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Arkansas, Louisiana Partner For Increased Air Monitoring Near Stump Dump Fire

BELLA VISTA (KFSM) — The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) will begin monitoring air quality near the stump dump fire Tuesday (March 12...

BELLA VISTA (KFSM) -- The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) will begin monitoring air quality near the stump dump fire Tuesday (March 12) as part of an effort to gather more extensive samples to supplement data collected last month.

“Under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), a mutual aid agreement, Louisiana agrees to share its resources with other states which have a need," said Dr. Chuck Carr Brown, LDEQ secretary.

"In the case of this Arkansas air quality situation, LDEQ is glad to help a neighbor.”

LDEQ will mobilize its Mobile Air Monitoring Laboratory (MAML) a recreational vehicle that will rove the community outfitted with state-of-the-art air monitoring and analysis equipment, according to a news release from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ).

The MAML’s primary advantage over previous, stationary, air-monitoring exercises is that it will record meteorological data that will be used to position and relocate the MAML in order to obtain quality readings that follow wind speed and direction.

The array of onboard equipment will monitor for particulate matter, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and total hydrocarbons.

Additionally, LDEQ staff will deploy canisters to pull volatile organic compounds samples from the air in community locations, the release said.

The data sets will supplement samples gathered in February by the Arkansas National Guard. The new samples will be transmitted to ADEQ and the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) at the end of each day.

The data will then be evaluated by both ADEQ and ADH and then issued publicly.

“We are thankful to (LDEQ) and Secretary Brown for this immediate response to our ask for support on the Trafalgar Road fire," said Becky Keogh, ADEQ director.

"Residents of Bella Vista have asked for more extensive, 24-hour monitoring at impacted areas in the community. We continue to listen, and this advanced technology answers that call.”