environment

DEM to monitor Johnston air for odors

THE Department of Environmental Management said it installed air monitoring equipment Monday to measure the levels of hydrogen sulfide – associated with a “rotten egg” smell - following complaints about the odors coming from the Central Landfill.
Posted 12/13/11

JOHNSTON – The Department of Environmental Management said it installed air monitoring equipment Monday to measure the levels of hydrogen sulfide – associated with a “rotten egg” smell - following complaints about the odors coming from the Central Landfill.

Air monitoring equipment was installed in Woodlake Park on Central Avenue. The equipment will also record data on wind direction and speed.

The data will be used to interpret the health significance of the hydrogen sulfide levels which can cause nausea, itchy eyes, breathing difficulties or throat irritations, a news release said.

“We have no evidence that severe medical problems are occurring due to landfill gasses,” said Director of Health Michael Fine.

“Our surveillance shows no increase in emergency medical visits or procedures. However, this does not change the fact that current air quality conditions are unacceptable. As long as odors remain objectionable, those responsible for violations of air quality standards need to take aggressive action to ensure the health and safety of residents,” he said.

The complaints first began in October. The DEM began to monitor operator R.I. Resource Recovery Corporation’s progress in addressing the odor problem last month. DEM inspectors detected “objectionable odors” beyond the property line of the facility four times in November, a news release said.

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