As part of its ongoing monitoring of the Keystone Landfill in Dunmore, Lackawanna County, the Department of Environmental Protection announced Tuesday it has installed air sampling monitors at three locations near the landfill.
DEP began air monitoring and sampling in Lackawanna County last month to collect data for a health study by the Department of Health near Keystone Sanitary Landfill in Dunmore. The three-month monitoring and sampling period will provide both agencies with information on what type of particles and vapors are in the air and what people in the surrounding area are breathing.
“The Department of Health is committed to ensuring the safety of all Pennsylvania residents. As with all matters of public health, we are taking concerns about air quality around the Keystone Landfill very seriously,” said Health Secretary Karen Murphy. “Later this year, we will share the data with the community and engage residents in a conversation about the results.”
The air samplers were placed in three locations within a one-mile radius of the landfill and near communities where residents have reported odors in the past. For the next three months, twice a week, DEP staff will collect new air sampling data. The DOH will review the data along with new and existing environmental and health information.
“The information obtained from this study will be used by the department to identify air contaminants that people may be exposed to in this area,” said DEP Secretary John Quigley. “Complex issues surrounding air quality and public health require careful data gathering and the application of sound science.”
The effort is part of a cooperative agreement with the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to evaluate public health issues related to the landfill.
For this air sampling initiative, DEP will collect approximately 90 samples, 30 samples per sampling site, over a period of three months. The samples will be analyzed by a privately certified laboratory selected by DEP for ammonia, volatile organic compounds, sulfur gas, methanol, aldehydes, methylamines, trimethylamines and other chemicals.
The data will give DOH a representative picture of the local air quality for nearby residents. After results from this air sampling project are analyzed and complete, DOH in collaboration with ATSDR will prepare a report evaluating the results, as well as other available relevant sources of environmental exposure information for the community.
This health report will be distributed for a 30-day public comment period, after which a final version will be published and distributed.
DOH and ATSDR will also conduct a public information session in the community during the public comment period.
DOH will remain available to the community to respond to any health concerns and to provide health education to the community and health professionals as needed.Residents may contact the Department of Health at 1-800-PA-HEALTH.