RIAC gives into AG Lynch's demands

John O'Brien May 10, 2007, 4:00pm


PROVIDENCE, R.I. - After Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch issued an "...or else" ultimatum, the Rhode Island Airport Corporation decided it better comply with the state's top lawyer.

The RIAC recently installed temporary air quality monitors at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, falling within Lynch's timeline of five days from the issuance of his demand last Monday.

"Ultimately, RIAC still needs to install a comprehensive, long-term, air-quality monitoring system, which is what our current state law requires them to do. At the same time, though, RIAC did comply with my request for it to take immediate, interim steps, and these steps will provide an immediate benefit to the public -- information," Lynch said.

Lynch asked the RIAC in February why it had not done this earlier, and the corporation replied that state law is too vague on the matter. Last month, Lynch wrote the RIAC, asking it to install a temporary system by April 26 and have a permanent system in place by Sept. 8.

When that wasn't done, he at least wanted a temporary system.

The RIAC also agreed to install a monitoring shed at a location east of the airport before Sept. 8. Lynch said he's also hoping legislation can deter any future problems in this area.

Even if a proposed bill does not pass, the RIAC said it will continue to build the monitoring shed.

Studies of the air quality at the airport have shown the presence of several toxins. However, a study funded by the Environmental Protection Agency showed in 2006 that the levels of pollutants there were no worse than in the state's suburban areas.

However, a report in the Providence Journal said the study showed there were spikes of black carbon downwind from the airport.

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