The U. S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA), Region 4, has collected and reviewed air sampling data collected since early January 2023 at the Moody Landfill Site in Moody, Alabama. Air samples
were collected by the Superfund Technical Assessment and Response Team (START)
from two locations onsite near burning material and two locations offsite at
residential properties near the site. Three 8-hour samples were collected from
each of these locations. Additional 15-minute air samples were collected from a
fifth location that was located on the site. This sample was collected to
evaluate potential differences in airborne contaminants in an area where the
smoke appeared to be a different color. All samples were analyzed for
polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Some chemicals were identified in air
samples collected on or near the site that exceed Removal Management Levels
(RML) which are chemical-specific concentrations that help define areas,
contaminants, or conditions where a cleanup or mitigation measures known as a
removal action may be appropriate. EPA mobilized additional resources to
the site, established additional air monitoring and sampling, and took steps
to identify and implement measures to extinguish the fire. Information has been provided to the public as it becomes available.
The US EPA is continuing efforts to maintain the landfill. In recent months, subsurface smoldering areas ("hot spots") have been thoroughly excavated, drenched with large volumes of water and backfilled. Recent air sampling along the perimeter in December 2023 has showed a ten-fold decrease in volatile organic compounds including benzene. EPA will continue these landfill maintenance activities over the coming months and conduct periodic air sampling events in an effort to monitor site conditions.
Recommended Actions for the Public
EPA is working with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to review data and appropriately evaluate the potential effects of the smoke from the fire. In
the meantime, if nearby residents are concerned and wish to reduce potential exposure
to landfill fire smoke, the following actions are recommended:
- If you have respiratory problems such as asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), or emphysema, stay indoors when you see or smell smoke.
- Reduce your outdoor activities, and do them more slowly, when you see or smell smoke.
- Close the doors and windows of your house to keep smoke from getting inside.
- Talk to your health care provider if you have respiratory conditions such as asthma, COPD, or emphysema, and you think your condition may get worse when you breathe smoke.
View an interactive map with air monitoring locations, Air Sampling Data, and more at this link.
Air monitoring efforts concluded on March 24, 2023. Click the Documents Tab of this page to view data summarizing air monitoring samples collected using EPA's Viper wireless remote monitoring system.