New Lackawanna air samples released by DEC

LACKAWANNA, N.Y. (WIVB)- The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released new data Wednesday, collected from air samples in Lackawanna.

The air was sampled from four different locations around the old Bethlehem Steel plant site, where a massive fire broke out a Nov. 9.

According to air particulate matter, air quality reached “very unhealthy” levels on the air quality index on Nov. 11.

One of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) with the highest reading was benzene, a carcinogen.

DEC officials told News 4 while the readings indicate unhealthy air quality, the levels they observed are to be expected for a fire of such size.

Both the DEC and the EPA will continue to monitor the air quality surrounding the old Bethlehem Steel plant.

Samples taken from the site indicate that air quality has since returned to normal levels, and officials don’t anticipate long-term air quality problems.

Health issues like headaches, cough, and nausea, should also only be temporary.

If symptoms persists, residents are encouraged to visit their doctor. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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