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GLIN==> Public Invited - Investigation of Hazardous Substance Contamination on Grassy Island 11/10

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
News Release
October 29, 2004
Public Invited to Learn About Service Investigation of Hazardous Substance
Contamination on Grassy Island

Contact: Stephanie Millsap (419-692-7628)

       The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service invites interested groups and
individuals to learn more
       about the ongoing effort to investigate and take appropriate action
to address hazardous
       substances released on Grassy Island, part of Detroit River
International Wildlife Refuge
       in Wayne County, Michigan.

       The meeting will take place on Wednesday, November 10, 2004, from 6
p.m. to 9 p.m. at the
       Council Chamber at Wyandotte City Hall, located at (3131 Biddle
Avenue) in Wyandotte.

       During the meeting, representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service will explain
       the process the Service is taking to investigate and address any
actual or threatened
       release of hazardous substances at the site to protect human health
and the environment at
       Grassy Island. Officials will discuss the results of a preliminary
assessment and site
       inspection (PA/SI) of Grassy Island and describe the next steps in
the process. The public
       will have opportunities to ask questions and discuss Grassy Island
one-on-one with Service

       Grassy Island is a 72-acre artificial island in the Detroit River in
suburban Detroit. The
       island was used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a disposal
facility for sediment
       dredged from the Rouge River from 1961 to 1982. The island has been
part of the National
       Wildlife Refuge System since 1961, when it was transferred by
Congress to the Service as
       part of Wyandotte National Wildlife Refuge. In 2002, the island
became part of the Detroit
       River International Wildlife Refuge.

       The preliminary assessment and site inspection conducted on the
island during late 2003
       and early 2004 revealed the island is contaminated with metals and
organic chemicals,
       resulting from the disposal of contaminated sediments over time by
the U.S. Army Corps of
       Engineers. During the 1960s, at least nine major industrial
facilities discharged
       pollutants into the Rouge River.

       The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service prepared the preliminary
assessment/site inspection
       report as the initial step in the remedial action process under the
       Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, also known
as the “Superfund”
       law. The Service will use the Superfund process to conduct
additional investigation and
       any cleanup that may be warranted at the site. The complete
preliminary assessment/site
       inspection report will be available online at
http://midwest.fws.gov/grassyisland after
       November 2, 2004. A copy can also be viewed, after November 2, 2004,
at the Bacon Memorial
       Library (45 Vinewood St.) in Wyandotte. For more information on the
       assessment/site inspection and the public meeting, contact Stephanie
Millsap, U.S. Fish
       and Wildlife Service (9311 Groh Rd.; Grosse Ile, MI 48138; phone:

       The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency
responsible for
       conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and
their habitats for the
       continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the
       National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 544 national
wildlife refuges,
       thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It
also operates 69
       national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81
ecological services field
       stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the
Endangered Species
       Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally
significant fisheries,
       conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps
foreign and Native
       American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also
oversees the Federal
       Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of
dollars in excise taxes on
       fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.


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