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data lacking, but EPA says no danger
LISBON — The
Ohio Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday that a portion
of air quality data collected in East Liverpool was lost because of
The testing, required by the Air Quality Act, is a
source of information about Von Roll WTI.
spokeswoman for the EPA, said the data collected showed there were
no violations of air quality standards.
She explained there are
three monitors in East Liverpool — at the port authority building,
school administration building and city water plant.
to Madigan, the monitors measure and record the amount of sulfur
dioxide in the air, suspended particulates (which is considered to
be soot) and small particulate matter. Particulate matter is
material in the air smaller than a strand of human hair.
monitors also measure ambient air, which is the air we breathe, and
the number of metal particulates.
According to Madigan, this is
important information because the metal particulates, which are the
smallest materials found in the air, can be the most harmful because
a large amount can be ingested into the body causing damage before
it can be noticed.
For East Liverpool and other county residents,
the lost data brings worries. WTI, a hazardous waste incinerator in
the city, causes some residents to worry about pollutants being
released into the air. It’s been in operation since the early
Madigan said that all of the data for the sulfuric acid
was recorded in 2002 but only part of the particulate matter was
recorded and there is no information recorded for metals.
blamed the lost data on human error.
The seven monitors run
constantly for six days and automatically shut down. A technician is
then supposed to change the filters and turn the machines back on to
begin recording the results.
However, Madigan said the technician
was not diligent — maintaining some of the monitors some of the
time, but not all of them all of the time.
investigation was launched by the EPA and the technician resigned
from her position Friday.
Madigan said the employee was
reassigned in November when it was discovered through quality checks
that there was no data available. So data is available from the
month of November through now.
“The data that is being gathered
currently matches with the past information in 2001, so no problems
are suspected,” Madigan said.
She said that the current
information compared to the past shows no reason for the public to
be concerned with the safety of the air.
“We have no reason to
believe there were any violations of the air quality standard,”