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EPA releases data for air toxics monitoring at Amherst County school

Release Date: 10/29/2009
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543, smith.bonnie@epa.gov

PHILADELPHIA (October 29, 2009) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released initial data from air toxics monitoring outside the Central Virginia Training Center in Madison Heights, Amherst County, Va.

EPA selected the school in Madison Heights as one of 63 schools in 22 states nationwide for air toxics monitoring.

The initial data show air toxics at the school are below levels of short-term health concerns. EPA scientists caution against drawing conclusions at this point as the study is designed to determine whether long-term, not short-term, exposure poses health risks to school children and staff. As monitoring continues, EPA will post the data on its schools air toxics website at: http://www.epa.gov/schoolair.

At the Central Virginia Training Center, EPA is looking at metals. These are the pollutants most likely to be of concern at the school, based on the best available information about emissions and sources of pollution in the area. EPA and Virginia Department of Environmental Quality have been using air toxics monitors outside the school to collect data since August. The preliminary data posted today show that the levels of the pollutants are well below the levels of short-term concern.

Once monitoring is complete at this school, the full set of results will be analyzed to evaluate the potential for health concerns related to long-term exposure to these pollutants. EPA also will post the analysis on the website once it is complete.

EPA will post the outdoor air monitoring data from all 63 schools from across the country as it becomes available. EPA will use the data from this initiative to help determine next steps, which could include additional monitoring or enforcement action.

Other schools being monitored in the mid-Atlantic Region are Kreutz Creek Elementary, Hallam, Pa.; Riverside Elementary, Reading, Pa.; Clairton Educational Center, Clairton, Pa.; South Allegheny Middle/High School, McKeesport, PA; Sto-Rox Elementary, McKees Rocks, Pa.; Follansbee Middle School, Follansbee, W.Va; Cabell County Career Technology Center, Huntington, W.Va.; and Neale Elementary School, Vienna, W.Va..