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The fire on Monday billowed a visible plume and a scent of heavy smoke in the air, but officials Tuesday say the "danger is over."

Williamsport Bureau of Fire Chief Todd Heckman reported today that the "danger is over" regarding the fire at Penn Recycling, 2525 Trenton Ave., Williamsport.

Because of the constantly changing wind conditions, there was not a good reason to evacuate homes in Newberry, and by this morning, Chief Heckman said the wind calmed and the plume was able to rise higher and dissipate.

According to a statement by DEP, a member of the agency's Emergency Response Team was dispatched to the active fire at the Penn Recycling at 9:15 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 12, to perform air monitoring and assess any other potential environmental impacts, including water runoff impacts. 

Air monitoring surveys were normal for all parameters tested except for carbon monoxide, which varied between readings of 0 in most locations and 10 ppm (parts per million) downwind near the fire. According to U.S. EPA, a carbon monoxide level of 10 ppm is comparable to levels that would be found indoors near a properly-adjusted gas stove, said officials at DEP.

DEP also surveyed the perimeter and did not observe any polluted runoff leaving the site. However, public water supplies with downstream intakes were notified of the incident as a precaution.

DEP will continue to monitor the situation for any potential environmental impacts to air, water, and soils.  

There has been no change at this time to DEP’s Air Quality Index status of “Green-Good” for the area.  


Related reading: Trenton Ave. fire update