State to Conduct 1st Air Testing at School Near Army Plant

RADFORD, Va. (AP) — Virginia will conduct air-quality monitoring for the first time at a school down the road from an Army ammunition plant that regularly conducts open burns of hazardous waste.

Department of Environmental Quality spokesman Bill Hayden said Wednesday the monitor being installed at Belview Elementary School in Radford is designed primarily to detect lead. Lead is among the many pollutants emitted from the Radford Army Ammunition Plant.

The open burning at the plant is legally permitted but has raised some concerns among residents. Hayden says the department has received requests for a monitor for the past year or so. It should be in place this fall.

Recently released results of air-quality testing conducted by drone over open burns at the plant showed arsenic, lead and three other pollutants at higher-than-expected levels.

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