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12:50 pm
Tue August 10, 2010

Landfill Smoke Not Toxic

Tulsa, Okla. – The smoke from Wednesday's fire at the North Tulsa Sanitary Landfill is not releasing toxic substances, according to the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The two offices are currently evaluating whether to continue testing the air.

The DEQ warns that even non-toxic smoke can still be irritating to the lungs, especially for people with pre-existing conditions like emphysema or bronchitis.

Skylar McElhaney is a spokeswoman for the DEQ.

"This particular landfill has an unfortunate history with DEQ," she said. "They've had a number of violations in the past."

The landfill caught fire last month as well

This time, "We don't know an exact cause of this fire," McElhaney said. "The owners of the landfill say that it was a lightning strike, but again, we don't know the exact cause."

She says the fire is still burning. The landfill has been closed, and will not be able to reopen until it has put out the fire and fixed a number of other violations the EPA found.

Trash pick-up in Tulsa is not affected by this event.