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HEALTH CONSULTATION

HONNEGER'S GRAIN ELEVATOR (PROPERTY)
MT. PLEASANT, ISABELLA COUNTY, MICHIGAN


DISCUSSION

During the BFRA, the MDEQ collected 35 surface soil samples from the property. As shown in Table 1, the lead concentrations in several of these samples exceeded the MDEQ Generic Clean-up Criteria for Commercial, Industrial, or Residential Uses1 (4, 5). The arsenic or benzo(a)pyrene concentrations in several samples exceeded the MDEQ Clean-up Criteria for Residential Use (5). The concentrations exceeding the Clean-up Criteria were in samples collected all over the property, with no more than two chemicals exceeding the Criteria in any one sample. The lead concentrations were within the range typically found in urban areas, or near buildings of ages similar to those on the property (6). Unless the property is converted to residential use, no one is likely to incidentally ingest enough arsenic, benzo(a)pyrene, or lead from the soil on the property to attain the ATSDR Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs) or U.S. EPA Reference Doses (RfDs), which are generally accepted to represent no risk of non-cancer adverse health effects, or no apparent increased cancer risk (6, 7, 8).

During the BFRA, the MDEQ collected 15 subsurface soil samples from the property. The arsenic concentration in three of these samples and the benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(a)pyrene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, and indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene concentrations in one sample exceeded the Residential Clean-up Criteria (Table 2) (5). The benzo(a)pyrene concentration in that sample also exceeded the MDEQ Industrial/Commercial Clean-up Criteria (4). The arsenic concentrations were within the range found in background soils in Michigan (9). The concentrations of benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, and indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene were within the range typically found in urban soils (Reference 7, Table 5-3).

During the BFRA, the MDEQ collected three sediment samples from the Chippewa River near the property, one upstream, one adjacent, and one downstream. The arsenic concentration in the upstream sample (Table 3) exceeded the MDEQ Generic Clean-up Criteria for Residential Use (5). The arsenic concentrations in all sediment samples were within the range found in background samples in Michigan (9). Overall, the concentrations of the chemicals decreased from upstream to down (3).

There are several physical hazards to people visiting the property. The ground south of the foundation of the former main mill building is approximately 10 feet higher than that north of the foundation and below-grade portions of the south, east, and west walls of the building remain. MDCH staff visiting the property noticed a manhole, partially covered with particle board, south of the foundation. The floor of the brick building northwest of the foundation was strewn with debris. Many windows in the brick building had been broken.

At the time of the MDCH visit to the property, there was no restriction of access to it. MDCH staff saw children cross the property from the residential areas to the southeast. There was also a volleyball net set up on the property, south of the foundation.


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