MOODY, Ala. (WIAT) — The EPA is in its final stages of clearing the flames and smoke that has smoldered at the Moody landfill since last November, but community members are worried about their health.

The EPA is grassing the site and working on erosion control. They say this is to ensure it will be in a good state when they leave in April.

The majority of the smoke is gone, but residents along with the EPA say the smell is still noticeable.

David Butler, with Cahaba Riverkeeper, described the lingering smell as a mix of wet campfire and chemicals. He said knowing that people continue smelling this daily is not reassuring for resident’s health.

“Well certainly it can have some effects on their respiratory health,” said Butler. “I mean certainly the people that weren’t able to leave have been breathing this air for months now. And without knowing really what’s buried there, nobody really knows what the impact may be.”

The EPA told CBS 42 no harmful chemicals have been detected in the air.

“So, the air monitoring data that we have now that we’re collecting daily shows that there are no health concerns with the odor,” said Subash Patel, and on-scene coordinator with the EPA. “Now there is an odor persistent and that’s evident by all of us. We’re hoping that as the landfill cools off eventually that odor will go away, but it’s going to take some time.”

Butler also said the main concerns people have even beyond health is a lack of transparency from the state and Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

He said many were told by ADEM that everything was fine and safe, even before any air testing was done. This is partially why people still have trouble knowing what to trust.

Butler said the Cahaba Riverkeeper continues to do water testing on their own to help reassure community members that someone is looking out for them.

“You can see from the condition of the water still leaving the landfill that there are still things that are leaking out from the bottom that shouldn’t be,” said Butler. “So, I think until they get a definitive answer from the state about what the next steps are in terms of preventing that material from washing out, people are going to remain concerned.”

ADEM told CBS 42 through a statement that the health and safety of residents is a top priority and that they are working with government agencies to assess whether changes in laws, regulations and resources are needed to effectively respond to future emergencies like this one.