Still Burning Landfill Fire Raises Health Concerns | WAMC

Still Burning Landfill Fire Raises Health Concerns

Oct 16, 2020

Smoke billows from the fire at the city of Springfield-owned landfill on Bondi's Island in Agawam, Massachusetts.
Credit 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.