After an environmental testing firm detected elevated levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the ground water at a nearby gas station, the school district is allowing the company to evaluate School 26 to ensure students and staff are not at risk of exposure.
The firm, Geo-Enviro Consulting and Remediation (GECR) of Piscataway, in a letter dated Jun. 27, sought the district’s permission to enter School 26 at 1 East 32nd Street to take soil and indoor air samples to conduct their tests.
“A Vapor Intrusion was performed at Circle Service Station and analytical results were below standards. Although the site has no vapor concerns and Paterson School Number 26 is not within 30 feet of the plume, the NJDEP as a precautionary has required GECR to evaluate Paterson School Number 26 to determine whether the occupants of Paterson School Number 26 are at risk for exposure to VOCs due to vapor intrusion,” read the letter.
The Circle Service Station is located at 50 East 32nd Street, 0.2-mile from the school.
“The appropriate district officials have brought the firm’s representatives to the school and they have begun making the necessary arrangements to comply with the state’s precautions,” said Paul Brubaker, spokesman for the Paterson Public Schools, on Friday. “The safety of our students and staff is always the district’s top priority, and we greatly appreciate the NJDEP’s precautionary directive to the environmental consulting firm to make sure there is no vapor intrusion at Public School No. 26.”
The sampling will be conducted at no cost to the district, says the firm’s letter. A summary of the results will be provided to the school.