MDCH Releases Public Health Consultation For Ecorse Brownfield Site

Contact: T.J. Bucholz (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

March 21, 2005

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has determined that physical hazards on a former Wayne County steel mill site pose a public health risk to people who may venture onto the property, but has been unable to determine if chemicals found on the site pose any public health risk in the future.

Officials did say, however, that chemicals found on the site during a Public Health Consultation for the Mill Street Plant Brownfield Site in Ecorse currently pose no apparent risk to residents living in the area.

The Mill Street Plant site is a former steel mill and slated to be developed into a mixed residential and commercial neighborhood. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has conducted a Brownfield Redevelopment Assessment at the site and requested MDCH’s assistance in determining public health implications for the property’s current condition and proposed future use.

Upon a recommendation from MDCH, the City of Ecorse has increased security around the property to prevent trespassers from being at-risk.

The City of Ecorse also has begun the process of removing the physical hazards. The soil under the buildings on the site has yet to be tested for environmental contamination. Until a more complete assessment is made, the public health hazard for future residential use cannot be fully determined.

The Public Health Consultation for the Mill Street Plant Brownfield Site may be accessed at the MDCH website, http://www.michigan.gov/mdch-toxics. Copies of the consultation have been delivered to the City of Ecorse and the Wayne County Health Department. Questions regarding the document may be addressed to Christina Bush, MDCH toxicologist, at 1-800-648-6942 or bushcr@michigan.gov.

The MDCH Division of Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology conducted the Public Health Consultation for the Mill Street Plant Brownfield 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 lead – can be found on the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) web page at http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaq.html.