Smoke from a fire at a facility designed to turn waste into energy is forcing officials to urge residents near the Florida plant to stay indoors.
As of Friday, officials said they were trying to demolish walls to gain better access to the burning trash but had no timetable for when the fire would be extinguished.
“Residents in the area should stay indoors as much as possible, and keep your windows closed,” Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said, according to the Miami Herald.
Although Levine Cava is not using the phrase “shelter in place,” the mayor’s deputy chief of staff said she is following the recommendation of the Environmental Protection Agency.
“What they’re doing is consistent with the data we provided to them,” Matthew Huyser of the EPA said.
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Miami-Dade County has released daily EPA reports since Wednesday concerning the Covanta fire.
On Thursday, one monitoring station recorded air quality that the EPA rated as “unhealthy,” meaning that “everyone may begin to experience health effects,” according to the EPA. By Saturday, the readings showed air quality at a moderate “level of health concern.”
On Friday, officials dismissed students at two schools near the plant, according to WSVN-TV. Two parks have also been closed.
Some residents were unhappy with how any health dangers have been communicated to them.
“All of that data should have been shared and all we got were summary reports basically saying, ‘Stay out of the smoke.’ … That’s unacceptable on so many levels when now we are finding out that the levels that were recorded are unsafe,” Fernando Horritiner said, according to WTVJ-TV.
“I’m very concerned because we’re getting sick,” Sirling Sanchez said, noting that some members of her family had lost their voices, according to CBS News.
“We don’t have any answers,” Sanchez said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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