ATTICA, N.Y. (WIVB) - Dressed in hazmat gear from head to toe, crews have begun cutting through the burning, mountain of material at Hillcrest Industries in an effort to stop the fire and the spreading stench for good.
EPA Public Affairs Officer Mike Basile says, " it's sad that the company and other agencies involved didn't address an activity like this sometime ago."
Basile from the environmental protection agency says crews are doing live air monitoring at the site. This wasn't until the EPA released results of a recent study showing levels of benzene-- a known carcinogen-- in the Attica air.
"At the present time we don't show anything coming off the site that would inhibit the activities on the site or hurt anyone in the community," says Basile. "What looks like a giant fire hydrant atop the 40-foot high pile, is actually an atomizer. it's one of several set up around the site, spraying water to stop the spread of any particles into the neighborhood."
Crews are also soaking the debris, using water cannons, but neighbor Erin Cecere had to take matters into her own hands.
Cecere says, "we put plastic on all of the old windows so the smell doesn't come through."
The heavy equipment was moved in once Hillcrest Industries realized they couldn't handle the problem themselves.
Cecere says the problem has plagued the village for more than a year.
"It's a little late but now they're doing something, I just hope it can get under control," Cecere states.
Smoke and steam were seen emanating from the pile immediately as expected.
The EPA says, it could be days before the fire is out, perhaps even longer until the stench stops spreading for good.
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