LANSING – The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has finalized a Public Health Assessment for the Velsicol Burn Pit, also known as the former burn area or Gratiot County Golf Course, Superfund site in St Louis, Mich. This assessment looked at the amount of chemicals in the soil, ash, and groundwater under the site. This report contains responses to comments received during the 2012 comment period.
Chemicals measured in the soil from the Velsicol Burn Pit and from a nearby neighborhood are not expected to harm people’s health. There are ash piles in the site that do have levels of arsenic and lead over health-based screening levels. However, people are not expected to be harmed by those chemicals, as people will have little to no contact with the ash piles.
Further, shallow groundwater under the Velsicol Burn Pit had higher levels of chemicals than groundwater from deeper underground. This could possibly mean that chemicals in the soil or ash piles at the site could be moving into the groundwater. People have little, if any, contact with the shallow groundwater under the Velsicol Burn Pit, and nearby private drinking water wells did not have chemical levels above health-based screening levels.
MDCH invites the public to read the Public Health Assessment, which can be found online at www.michigan.gov/mdch-toxics under “Health Assessments and Related Documents.” Copies also are available at the T.A. Cutler Memorial Library located at 312 Michigan Ave. in Saint Louis, Mich.
The department’s Division of Environmental Health conducted the Public Health Assessment 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 can be found on the ATSDR website athttp://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/index.asp.
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