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ATSDR Press Room

ATSDR Releases Public Health Assessment for U.S. Naval Station Norfolk for Public Review and Comment

Norfolk County, Norfolk, Virginia

Friday, May 31, 2002

What: The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announced today the availability of the public comment version of its public health assessment for the U.S. Naval Station Norfolk (NSN) in Norfolk, Virginia. This large installation, located in the northern portion of Norfolk, provides facilities and support for Navy vessels, aircraft, and other activities of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. These include defueling, refueling, painting, paint stripping, equipment cleaning, engine maintenance, sandblasting, metal plating, and loading and unloading of products used on aboard vessels.

Why: In 1997, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) added NSN to its National Priorities List (NPL), a listing of hazardous waste sites EPA designates as having high-priority for cleanup and/or other remedial activities. ATSDR is required by law to conduct a public health assessment at all sites on the NPL to evaluate past, current, and potential future exposures to contaminants originating.

In this public health assessment, ATSDR evaluates exposure to on-site and off-site drinking water, exposures from eating fish and shellfish from Willoughby Bay. This assessment also addresses community concerns about potential public health effects to the Glenwood Park community and to children in the vicinity of the Camp Allen Elementary School. ATSDR concludes that the potential for human exposure is small and that potential exposure would currently be too low to cause any adverse health effects.

Where: The health assessment is available for public review and comment at the following repositories:

Larchmart Public Library
6525 Hampton Boulevard
Norfolk, VA 23508
Telephone: (757) 441-5335
Mary Pretlow Public Library
9640 Granby Street
Norfolk, VA 23503
Telephone: (757) 441-1750  
Kirn Memorial Branch
Norfolk Public Library Repository
301 East City Hall Avenue
Norfolk, VA 23510
Telephone: (757) 664-7323

Naval Station Norfolk Federal Repository
Building C-9
Bacon Street
Norfolk, VA 23511
Telephone: (757) 433-6565

When: The public comment period for the health assessment will run through July 1, 2002. Please send written comments to:

Chief, Program Evaluation, Records and Information Services Branch
1600 Clifton Road, NE, Mailstop E-56
Atlanta, Georgia 30333

Background: Public health assessments report information about hazardous substances in the environment and evaluate whether exposure to those substances in the past, present or future could harm people in the area. Public health assessments may identify other activities that might be needed to better understand the health effects associated with the site and make recommendations to other government agencies, such as the EPA and state and local health and environmental departments, concerning actions to protect public health.

In preparing public health assessments, ATSDR health assessors rely on various sources of information. These sources may include environmental data, health data and reports of community concerns. Environmental data detail the chemicals at a site and indicate the potential environmental pathways chemicals may take to reach humans. Health data may include reports of injury, disease, or death in the community, as well as information on the known health effects of chemicals at the site. Reports of community concerns help document the public's descriptions of how the site affects their health and quality of life.

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Related News Releases For Norfolk County, Norfolk, Virginia


NAB Little Creek Final Health Assessment in Virginia
Release Date: Friday, October 17, 2003
A final public health assessment for the U.S. Naval Amphibious Base (NAB) Little Creek in Virginia Beach and Norfolk, Va., has been issued by ATSDR. The agency has categorized the NAB Little Creek site as no apparent public health hazard.

ATSDR releases final version of its Naval Station Norfolk public health assessment
Release Date: Tuesday, October 01, 2002
The final public health assessment for the Naval Station Norfolk may be reviewed at several repositories in Norfolk, Virginia. The document includes the most significant conclusions of the study.

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