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HEALTH CONSULTATION

SPOKANE RIVER-WASHINGTON STATE COMMON USE AREA SEDIMENT
CHARACTERIZATION: REVIEW OF THE DRAFT FIELD SAMPLING PLAN
SPOKANE, SPOKANE COUNTY, WASHINGTON


BACKGROUND AND STATEMENT OF ISSUES

The Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) has asked the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) to review and provide feedback on sampling plans and data that has been collected to assess metal contamination in sediments along the Spokane River. Feedback on future sampling data has also been requested by the SRHD. This health consultation presents comments on the Draft Field Sampling Plan for the Spokane River-Washington State Common Use Area Sediment Characterization. This plan is also referred to as the Field Sampling Plan for the Coeur D'Alene Basin-Wide RI/FS, Addendum No. 15. Particular attention is given to those aspects of the document that address the protection of human health.

Site Background

In the fall of 1998 and February 1999, the U.S. Geologic Survey conducted assessments that examined sediment contamination from the outlet of the Spokane River at the north end of Lake Coeur D'Alene, in Idaho, to the point where the Spokane River joins Lake Roosevelt, Washington.1 This sampling survey found elevated levels of zinc, cadmium, and lead in sediments along the Spokane River. The Spokane River is a recreational area that is frequented by many people during the warm summer months. In July 1999, the SRHD posted health advisory signs warning users of the river about the metal contamination detected in sediments. During the week of August 3, 1999, an inter-agency site visit was conducted to select areas that should be further characterized. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in conjunction with the SRHD and the Department of Ecology (DOE), is conducting further sediment sampling along the Spokane River to better determine the potential for human exposure. The Field Sampling Plan, which is reviewed in this health consultation, will be used to assist in characterizing sediments that are present in twenty-five common use areas along the Spokane River in Washington.



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