ATSDR in Partnership with Wyoming
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is the lead public health agency responsible for
implementing the health-related provisions of the Comprehensive 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
expanding the knowledge base about the health effects of exposure to hazardous substances.
ATSDR works closely with state agencies
to carry out its mission
of preventing exposure
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. 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
(NPL) sites and of other sites where there might be a significant threat to the public health. In Wyoming there have
been three sites designated 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 Wyoming, has conducted three health assessments in the state. An example of a public health assessment
conducted in Wyoming follows.
F. E. Warren Air Force Base - ATSDR conducted a public health assessment at this site to evaluate exposure
pathways and to respond to community concerns. Concerns were expressed about past, current, and potential
future exposures to contaminants originating at the Air Force base.
of contamination identified
at the site resulted from past waste and resource management. The
northern portion of the base is in open prairie formerly used as firing ranges to test artillery. In 1990, the Envi-
ATSDR reviewed available data from several sources and spoke with community members about their health
concerns. Principal possible exposure pathways of concern were contamination of private wells by volatile
organic compounds (VOCs) and metals, recreational use of two landfills, and dust blowing from the areas
surrounding the firing range (ricochet zone). Also, dirt from this area was removed to be used as landfill in other
areas at the base. Access to these landfills was unrestricted and children had been observed playing in these areas.
After reviewing all available data,
ATSDR concluded that contaminants present
in any media tested
at the site
not pose a public health hazard to past, current, or potential future residents. Final results of the public health
assessment were released in 1999.