A neighbor's photo of the Hillcrest Recycling site in Attica, taken from their "Something Stinks in Attica" facebook page
EPA: Attica's Smelly Smoldering Plastic Fire Out
(WBEN) Several tons of smoldering plastic in Attica have been extinguished as part of a US Environmental Protection Agency effort to control noxious odors coming from the Hillcrest Recycling facility there.
Residents and public officials in Attica have been rallying against the Hillcrest site for weeks, citing both a horrendous smell that permeates the Wyoming County village and various lung infections, eye irritations, headaches and nausea.
The EPA has been spreading and re-distributing the plastic and glass materials in the pile, as part of a week and a half long project put out the fires there, and now, to more easily watch and see if they re-ignite.
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“This is truly good news for a community that endured months of odors and smoke,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator in a prepared statement (below)
“The EPA will remain on site to make sure new fires don’t start and we will keep the community informed.” Enck said
The large pile of plastic materials for recycling has been smoldering for months Independent testing conducted before the smoldering pile was extinguished showed elevated levels of various chemical irritants, and carcinogenic benzene in the air near the site.
Here's the announcement from the US Environmental Protection Agency:
(Buffalo, New York – October 15, 2012) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
announced today that the fire at the Hillcrest Industries facility in Attica, New York is now fully
extinguished. The EPA is arranging the plastic and glass piles on site to a more manageable
size to avoid reignition. A fire management and temperature monitoring plan will be in place
until the material is processed and removed from the site.
“This is truly good news for a community that endured months of odors and smoke,” said
Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. “The EPA will remain on site to make sure new
fires don’t start and we will keep the community informed.”
"Extinguishing the fire ahead of schedule is a welcome development for the community," NYS
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said. "DEC continues
to work with EPA to address the site and appreciates EPA's assistance in extinguishing the
The EPA began its work to put the fire out on September 29, 2012. Since that time, nearly
49,000 cubic yards of material was moved and, where necessary, cooled. The fire was
officially extinguished on Sunday, October 14, 2012. The EPA remains on site to support the
fire management and temperature monitoring plan. There is still some visible steam coming
from parts of the pile, as the material is warmer than the outside air.
Recent results of air monitoring show no detectable levels of volatile organic compounds.
Levels of particles have also been very low throughout most of the work. Data from previous
lab analyzed results are posted on the EPA’s website at
http://www.epa.gov/region02/superfund/removal/hillcrest/index.html and will be updated as the agency gets more final results.