ATSDR in Partnership with Washington
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
(ATSDR) is the lead public health agency responsible for
implementing the health-related provisions of the Compre-
hensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and
Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA). ATSDR is an Atlanta-
based federal agency with more than 400 employees.
ATSDR's annual budget for 2002 is million. ATSDR is
Health Studies ,458,566
responsible for assessing the presence and nature of health
hazards at specific Superfund sites, helping to prevent or
reduce further exposure and illnesses that result, and expand-
ing the knowledge base about the health effects of exposure
to hazardous substances.
ATSDR works closely with state agencies to carry out its
ous waste sites and preventing adverse health effects.
ATSDR provides funding and technical assistance for states
to identify and evaluate environmental health threats to
communities. These resources enable state and local health departments to further investigate environmental health
concerns and educate communities. This
is accomplished through cooperative agreements and grants.
At this time,
ATSDR has cooperative agreements and grants with 31 states, 1 American Indian nation (Gila River Indian Community),
and 1 commonwealth (Puerto Rico Department of Health). From 1989 through 2001, ATSDR awarded more than
,504,908 in direct funds and services to the state of Washington. In addition to direct funds and services, ATSDR
staff provides technical and administrative guidance for state-conducted site activities.
ATSDR Site-Specific Activities
Public Health Assessment-Related Activities
of the agency's important mandates
is to conduct public health assessments
of all National Priorities List
sites and of other sites where there might be a significant threat to public health. There are currently 63 sites designated to
the NPL in Washington.
A public health assessment provides a comprehensive evaluation of available data and information on the release of
hazardous substances into the environment in a specific geographic area. Such releases are assessed for current or future
impact on public health. The ATSDR staff, in conjunction with public health and environmental officials from Washing-
ton, has conducted 89 public health assessments in the state. Following are examples of public health assessments con-
ducted in the state.
Recent public health assessments conducted
in Washington under the cooperative agreement program highlight the
diverse technical and community outreach challenges faced by health assessment staff. The rich cultural diversity that
surrounds Lower Duwamish Waterway NPL site in south Seattle presented significant outreach and educational
challenges. Successful communication and interaction with the community required strategies beyond traditional
public meetings and informational mailings. Washington Department of Health Cooperative Agreement
Program (WCAP) staff identified community leaders and participated in local meetings where messages could be
delivered and feedback received in a manner and setting that was comfortable and appropriate for each community.