Dead birds spur cleanup of longstanding DDT contamination

Nearly 100 residential yards in a nine-block neighborhood of St. Louis, Mich., are scheduled to be dug out and replaced with clean soil. It is the latest attempt to reduce the decades-old contamination legacy of the same chemical factory that brought Michigan’s PBB crisis of the mid 1970s.

Fish derby sees dramatic DDT drop after cleanup

Anglers in a recent fishing derby on Michigan’s Pine River got news far better than pulling in the largest fish. The Environmental Protection Agency recently reported that the fish they sought are much cleaner of DDT than when the competition began 15 years ago. The concentration of the now banned pesticide in fish near the site of the Velsicol chemical manufacturing plant dropped by as much as 98 percent after a multi-million dollar cleanup of polluted river sediment from 2000 to 2006, the EPA said. Tempering the good news is that the fish were so contaminated then that even after the dramatic drop the Michigan Department of Community Health still advises not to eat fish downriver of the site. The contest is strictly catch and release.