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EPA and MassDEP Joint Statement on Fire Response in Boston’s Back Bay

Release Date: 03/14/2012
Contact Information: (US EPA) David Deegan, (617) 918-1017; (Mass DEP) Ed Coletta, (617) 292-5737

(Boston, Mass. – March 14, 2012) – The US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) have worked collaboratively at the request of the Boston Public Health Commission, City of Boston response agencies and the Mayor’s Office to provide technical support during the City’s response to last night’s fire.

The environmental agencies have provided air sampling services to the response effort.  Initial results from US EPA of air sampling conducted inside the Back Bay Hilton do not indicate elevated levels of potentially harmful air pollutants.  Additionally, MassDEP deployed its FAST mobile laboratory to the incident, providing real-time analytical testing of indoor air samples taken from the hotel and other surrounding buildings. Test results showed slightly elevated levels of contaminants, consistent with what would be expected from a fire of this nature, but all samples were below levels of concern.

Laboratory analyses are still being conducted, but initial results indicate that air quality in the vicinity of the fire is not posing a concern for public health.

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