It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s poop?
People living near the Delhi Airport in India claim that human excrement falls down on them from the sky, a problem they began reporting almost two years ago. Now, the National Green Tribunal, the country’s environmental court, wants to know if the fecal matter is indeed of human origin.
India Times is reporting that the NGT has asked a special committee to collect samples of the poop and test whether it’s from humans or birds. The committee includes representatives from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the Central Avian Research Institute and the Central Pollution Control Board.
The DGCA also plans to perform surprise inspections of planes when they land to ensure their toilet tanks have not been emptied prior to arrival.
Last year, after complaints from residents, the NGT held that if any aircraft was found to be dumping human waste midair, they would be charged an environmental compensation fee of Rs 50,000 (about $775 USD), the Times reports.
In January 2016, BBC reported that a woman was struck by a football-sized piece of “blue ice,” the name given to the frozen human waste from airplanes that occasionally forms around overflow outlets, which can break off and fall to earth. It’s blue from the chemicals added to airplane toilets in order to reduce odor and break down the waste.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration website, blue ice will typically break up and melt before hitting the ground. As far as dumping the airplane toilets midair, the website states, “The aircrew cannot dump the wastewater in flight because the waste valve is located on the exterior of the aircraft and only ground crew can operate the valve.”