March 7, 2005

Air quality monitoring continues at Hazelbrook C&D disposal site

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI-Follow-up air quality monitoring around the construction and demolition disposal site in Hazelbrook, where a fire broke out late last year (ELW January 17) has not shown levels of contamination hazardous to public health, government officials reported recently. A portable real-time gas detector unit was used to test for carbon monoxide (CO, an indicator of incomplete combustion), methane (CH4, released by decomposing material) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S, a toxic gas with a recognizable rotten egg odour). Environment officials tested around the entire site perimeter and found no measurable levels of CO, CH4 or H2S. Although H2H could be smelled in some areas around the perimeter, its concentration was calculated at between 0.02 and 1.0 parts per million, well below that posing any public health risk. Tests on a thick vapour cloud which appeared to be smoke determined that it was composed only of moisture, with no CO found to be present. Results of earlier tests, analyzed for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found these at either trace or non-detectable levels. Air quality staff from PEI's Department of Environment, Energy and Forestry are continuing to monitor the site as work is done to tighten up the disposal piles to prevent a recurrence of flare-ups. This effort is being supervised by the provincial Fire Marshall's Office.

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