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Residents can breathe easier

| Friday, Dec. 15, 2006

Residents living near the Greenridge Reclamation Landfill in East Huntingdon Township can rest easy now that the air they're breathing isn't harmful.

Bill Begonia, the township's host municipal inspector of the landfill, read a letter to the board Thursday on the results of the air quality samples taken from the landfill and surrounding areas.

"The data clearly indicates that the levels of all regulated substances in the air at the working face of the landfill are substantially below the regulated legal limit of exposure for an eight-hour working environment, according to both OSHA and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH)," wrote environmentalist Dr. Kurt White. "The risk to health that comes as a consequence of exposure to chemicals is an advanced science.

"The risk associated with 24-hour exposure to chemicals can be assessed, but is beyond the scope of this project. I can say that even if one cuts the OSHA standards by a third to reflect 24-hour exposure rather than eight-hour exposure, all of the compounds detected off the landfill site are still in the safe range."

Severn Trent Labs in Knoxville, Tenn., provided White with the Summa canisters used to take air samples. On Aug. 21, an eight-hour air sample was taken at the top of the landfill near the gas well as well as an instantaneous sample from the landfill working face.

On Aug. 22, an eight-hour sample was taken at the township building. A second set of samples was taken on Aug. 24, which included an eight-hour sample at the working face of the landfill, an instant sample at the Mastowski gas well and an instant sample at the Greco house. The last sample was an eight-hour one taken on Fenton Road at Cherry Hill on Sept. 5.

In his report, White said the concentration of substances in the air is less at the top of the landfill than at the working face and continues to decrease the farther you go toward the township building.

"Many of the compounds observed at the landfill face fade out below their detection limits as one gets further from the working face until some become undetectable," he wrote. "The compounds observed at the working face and at other locations pose no health or safety concern according to both OSHA and the ACGIH. The concentration of all compounds at the working face and at all other places sampled are well below their regulated legal limits."

In other business:

= Supervisors passed their 2007 balanced budget with the bottom line of revenues and expenditures at $6,968,520.

They also fixed the rate at 2.25 mills, which reflects no tax increase.

= Supervisors also fixed a tax rate of 25 mills on any new business that might open up in the Wal-Mart business corridor of the township.

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