ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A month after thousands of pounds of plastic burned at a manufacturing plant in south Albuquerque, state officials have given the green light for clean up at the Mesa Del Sol site.

The company that owns “Atkore” was forced by the state to come up with a clean-up plan over the last month. Now, the state says the plant is on track to get work started.

“Obviously having these impacts to the community can cause major issues,” said Aaron Coffman, environmental scientist & specialist for the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED).

NMED says contamination in the area is minor, with only small amounts of traceable chemicals in the soil where the fire burned. Those chemical levels are said to be below normal screening levels. “Our review showed that any of the contaminants that would be of interest were below our soil screening levels,” Coffman explained.

While there is less concern, the state will continue to monitor the area- but they do say water quality issues shouldn’t be a problem. “We were able to determine there wasn’t any discharge to the Rio Grande or to any other stored water that would have gotten past those reservoirs,” added Coffman.

The fire did leave semi-volatile organic compounds in the soil at the plant. Those can cause irritation if people are exposed to certain levels. NMED says the levels found are not expected to cause any long-term harm and should be addressed in the clean-up.

“The materials were Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds, they included Naphthalene, Acenaphthylene, Fluorene, Phenanthrene, Anthracene, Fluoranthene, Pyrene, Benz(a)anthracene, and Indenol (1,2,3-cd) perylene,” NMED said in a statement. “These were all either below or only slightly above 1 part per million in the most contaminated of the soil samples, in the midst of the area burned. Also, minute concentrations of the Volatile Organic Compounds Benzene and Toluene. These 2 were around 0.1 parts per million. Off-site soils near the perimeter only showed one detection of Phenanthrene at 0.21 parts per million. All were below the NMED SSLs.”

Atkore is also required to continue sending soil sample analysis reports back to the state as they move forward with the plan.

Albuquerque Fire Rescue (AFR) reported that the fire may have been caused by a discarded cigarette, but they have no conclusive proof to say for certain.