At the site of a former garbage dump in the Bronx where a $97 million construction project is underway to build a golf course for Donald Trump, high levels of explosive methane gas have been detected near surrounding homes, according to the Daily News.
The dump has been closed since 1963, but decomposing garbage underground creates methane, a highly volatile gas. Wells were installed by the city to measure the gas, track its location, and check that the the methane doesn’t surpass what’s called a lower explosive level (LEL).
Over the past few months, tests have detected methane well over the LEL, the News reports.
As of now, the state has increased the frequency of monitoring, but has not shut down construction.
With tons of soil being dumped to shape the course -- which will be run by Trump on a 20-year lease -- Ken Bresner, an official with the Department of Environmental Conservation told the News the recent construction at the site “could potentially disrupt gas under the surface.”
Test registering more than 100% LEL mean the wells contains 5% or more methane, and can potentially cause an explosion. Levels higher than 5% methane have been recorded 41 times at the site since January, the News reports.
Robert Rodriguez, 72, a resident of the Randall-Balcom Houses, which are adjacent to the site told the News he hadn't experienced headaches or nausea, but that he felt the government, including NYCHA, should let residents know about the methane gas in the air.
“They should tell the residents,” Rodriguez told the News. “We have a right to know. Even if it’s low levels of gas, if it’s poisonous, then little by little it can get to you over time. I’m living here 40 years. In 40 years it could do harm to me.”