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ATSDR Press Room

ATSDR Releases Peck Iron and Metal Superfund Site Health Assessment

Portsmouth County, Portsmouth, Virginia

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. Based on the available data, ATSDR concluded that exposure to soil, sediment, groundwater and air from the site is not expected to harm people's health. Contact with soil and sediment from the site, including from Paradise Creek on its southern border, does not happen often. Levels of chemicals measured in soil and sediment were lower than levels expected to cause harmful health effects. Groundwater and soil moving off-site also are not considered public health hazards. The site contains no drinking wells and little contaminated dust moves off-site because plants and debris cover most of the area. ATSDR recommends that people consuming fish or shellfish caught from the Elizabeth River system adhere to fishing advisories established by the Virginia Department of Health. Concerned citizens can read the fishing advisories at

ATSDR will accept public comments on the assessment until March 2, 2011. The public health assessment is available at the following branches of the Portsmouth Public Library:

Main Branch Attn: Mary Goodman
601 Court St.
Portsmouth, VA 23704

Cradock Branch Attn: Mary Hodges
28 Prospect Parkway
Portsmouth, VA 23702

Churchland Branch Attn: Leonard Thompson
4934 High Street West
Portsmouth, VA 23702

Manor Branch Attn: Glenda Richardson
1401 Elmhurst Lane
Portsmouth, VA 23702

Comments on the public health assessment must be made in writing. Comments received during the public comment period will appear in the final public health assessment. Comments (without the names of persons who submitted them) and ATSDR's responses to these comments will appear in an appendix to the final public health assessment. Names of those who submit comments will be subject to release in answer to requests made under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Send comments to:, or mail to:

ATSDR Records Center Attn: Rolanda Morrison re: PIM Superfund Site, Portsmouth, VA
4770 Buford Highway, NE (MS F-09)
Atlanta, Georgia 30341

For more information about the public health assessment, community members can contact Mark Evans, Lead Health Assessor at 770-488-0770 or; Loretta Asbury, Health Communication Specialist at 770-488-0718 or; or Jessica Bates, Health Education Specialist at 770-488-1370 or

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. Members of the news media can request an interview with ATSDR staff by calling the NCEH/ATSDR Office of Communication at 770-488-0070.

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Related PHA & HC For this Press Release

Peck Iron and Metal
Document Date: 12/12/2011 - PHA  [PDF - 2388 KB]

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Related News Releases For Portsmouth County, Portsmouth, Virginia


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.

Norfolk Naval Shipyard Health Assessment Available for Comment
Release Date: Tuesday, September 09, 2003
In the agency's public health assessment issued for comment through Oct. 10, ATSDR finds the possible contaminants at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard Repository in Portsmouth, Va., to be no apparent health hazard or an indeterminate health hazard.

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