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Firm claims air at EHS is contaminated


ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- A local environmental database firm says the contamination at the Elmira High School (EHS) is more than just in the ground. This time, they say it's also in the air.

"The indoor air is polluted with a wide variety of toxic chemicals," said Toxics Targeting President, Walter Hang. "They're low level, but there's, in many cases, no safe level of exposure. In addition, the outdoor air is actually known to be polluted. The authorities are actually allowing polluted air to be pumped into the school building."

Hang alleges there's air contamination on the outside of the school, due to uncovered soil. On the inside, Hang cited a 2016 school air certification report for room 127, showing numerous toxins being found in the air. He claims the airborne toxins are making their way into the school through either venting systems, or cracks in the foundation.

"It turns out that the school has numerous cracks in the foundation that allow contamination under the school to intrude into the school," said Hang. "That's very likely why so many toxic chemicals have been identified in the interior air of the school."

We reached out to the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which says it remain committed to overseeing and executing a very thorough cleanup of the school. As for the air pollution, DEC officials say they do perform routine air monitoring at the school.

"We know that the sub slab depressurization system that have been put into place to address the areas of the school where there's been detections of volatile organic compounds (VOC's) and other air quality concerns are working properly and have been repeatedly shown that it's working properly and that air quality in the school is okay according to the Department of Health (DOH)," said DEC Assistant Commissioner of Public Affairs, Sean Mahar.

If you'd like to learn more about how you can contact Toxics Targeting, or look at their findings, you can visit their website at:

If anyone has any evidence of a problem or a concern at EHS, the DEC is asking you to call them directly at: +1 (518) 402-8000.