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E-M:/ MDEQ release on lead contamination in Detroit



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Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 9, 2004

Contact: Patricia Spitzley
               (517) 241-7397

DEQ Completes Initial Screening of Suspected Lead Smelter Sites

The Department of Environmental Quality announced today that it has
completed an initial screening of suspected lead smelter sites located
in the city of Detroit.

The screening study was commissioned to determine if there are any
impacts from lead emissions from these historical smelter operations.
Elevated levels of lead are expected to occur in older urban
environments as a result of historical deposition of lead and lead
compounds, including lead-based paints and leaded gasoline.

The DEQ screening study evaluated 17 suspected lead smelter sites that
were identified in a January 2003 Detroit Free Press series on lead
poisoning.  Of the 17 suspected sites, seven were either already being
evaluated or remediated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or
the DEQ, or as a result of changes to the landscape over time (such as
freeway construction and other development), no longer existed.  After
removing these 7 sites from the list, the remaining 10 sites listed
below were evaluated in the study:

*  Michigan Smelting - 7885 Joseph Campau
*  Federated Metals Division - 11630 Russell
*  Great Lakes Smelting - 1640 East Euclid
*  Detroit Lead Pipe Works - 7001 Lyndon
*  Acme Metal Company - 1436 Holbrook
*  Wolverine White Metal - 3421 Gibson
*  Industrial Smelting - 19430 Mt. Elliott
*  City Metals Refining - 2945 Hubbard
*  Continental Metal Company - 11500 Russell
*  Aetna Smelting - 1826 Illinois

Sampling was conducted in the neighborhoods surrounding each of the 10
sites.  Although the data is limited in nature, lead levels in excess of
the DEQ's residential lead criterion of 400 parts per million were
detected in some samples.

Additional studies will be performed at each of the 10 sites to more
clearly identify the nature and extent of off-site impacts to
neighboring properties and to assess on-site conditions at the suspected
smelter sites.  This work is currently expected to begin later this
spring.

"The DEQ is committed to protecting neighborhood communities from the
risks posed by lead contamination from these sites," said DEQ Director
Steven E. Chester.  "This study is an important first step in
determining the extent of the contamination and the information obtained
will be used to develop a plan to address those sites requiring
remediation."

Copies of the screening study report, which is nearly 500 pages long,
are available at the following public library locations:

*  Hamtramck Public Library
         2360 Caniff, Hamtramck
*  Detroit Public Library - Main Branch
         5201 Woodward, Detroit
*  Detroit Public Library - Wilder Branch
         7140 E. Seven Mile Road
*  Detroit Public Library - Douglass Branch
         3666 Grand River
*  Detroit Public Library - Parkman Branch
         1766 Oakman

The report can also be reviewed at the DEQ's Remediation and
Redevelopment Division Detroit Field Office, 3058 W. Grand Blvd., Suite
2-300, Detroit, (313) 456-4668.   In addition,  the text of the entire
report can be accessed at the DEQ's website at:
http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,1607,7-135-3311_4109_9846_9847-86603--,00.html.

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Alex J. Sagady & Associates        http://www.sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Permit/Technical Review, Public Policy,
Evidence Review and Litigation Investigation on Air, Water and
Waste/Community Environmental and Resource Protection
Prospectus at:  http://www.sagady.com/sagady.pdf

PO Box 39,  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039
(517) 332-6971; (517) 332-8987 (fax); ajs@sagady.com
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