Arvin Group Says Toxic Gas Escaping Community Recycling

Group Claims Independent Tests Show Hydrogen Sulfide In Air

There are new accusations for the operators of Community Recycling. A community group in Arvin says it has proof a deadly gas is drifting off the composting facility's property.

Committee for a Better Arvin says it took air samples near the Community Recycling property then sent them to a lab. The organization says the results prove hydrogen sulfide is in the air near the plant.

Some people in Arvin have long suspected that Community Recycling was releasing toxic gas into the atmosphere. After two workers at the facility died in October from suspected hydrogen sulfide poisoning, the suspicions only grew.

So, the Committee for a Better Arvin took air samples just outside the fence of Community Recycling back in December. Those samples were then sent to Global Community Monitor for testing.

"The samples confirm that we were thinking the right way. We now have proof that it is up in the air," said the president of the Committee for a Better Arvin Sal Partida.

Global Community Monitor says the samples showed more than twice the safe amount of hydrogen sulfide in the air. They say at those levels they say a person could suffer a long list of symptoms, including headaches, nausea and depression. Global Community Monitor says hydrogen sulfide can also affect the health of children.

"Maybe it’s one of those affects that we are suffering here for years, and didn’t know about it," Partida said.

Sal Partida says the results could be the basis of a class action lawsuit of the people of Arvin against Community Recycling. Even though Partida said he expected the test results to be bad, he is shocked and angered at just how bad they turned out.

"Mostly disappointed in the company, that they never told us the truth to protect ourselves," Partida said.

County supervisors voted to close the facility back in November, but that decision is being appealed in the courts. So, for now, Community Recycling is still operating.

Late Thursday an engineer for Community Recycling sent 23ABC a statement saying the source of hydrogen sulfide could have been from something other than their operation. It said it wants to see the lab report so they can examine how and where the samples were taken. The company also said it is in complete compliance with all court orders.

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