MDCH Releases Public Health Consultation for the Shiawassee River Superfund Site
February 18, 2004
The Michigan Department of Community Health has released a final version of the Public Health Consultation for the Shiawassee River Superfund Site. The consultation finds that river channel sediment and floodplain soil contamination of the South Branch of the Shiawassee River poses an indeterminate public health hazard.
The Superfund Site, located near the city of Howell in Livingston County, has a long history of industrial use that left polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination in the river sediment and floodplain soil. Much of the contamination has been removed during remediation and construction activities.
However, some PCB contamination remains both in soil and sediment at the property as well as soil and sediment off the property. This remaining contamination is mostly in the form of ‘hotspots’ within the first several miles downstream from the Superfund Site. Current and future additional remediation efforts are being led by staff of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and are expected to start during the spring of 2004.
The Department of Community Health recommends that updated fish contaminant monitoring data be collected from a 40-mile stretch of the South Branch of the Shiawassee River to inform any future fish consumption advisories. The Department of Community Health also recommends the health education measures be initiated to alert residents within the 100-year floodplain of the potential risks from PCB exposure from consumption of fish, game, and livestock species from the river channel and/or floodplain.
In addition, the Department recommends that non-resident recreational anglers and hunters also be targeted for health education strategies. The Department of Community Health invites the public to review the Public Health Consultation. Paper copies of the Public Health Consultation are available for public review at the Howell Carnegie District Library, 314 W. Grand River Avenue, Howell, Michigan.
Electronic copies are also available through the MDCH Toxic Substances website. Electronic copies have been provided to the health departments of Genesee, Livingston, Saginaw, and Shiawassee counties. Information and comments should be addressed to Erik Janus, Michigan Department of Community Health, Division of Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology, 3423 North Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., P.O. Box 30195, Lansing, Michigan 48909. People may also call the toll-free telephone number, 1-800-648-6942 (1-800-MI-TOXIC), for information.
The Michigan Department of Community Health Division of Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology conducted the Public Health Consultation for the Shiawassee River Superfund Site under a cooperative agreement with the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).
Information concerning the human health effects of exposure to environmental contaminants such as arsenic can be found on the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) web page at http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaq.html.