Monday October 1, 2012

The Eagle states in its editorial of Tuesday, Sept. 25 that there was fear that a toxic plume from last month’s recycling plant fire in neighboring New York state would reach the southern Berkshires "but fortunately, that didn’t happen." In fact, it did happen, at least in parts of South Egremont.

When I was woken by the reverse 911 call and looked out the window of my home on Jug End Road, there was smoke thick enough to partially ob scure the trees across the pasture and the smoky smell was obvious. It took about two hours for the smoke to dissipate. Although I kept doors and windows closed and stayed inside, I definitely was breathing whatever fumes there were, even indoors, as some of my windows are not airtight, and in any case, smoke had already gotten into the house before the emergency call.

I have hay fever off and on during late summer, early fall, so I can’t tell whether the smoke caused any respiratory problems. I also don’t know whether it was determined that the smoke was toxic or what effects it might have had.

I would have thought that other residents in my area would also have seen the smoke, but no one mentioned it. Possibly it drifted into the New York border area through the mountain pass near the Catamount Ski Area and was limited to a small area. But it was definitely there. I had not thought to alert officials at the time as I assumed it was generally known since in my neighborhood it was so obvious.

MARTHA KING

South Egremont