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EPA invalidating VOC monitoring data at Spain Elementary School in Detroit

Release Date: 12/15/2009
Contact Information: Karen Thompson, 312-353-8547,

No. 09-OPA238

(CHICAGO - Dec. 15 , 2009) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is extending monitoring at a number of schools across the country for a group of pollutants known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). A malfunction in monitoring equipment at those schools caused some VOC samples to become contaminated. EPA and its state and local partners will take additional samples to ensure that the monitors provide an accurate picture of VOC levels in the outdoor air.

Spain Elementary School in Detroit, Mich., is one of the schools where VOC samples appear to have been contaminated and are being invalidated. Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has also monitored VOCs at Spain Elementary with fully-functioning monitors. EPA will replace its contaminated data with MDEQ’s valid data. All data can be found on the EPA Web site

Other schools being monitored in EPA Region 5 are St. Josaphat School, Chicago, Ill; Pittsboro Elementary School, Pittsboro, Ind; Lincoln Elementary School, Warsaw, Ind; Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, East Chicago, Ind; Jefferson Elementary School, Gary, Ind; Lincoln Park Elementary School, Muskegon, Mich; Minnesota International Middle Charter School, Minneapolis, Minn; LaCroft Elementary School, East Liverpool, Ohio; Elm Elementary School, Wauseon, Ohio; Whitwell Elementary School, Ironton, Ohio; Life Skills of Trumbull County and the Academy of Arts and Humanities, Warren, Ohio; and The Ohio Valley Educational Service Center and Warren Elementary School, Marietta, Ohio.

Outdoor air at each of the schools will be monitored for 60 days, and air-quality monitors will take a minimum of 10 daily samples during the sampling period. EPA will use the information gathered in the initiative to help determine next steps, which could include additional monitoring or enforcement action where appropriate.

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