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Re: E-M:/ Probe zeros in on PCB source

Enviro-Mich message from "Mark Richardson" <Mark.Richardson@macombcountymi.gov>

News reports circulated today regarding the St. Clair Shores PCB contamination site need to be interpreted with caution.  The Macomb County Department of Public Works has not "identified" the source of the contamination.  The contractor to MCDPW has reviewed documents obtained from the MDEQ underground storage tank program showing moderately high PCB contamination in soils on one of the properties near the drain.  This information does not establish that the property in question is the source.  There is much further information to review and MCDPW's investigation is continuing. 

>>> "Sarah Roberts" <sroberts@cleanwater.org> 12/16/2004 1:51:54 PM >>>
Probe zeros in on PCB source - 12/16/04
  After an extensive federal cleanup, the toxins remain at St. Clair Shores site.

  Although it is good news that the Macomb County Public Works Department is finally zeroing in on the most troublesome area of the contamination, this article misses a huge point. There has been a tremendous effort by Toxic Free Shores and canal and community residents to watchdog the government entities handling this case. If it were not for the tenacity, persistence, dedication and detective work of Toxic Free Shores and other concerned citizens, they would not be singling down the source of this continuing problem. 

  After the U.S. EPA claimed victory for removing all the highly contaminated sediment almost a year and a half ago, Clean Water Action was able to assist in securing grant dollars for Toxic Free Shores to perform confirmatory samples to see if the contamination was truly remediated. Toxic Free Shores had a strong hunch that PCBs were re-entering the 10 Mile Drain system. The sampling effort proved worthwhile as high levels of PCBs were found in the 10 Mile storm drain catch basin and canal sediment near the outfall of the drain. These results moved the U.S. EPA and the MCPWD to conduct more sampling. Their results were even worse. Of particular concern was the Harper and Bon Brae area, where high levels of PCBs were found in water samples. Those samples were taken by the EPA in July of 2003. The MCPWD is finally moving towards the red flag Toxic Free Shores tried to communicate to the EPA investigator and the MCPWD in July of 2003.

  The continuing contamination has been monitored by the MCPWD because Toxic Free Shores and other residents played a major role in demanding that a monitoring plan be put in place. The dedication of this group and area residents working towards solving this problem is honorable and deserves to be noted. The history of this story would be much different if it were not for these activists. It truly is good news that the truth is finally coming out.



  Sarah Roberts

  Lake St. Clair Community Organizer

  Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund




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