EPA reassures air quality is fine after chemical fire



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Posted on October 5, 2011 at 7:51 PM

WAXAHACHIE - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made it clear: there is no danger associated with air quality following the fire Monday at Magnablend chemical plant. But the smell in the area has been so bad, it has made local residents wonder.

The EPA continued to test the air in Waxahachie Wednesday and reassured residents once again that the air is safe to breathe.

But a full ten miles away, Midlothian residents Mike Prendergast and John Hudson, woke to a nose full of noxious fumes.

“I gotta think they’re telling you its just fine, but obviously there’s something in the air," Prendergast said. "It wouldn’t be making that smell if something weren’t there. I’m telling my wife, when she’s home, to stay inside. Our kids are not allowed to play outside.”

The bitter odor is due to the still-smoking fires.

Officials are letting it smolder, because dousing it would only create more contaminated water, which now surrounds the area and must be trucked out.

“As a father and a guy nearby, it does concern me," Hudson said. "Especially when I smell the odor.  Harsh chemicals may not be in the air, but the odor is. It still concerns me.”

But the EPA said there is nothing to be concerned about.

E-mail dschechter@wfaa.com