Dead Birds in St. Louis poisoned by DDT

EPA Project Manager Tom Alcamo told members of the Pine River Superfund Citizen Task Force that the dead robins found at a residence will help him get more money to cleanup the contaminated residential yards in St. Louis.

Teri Kniffen has been finding between 2 and 10  dead birds in her yard since 2001.  Last month, she called the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Disease Laboratory in Lansing and followed their directions for collecting two birds that had recently died, and taking them to the lab for testing.  She received the lab results this week, and both robins died from whole DDT poisoning.  Whole DDT includes the compounds of DDD, DDE, and DDT.  

The male bird had over 237 ppm. DDE in its brain, and the female had over 250 ppm DDE in its brain.  They also had quantities of DDD and DDT in their brain tissue.

According to Jim Chapman, an EPA Ecological Risk Assessor, 30 ppm whole DDT is lethal to an American Robin.

Alcamo will go before the EPA Prioritization Panel in Washington, D. C. next week to argue that money from the EPA Superfund account pay for cleanup of at least 14 acres of residential yards in St. Louis.  The lab report from DNR will add weight to his argument that the contamination problem in St. Louis is acute, and needs prioritization funding.

The Pine River Task Force has sent letters to Senator Carl Levin, Senator Debbie Stabenow and Congressman Dave Camp urging them to contact the Prioritization Panel with support for the quest for funding for the neighborhood in St. Louis.