ATSDR in Partnership with Wisconsin
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
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 ex-
panding 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
Indian nation (Gila River
nity), and 1 commonwealth (Puerto Rico Department of Health). From 1987 through 2001, ATSDR awarded more
than ,503,088 in direct funds and services to the state of Wisconsin. In addition to direct funds and services,
ATSDR 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 the public health. In Wisconsin there have been 45
sites designate to the NPL.
A public health assessment provides a written, 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. ATSDR, in conjunction with public health and environmental officials from
Wisconsin, have conducted 77 health assessments in the state. Following is an example of a health assessment
conducted in Wisconsin.
Fox River - In July 1999, ATSDR issued a public health assessment for review by state and federal environmen-
tal agencies. The document was written by the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services
(WDHFS) under cooperative agreement with ATSDR. ATSDR released the document for public comment on
December 5, 2001; currently the comments are being addressed. The final public health assessment should be
available before the end of 2002. The public health assessment discusses polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that
contaminate sediment and fish in the Fox River from Menasha to Green Bay. A number of facilities have