Concerned Oak Creek residents install air monitors near We Energies power plant
Oak Creek residents have complained about coal dust coating their properties for months.
They say it's their new normal.
Homeowners near the We Energies power plant say the coal dust is on just about everything. Concerned for their health, they're installing air monitors to measures for coal particulates.
"It'll really make a difference, because we got like a wind tunnel here, it comes through and goes right around, and goes right on her car over there," says Greg Mallard.
A total of seven of the PurpleAir monitors will be placed throughout the neighborhood which will provide immediate data about the quality of the air. It will be available to the public online at http://www.purpleair.com
The Clean Power Coalition says it’s needed because there are discrepancies in the power plant's monitoring and the results are only provided once a month.
"For residents who have breathing issues, and want to know what the air is like on a daily basis, those monitoring reports are not helpful, so we are putting up these PurpleAir monitors because it'll give us a sense of what's in the air on a daily basis," says Miranda Erhlich with the Clean Power Coalition.
But representatives with We Energies say they've capped the coal pile, and there's no reason to not trust the reporting.
"The third party will take that information, they will do the analysis, they will bring it back to us, so it is up to them to tell us what is in those filters or what might've been in the air," says Brian Manthey, We Energies spokesmen.
For now, residents say the air sensors give them somewhat a sense of relief.
"It'll help, it'll make a difference," Mallard says.
The Clean Power Coalition adds the air monitors don't test specifically for coal. They also detect other local pollution in the air, which means further testing will be required to measure coal.