The state Department of Environmental Management announced today that it has installed an air monitoring system at on Central Avenue to measure levels of hydrogen sulfide, the main cause of recent odor problems at the Central Landfill.
According to a DEM statement, the equipment will continuously monitor the air for hydrogen sulfide levels and wind speed and direction.
State Health Department Director Dr. Michael Fine said in the DEM statement that his office has found "no evidence that severe medical problems are occurring due to landfill gasses," but added that the ongoing odor problems should be addressed.
“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," Fine said in the statement. "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.”
Over the weekend, DEM and Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation, the company that manages the Central Landfill, to solve the odor problem — with DEM saying that it could require even more gas-capturing wells and pipes to be installed, and require RIRRC to impose a restriction on dumping contruction debris, if the company fails to fix the issue.