Roxbury schools chief defends odor alert
ROXBURY TWP. — Superintendent Patrick Tierney Tuesday defended his Monday decision to issue a Honeywell instant alert after air monitors, apparently mistakenly, signaled high levels of hydrogen sulfide from the former Fenimore landfill on Mooney Mountain.
Tierney activated the grades K-12 district’s first hydrogen sulfide “red alert” because he was receiving numerous phone calls from concerned parents.
At his direction, Jefferson Elementary School Principal Karen Lunardoni advised parents that air monitors had recorded high levels of the gas, which has been generated at the former landfill. The school is located in Succasunna.
Tuesday, Tierney issued the following statement:
“Roxbury believes in being open and transparent with its parents regarding issues that may concern them.
At 1:40 p.m. yesterday, Jefferson School sent a Honeywell alert advising parents that the Fenimore monitoring system had triggered a red alert and that the school district was requesting a hand held monitor reading from Emilcott, per protocol,” he said.
“At no time did the district try to determine if levels were high or not. We are not scientists and we leave that determination to the professionals who have been hired to make such a determination. We did however, notify parents, many of whom are looking at the Fenimore monitor near Jefferson and had called central office inquiring, that we were aware of the alert and were looking into the situation with the help of the authorities,” Tierney said.
“Once Emilcott and other authorities arrived, it was determined that the alert triggered by the system was an anomaly.”