Jersey City authorities monitor air quality following recycling plant fire

City officials are reassuring residents in the shadow of a recycling plant that caught fire late Monday night that air quality in the area is

City officials are reassuring residents in the shadow of a recycling plant that caught fire late Monday night that air quality in the area is safe.

City officials are reassuring residents in the shadow of a recycling plant that caught fire late Monday night that air quality in the area is safe. (8/20/13)

JERSEY CITY - City officials are reassuring residents in the shadow of a recycling plant that caught fire late Monday night that air quality in the area is safe.

The fire at Sims Metal Management is out now, but neighbors who live across the narrow inlet at Port Liberte are questioning what was released into the air as a result.

"We start by sending out the basic health department and the fire department, and they're going to look into air quality and what the procedures are for controlling these sort of situations," says Mayor Steven Fulop.

People living on the inlet side of Port Liberte say their apartments face the plant at a distance of 100 to 200 yards, and say smoke billowed across their building for nearly 12 hours. They say this is the latest in a string of industrial accidents at the plant.

"We have monitors up making sure that it's safe - which it is," Fulop says.

A local resident says that he worries whether the latest fire contained toxic chemicals. He says explosions and fires are nothing new at Sims. "Every once in a while when they've crushed a car, there's gas in it. It created a boom sound and the whole building shook," said JD De Leon.

Residents like Edward Keymakh hope officials continue to monitor air quality levels. "I think extra monitoring is needed regardless," he says. 

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