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ATSDR Press Room

ATSDR to Host Public Availability Session and Meeting to Discuss Findings at Bear Creek Chemical Area Site

Butler County, Petrolia, Pennsylvania

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) will hold a public availability session followed by a community meeting on Sept. 7 to discuss the findings from the public health assessment on the Bear Creek Chemical Area site in Butler and Armstrong Counties, Pa.

The public availability session is designed to allow community members to meet individually with ATSDR representatives to discuss concerns about potentially site-related health issues. The session will be held at the Petrolia Volunteer Fire Hall, 200 Argyle Street in Petrolia, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Following the public availability session, a community meeting will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The assessment findings include:

  • The ATSDR assessment finds that exposure of residents and trespassers to major contaminants in surface deposit materials, including soil and sediment, are categorized as "no apparent public health hazard." This finding is based on available data from the Apple Road site, Hemlock Road site and Kelly Farm site. ATSDR assigns the no apparent public health hazard category to sites where human exposures to contaminants might be occurring, but the exposures are not at levels likely to cause harmful health effects.

  • ATSDR finds that past exposure to contaminants in drinking water are categorized as an "indeterminate health hazard." ATSDR assigns the indeterminate health hazard category to sites where critical information is lacking to support a judgment regarding the level of public health hazard. At the Bear Creek site, there is limited health information about long-term ingestion of the contaminants found at the site.

  • Based on available information, ATSDR finds that current exposures from showering and bathing are categorized as no apparent public health hazard. Therefore, residents can continue to use groundwater for these and other household uses. However, people should continue to use bottled water for drinking and cooking purposes.

    Beginning in mid-2001, residents with contaminated water supplies received bottled water for drinking. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP), the lead agency involved with environmental sampling and investigation at the site, is continuing to provide bottled water to more than 900 affected households and businesses.

    Community members seeking information about the procedures or the content of the public health assessment may contact ATSDR Health Communication Specialist Debra Joseph toll-free at 1-888-422-8737. ATSDR Regional Representative Sven Rodenbeck also may be contacted at 404-498-0439. Callers should refer to the Bear Creek site in Pennsylvania.

    ATSDR, a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, evaluates the human health effects of exposure to hazardous substances.

    Established by Congress in 1980 under the Superfund law, ATSDR conducts public health assessments at each of the sites on the EPA National Priorities List, as well as other sites when petitioned. Headquartered in Atlanta, ATSDR is staffed by more than 400 health professionals including epidemiologists, physicians, toxicologists, engineers and public health educators.

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    Related News Releases For Butler County, Petrolia, Pennsylvania


    Petrolia, Pa. Residents Invited to Public Availability Session
    Release Date: Thursday, July 10, 2003
    ATSDR will hold a public availability session about the Bear Creek Chemical Area site in Petrolia, Pa. on July 15.

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