Roxbury Anti-Dump Group Seeks Money Online to Rent Air Monitor
Monday, March 16, 2015 at 04:09 PM
ROXBURY, NJ – Disbelieving official assurances the Fenimore Landfill is no longer releasing putrid hydrogen sulfide (H2S), a citizens’ group is raising money online to rent a hand-held H2S monitor.
The gofundme.com campaign, launched by the Roxbury Environmental Action Coalition (REACT), hopes to raise $700 to cover the cost of renting one of the expensive monitors for a week. REACT President Bob Shultz said the effort is a response to claims by Roxbury residents that they continue to smell the rotten-egg odor.
The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has installed at the landfill high-tech equipment designed to trap and remove the gas being created by debris dumped there in 2012. The state also installed stationary air monitors near the landfill.
Although some Roxbury residents say they continue to smell H2S, the state says the cap and gas oxidizing equipment in operation at Fenimore are successfully preventing the gas from escaping. Unconvinced residents point to sporadic spikes recorded by the H2S monitors, but the experts who installed the devices say the spikes have been caused by electrical glitches and other equipment issues, not by any real gas leaks from the dump.
“Sometimes you need to run an independenttest to see what the heck’s going on,” Shultz said. “We’ve been seeing these spikes for many, many months. We’ve also seen background levels rising for a while now … People are smelling it in their houses.”
On the gofundme.com campaign, REACT contends Roxbury residents’ “health and quality of life have been drastically affected” by Fenimore, adding, “To get further action on the landfill, we need to rent a handheld H2S monitor for one week.”
Schultz said the monitor requires no special training. He said he used one in 2013 and found its operation to be “pretty much self-explanatory.”
He said the online fundraiser idea is something REACT has been talking about. He said buying a monitor is out of the question, because they cost thousands of dollars. But renting one seems feasible, Schultz said.
“We’ve had this idea for a long time,” he said. “The residents have suffered enough and we don’t want to hit them in their pocketbooks and ask for money”