Information About Air Monitoring
Any demolition project is subject to the release of particles, such as dust, dirt, and plaster. Dust may be produced when the Abex foundry is demolished. Dust itself does not pose a health threat; however, airborne contaminated particles may pose a threat to human health in the surrounding area if the contaminant levels in the dust exceed the safe levels established in the Clean Air Act.
The EPA/Abex-approved site safety plan calls for continuous air monitoring around the site for dust and contaminants throughout the demolition process. If an unacceptable level of airborne contaminants is detected in the air, work will stop immediately until acceptable readings are achieved, and/or other measures are taken to protect public health and safety.
The daily results of the air monitoring will be placed on a bulletin board outside of the Community Information trailer. The trailer is located next to the Washington Park Community Center and the Effingham Playground, between Green and Effingham Streets.
Air monitors will be placed around the demolition site based on wind direction. Site workers will continually monitor wind direction and move the monitors so that two of the monitors are always upwind of the site and three monitors are always downwind of the site. These monitors will sample the air approximately every thirty minutes during demolition.
Abex's contractor has made arrangements with a laboratory that will analyze the samples to provide the results within one business day. EPA will post information on air monitoring results daily at the Community Information trailer for your review. EPA representatives will be available at the trailer to answer questions you may have about air monitoring or other site-related activities.
Dust-reducing Measures During Demolition
EPA also is taking several measures to suppress dust during demolition. By using water to dampen the building and moisten the walls, site workers will decrease the amount of dust produced by the demolition activities, In addition, site workers have constructed a dust suppression barrier around the demolition site to prevent any dust that is produced from moving from the site.
Air Monitor Locations
During the foundry building demolition, site workers will place air monitors around the site based on wind direction. Two monitors will be placed upwind of the site and three monitors will be placed downwind of the site. Depending on which direction the wind is blowing, site workers may move the air monitors several times throughout the day. During the foundry demolition, you probably will see these air monitors near your home.
Site workers may move the air monitors closer to the nearby residences to ensure that dust from the demolition is not reaching the residences. The air monitors are for your protection, as they will show site workers if dust from the demolition is reaching the residences. A site worker will take readings from the air monitors every half hour.
The air monitor is a small metal box with three digital screens on the front. The monitor is placed on top of a tall pole on a tripod. A small umbrella attached to the top of the monitors helps keep rain off. The picture below shows you what the monitors look like.
In order to ensure that the air monitor readings are accurate and consistent, and to ensure that your health is protected, the air monitors must not be disturbed. If you see anyone tampering with the air monitors, please report it immediately to the EPA Community Information trailer at (757) 393-7807. EPA greatly appreciates your cooperation.
The Portsmouth Public Health Department is offering a free walk-in clinic for lead screening. Please call (757) 393-8585 and ask for extension 126 for more information. Please report any positive results immediately to:
Susan Hansen, PHRA
Ron Davis, EPA