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First Independent Air Samples Taken Near Hyperion Off to the Lab

November 25, 2009

ELK POINT, S. D. - The state of South Dakota has been monitoring air quality in the area of Union County where the proposed Hyperion Energy Center would be located. However, local residents who have maintained the state isn't doing an adequate job of testing have decided to do their own. Denny Larson, executive director of Global Community Monitor, says his group helped train volunteers to collect the air samples; the first ones are now on their way to a laboratory for evaluation.

Larson says the independent air samples were taken right next to the state's testing stations to see what they are missing, and he does not believe the state is testing for the full range of pollutants.

"So, it's creating the illusion that they'll be able to effectively monitor the air around the refinery when, in fact, the system is incapable by design of doing that."

Hyperion has promised a state-of-the-art "green" refinery. Larson says he would be more convinced of that claim if the company had been required to use the latest air pollution monitoring systems.

"Hyperion should be volunteering to put in a perimeter fence-line monitoring system that uses high tech laser beams to detect any chemicals that are crossing their fence line and going into the community."

He adds other facilities around the country already have this type of system. His group would like to see the state require Hyperion to install them in order to get a permit, if the company does not do so voluntarily. In the meantime, says Larson, the independent air samples should be back from the lab within weeks.

Dick Layman, Public News Service - SD