a meeting was necessary to delve into the theories.

“The people who are concerned about this, I did describe you as relentless,” she told the audience of several dozen, according to the Arizona Republic. “That is not a bad thing to be. It’s not a good thing for me as an elected representative…to ignore what many people in my district are concerned about.”

Arizona residents participating in the meeting were furious with Ward and Sherrie Zendri, a policy specialist with the Arizona state environmental agency, for saying they had no jurisdiction to prevent federal planes from flying over the region, among other answers that didn’t acknowledge the existence of nefarious chemicals in the atmosphere.

“I think that all of us for a long time have known that we’re being sprayed,” one woman said to cheers from the audience. “This is not contrails; contrails are very short. Chemtrails go along the sky. Really, we are being sprayed like we’re bugs and it’s really not okay.”

A video of the meeting in its entirety is attached below: