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ATSDR Press Room

Norfolk Naval Shipyard Health Assessment Available for Comment

Portsmouth County, Portsmouth, Virginia

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, today is issuing a public health assessment (PHA) on the Norfolk Naval Shipyard Repository Site in Portsmouth, Va. ATSDR finds that exposure to surface water and sediment, to calcium hydroxide, and to lead in soil and to emissions from the former shipyard foundry pose no apparent public health hazard or are an indeterminate health hazard.

The document will be available to community members for public review and comment through Oct. 10 at the Portsmouth Main Library, 601 Court St., Portsmouth.

In 1999, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency added Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) to the National Priorities List.

In 1999 and 2002, ATSDR visited NNSY to collect information about how people on-site and off-site might be exposed to environmental contamination, to review environmental sampling data and to learn about community health concerns.

This PHA evaluates past, current and potential future exposures to contaminants originating from NNSY. After analyzing the available data, ATSDR recommends the following actions:

  • ATSDR concurs with the current Navy remediation efforts and the Navy's ongoing Pediatric Lead Poisoning Prevention (PLPP) program. ATSDR recommends review of the current status of housing conditions, and results of blood lead screening of children to ensure that blood lead levels have remained below levels of concern and that all children potentially exposed in housing areas are tested.
  • ATSDR recommends that families in Portsmouth participate in the current Virginia Department of Health (VDH) childhood lead poisoning prevention program, called Lead-Safe Virginia. This includes families in the Cradock area, the New Gosport areas and other neighborhoods identified by VDH as high-risk areas. Participation in a blood-screening program that meets or exceeds CDC guidance combined with the recommended steps to clean, remove, renovate or remediate lead in and around houses should be health protective and reduce lead exposure.
  • Any future feasibility study to assess possible future reuse of the Paradise Creek Disposal Area should consider possible methane levels at the Site 3 landfill, as well as potential exposures to chemical contamination, including volatile organic compounds.

ATSDR welcomes comments to its public health assessment. Comments must be submitted in writing. Mail comments to

Chief, Program Evaluation, Records and Information Services Branch
1600 Clifton Road, NE (MS E-60)
Atlanta, GA 30333

Comments received, without the names of individuals who submitted them, and ATSDR's responses to the comments, will appear in an appendix to the final PHA. Names of those who submit comments, however, will be subject to release for requests made under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.

Community members seeking information on the procedures or the content of the PHA may contact Charles Grosse, toll free, 1-888-422-8737. Regional Representative Tom Stukas also may be contacted at 215-814-3142. Callers should refer to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard Repository site in Norfolk, Va.

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Related News Releases For Portsmouth County, Portsmouth, Virginia


ATSDR Releases Peck Iron and Metal Superfund Site Health Assessment
Release Date: Wednesday, February 02, 2011
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has released the public comment version of a public health assessment for the Peck Iron and Metal Superfund site in Portsmouth, VA. The purpose of the assessment was to determine if exposure to chemicals from the site is a public health hazard for people who live and work in the area.

Norfolk Naval Shipyard Public Health Assessment in Virginia
Release Date: Monday, January 26, 2004
A public health assessment (PHA) on the Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) site in Portsmouth, Va., has been issued by ATSDR for public review. In the PHA, ATSDR evaluates past, current and potential future exposures to contaminants originating from NNSY. The document is available for review at the Portsmouth Main Library.

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