DOH against helping Northport….still?!



David McBride is a toxicologist with the Washington State Department of Health.  He has

been involved with the Northport issue, studies, and assessments since as far back as I can find.  He was one of the employees who signed many a letter and test results mailed to my Grandparents in the 1980’s and 1990’s.  My aunt gave me these original documents.  The test results showed levels, (specifically of arsenic and cadmium), were consistently finding toxins to be way above safety recommendation levels.  The letters, (sent with the test results), stated that ased on the levels of toxins found, impacts to residents (including childrens) health would “most likely” not occur.

My Grandfather passed away from chronic Leukemia in 2000, and my Grandmother (like several of her neighbors) suffers from the debilitating effects of Parkinson’s disease. This is just a small example of the hundreds upon hundreds of diseases and health issues found in the community.

David McBride was recently moved to the RI/FS of the Upper Columbia River, as the WA DOH toxicologist.  His main job is to assist in analyzing elevated toxins found, and the possible impacts they may have on recreational visitors and resident’s health. Including implementing programs to educate and protect the community agains risks.  Basically, the same thing he did (or didn’t do) for the community some 19 years ago…..

As proof that obviously his agenda and attitude has not changed at all, he voted to “DISAGREE” with The Northport Visionary Plan.

Why would a WA DOH employee, whose very job is to protect the health and safety of WA residents, disagree with a project to support a WA Community Awareness and Protection Program (The Northport Project)??? N

The Northport Project would cost the WA DOH NOTHING, nothing that is, except undeniable proof of their disgraceful treatment and the environmental injustice shown toward the Northport Community throughout their involvment in the area.

It would then be undeniable that their actions, or lack there of, are not only illegal, but as much to blame as the Canadian smelters century long releases of massive amounts of heavy metal toxins, for the unnecessary diseases, illnesses, cancers and deaths this community continues to endure.

I wish the DOH would list all their employees, and the projects completed by each, on their website.  It could be a pilot project in which WA residents can vote to AGREE or DISAGREE on whether or not the WA DOH, and the specific employee listed, had done an acceptable job on the clean up sites and towns they had been a part of.

I would, most definatly, vote to DISAGREE.


I urge you to read the below information.  After placing your vote please,   e-mail entire document, along with vote, to the people listed at the bottom of page.



Consider if you think the WA DOH completed the below tasks with professionalism, accuracy and in a timely manger?

(Do not write or type answer down.  Questions are used to prepare you for vote)

1.      Past and present health investigations?

2.     Community involvement and awareness?

3.     Follow up*, as requested by the ATSDR/CDC, on “at risk” communities*.

* “At risk communities” – towns that have high levels of multiple toxins and the residents exposure is from multiple routes, i.e.; air, water, ground, food.  The ATSDR considered Northport to be an “at risk community” based on the DOH’s investigation, the results of their investigation found high levels of multiple toxins, from multiple routes.

* “Follow up” – refers to the DOH using the data published from the multiple, on-going, environmental studies being conducted by the EPA, Ecology, Teck and the USGS.  The results of new studies are to be used by the DOH to monitor and then to determine if they must reevaluate the health risks for residents.

Note:  (Regarding the WA DOH’s follow up on the Northport WA community) – The WA DOH has done no follow up since their 1996 health investigation of Northport was published.  The 32 years of research data collected by the EPA, Ecology, Teck and the USGS went unseen & ignored by the DOH.  This is unfortunate, especially  since all  the results showed that heavy metal toxins continued to be found above safety standards, as well as the impact the toxins were having on the animals and fish, (which indicated definite bioaccumulation).

Not to mention that many of the toxins had been reevaluated by the EPA and ATSDR – resulting in lowering the exposure amount safety levels of several toxins, specifically for chronic exposure.  All elevated toxins found in Northport were evaluated, the majority lowered.

The new levels alone would have changed the DOH’s findings in their 92-96 investigation dramatically.  Instead they continued to insist they had no reason to reevaluate anything, as they stood by their original investigation findings.

The DOH’s findings, to summarize, stated;   Health issues and clusters found in the community, (although statistically high), couldn’t be linked to the toxins found in the community, (though toxin levels exceeded their safety levels, some 200X higher), due to lack of research on exact levels of toxins that cause the health issues discovered

They concluded their “findings” with;    Residents health will “most likely” not be at risk from toxin exposure….…so long as exposure to the area is no more than 2 days a week, not to exceed 35 days total a year.

No suggestions were made by the DOH as to where the residents should stay the remaining 330 days of the year.  Nor did they give any insight into the possible health risks for the residents that would exceed the recommended exposure time…..since they lived there….

4.     Educational Program & Annual Medical Exams & Testing offered to community?

5.     Was the community ever even made aware of any of the toxins found at levels (some 200 times that of their recommended safety level)?

6.     Town meetings (as requested on several occasions – to discuss continuing concerns and new health clusters, as well as to get answers to their many questions)?


This vote is about the job performance of the WA DOH. The questions and information above are aimed at helping the voter to determine an educated, responsible vote on one specific question.  The question is:

Do you AGREE or DISAGREE that the WA DOH is fulfilling their job responsibilities, all of which should support the Agencies mission to:  “Protect the Health and Safety of the Residents living in Washington State? 

AGREE               _________________

DISAGREE        _________________

Additional Comments: (include in body of e-mail)


Please take a moment to return this ballot (and entire form) to the representatives listed below:  If the DOH can voice their disagreement, we too should voice ours.

Dennis McLerran, Administrator
U.S. EPA, Region 10, RA-140,
1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900,
Seattle, WA  98101
800 424-4372 or 509 553-1234
Senator Cantwell U.S. Federal Courthouse
W. 920 Riverside, Suite 697
Spokane, WA  99201
Electronic comment submissions
Governor Christine Gregoire
PO Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002
360 902-4111
Contact information
Senator Murray
601 West Main Avenue, Suite 1213
Spokane, WA 99201
Electronic comments submissions
Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rogers
555 South Main Street
Colville, WA 99114
Electronic comment submissions



Leave a Reply/Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: