MDCH Releases Final Health Consultation For Grassy Island

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

October 2, 2007

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has released the finalized Public Health Consultation for Grassy Island. The consultation includes comments received on the February 6, 2007, a public comment draft, and responses to those comments. The consultation finds that contamination at the island poses no apparent current or future public health hazard.

Grassy Island is a former diked disposal facility in the Detroit River in Wayne County, near Wyandotte. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers placed dredged sediments from the River Rouge onto the facility. As a result, Grassy Island is contaminated with metals, PCBs, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manage the island as part of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge but do not plan to promote public use of the island. MDCH expects little to no exposure to the contaminants on or coming from the island. The Service should regularly assess dike integrity and comply with Michigan Department of Environmental Quality regulations regarding the contamination.

The Public Health Consultation can be read or copied at the Bacon Memorial Library, 45 Vinewood, Wyandotte. Electronic copies are available on the MDCH website at www.michigan.gov/mdch-toxics, under "Health Assessments and Related Documents."

The MDCH Division of Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology conducted the Public Health Consultation for Grassy Island 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 Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) web page at http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaq.html.