From the Staten Island Advance:
As reported in last week's South Shore Advance, several complaints over diminished air quality have arisen over the past few weeks from neighbors living along Huguenot Avenue between Billou and Deisius streets.
Along that span, chimney after chimney shoots into the sky with wisps of smoke escaping into the wintry air. Residents believe that's the root of the problem.
After running several air emission tests last week, however, the city's Department of Environmental Protection disagrees.
"DEP received two complaints last week about air quality," said spokeswoman Mercedes Padilla. "We performed an inspection of the area on Friday, and we found that at the time, there were no emissions. Nothing at all."
That investigation wasn't enough to satisfy some in the community.
"They want to come on a Friday afternoon and see if the fireplaces are causing damage to the air?" asked Huguenot resident Bill DeAngelis. "That makes absolutely no sense. No one is home to light their fireplaces at that point. Wait for the night time when everyone is home from work."
DeAngelis, like others, feels that new construction of two-story homes amongst the older ranch-style houses has created pockets in the alleys separating the two where smoke settles for extended periods of time.
The smell and fumes from those pockets then filters in through the ventilation shafts and slowly poisons the air in nearby dwellings.
(This is like when you call about illegal off-hours construction and DOB shows up at noon and says there is no problem.)