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Still Burning Landfill Fire Raises Health Concerns

smoke from a landfill fire
Agawam Police Department via Twitter
Agawam Police Dept

      The air quality in the Springfield, Massachusetts area is being monitored as a fire continues to burn at a landfill.

     As smoke continues to linger, the Springfield Fire Department advised closing windows and urged people with respiratory conditions to stay indoors. 

     A hazmat team from the state Department of Fire Services is checking the air quality. No alerts have been issued.

           The fire at the city of Springfield- owned Bondi’s Island landfill was declared contained about 10 hours after it started about 1 p.m. Thursday. 

      Authorities said it will likely smolder for days.

      Springfield City Councilor Mike Fenton called for immediate public hearings.

      "Make the public aware of any  public health issues that may be associated with air quality due to the fire at this landfill and some of the substances that may be burning off at that site," said Fenton.

      The landfill is owned by the city of Springfield and operated by Covanta Springfield, LLC.

     " It was a definate major event," said Fenton about the fire. " The smog and smoke that was coming from this was noticable even to the untrained eye and it went through the night."

        Springfield City Councilor Jesse Lederman, who chairs the Sustainability and Environment Committee said he will hold a hearing on the landfill fire within the next week -10 days.

         He said the hearing will look at the cause of the fire and inquire about lasting impacts.

          "There is a concern for air qualty, especially for individuals already suffering from respiratory conditions," said Lederman.

           In a statement late Thursday night, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said he had instructed the city’s DPW director, fire commissioner, and city solicitor to determine what happened.


Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.
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