More problem air samples around Erie Coke

A second set of air monitoring samples from around the Erie Coke plant are once again showing a problem.

The State Department of Environmental Resources has 13 passive air monitors set-up around the coke plant property on the East Erie Bayfront.

They are monitoring benzene levels, which can be hazardous to human health.

Four of the 13 monitors in the most recent testing show readings higher than 1.3 micrograms per cubic meter.

The DEP says anything higher than 1.3 means further evaluation and analysis is needed.

This is the second round of samples that have indicated an elevated level of benzene.

According to the DEP website, the passive sampling program is modeled after the same program used by many petroleum refineries which are required to implement fence line monitoring requirements. The monitors consist of passive sorbent sampling tubes designed to determine the concentrations of benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, and xylene at the sampling sites.

The sampling is conducted 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Every two weeks, the tubes are collected, and new tubes are placed within the sampler. Sampling is planned to continue for one year from the start date of the sampling. The data collected from the sampling effort will be used by state and federal agencies to provide a public health evaluation of the potential impacts that benzene in the local community has on the population which resides and lives there.

See original article on YourErie

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