Department of Community Health Releases St. Clair Shores Public Health Consultation

January 14, 2003


The Michigan Department of Community Health has released a draft Petitioned Health Consultation for the Ten Mile/Lange/Revere Drainage System in St. Clair Shores for public comment.  The consultation finds that the levels of PCBs, lead, and other chemicals of interest in the Ten Mile/Lange/Revere sewer systems, Wahby Pond, and the Lange/Revere Canal pose no apparent public health hazard due to the fact that exposure is expected to be infrequent.  Soil levels of arsenic in several residential yards bordering the canal pose an indeterminate health hazard.


Testing of canal sediments prior to proposed dredging of the Lange/Revere canal revealed high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).  The resulting investigation found that the storm water sewer of the Ten Mile/Lange/Revere Drainage System, which discharges to the canal, was contaminated with these chemicals.  Water and sediment samples from the storm sewers, catch basins, sanitary sewers, and the canal had PCBs and lead at levels of concern.  Water sampled from Wahby Pond, which occasionally receives water from the canal, showed a high concentration of PCBs.  Soil testing of residential yards irrigated with canal water did not show PCBs at levels of concern, but did reveal concentrations of arsenic above the state clean-up criterion.


The Department of Community Health recommends that regulatory authorities address the contamination of the drainage system and canal so that further environmental degradation does not occur.  Residents should avoid contact with the canal until the contamination has been addressed.  Residential yard soils should be further evaluated and, if necessary, remediated.


The Department of Community Health invites the public to review the Health Consultation and offer comments on it.  Copies of the Health Consultation are available for public review at the City of St. Clair Shores Public Library, 22500 Eleven Mile Road, and at the St. Clair Shores City Hall at 27600 Jefferson Circle Drive.
Information and comments may be sent to Christina Bush, Toxicologist, Michigan Department of Community Health, Division of Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology, 3423 North Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Lansing, Michigan 48906.  People may also call the toll-free telephone number, 1-800-648-6942 (1-800-MI-TOXIC).  Comments on the Public Health Consultation must be received by February 10, 2003.  All comments received will be evaluated and considered, and responses will be provided in the final version of the Consultation.


The Michigan Department of Community Health Division of Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology conducted the Petitioned Health Consultation for the Ten Mile/Lange/Revere Drainage System 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 PCBs, lead, and arsenic can be found on the ATSDR web page at