PITTSBURGH -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Pittsburgh is alerting Shenango River Lake visitors that samples taken from several sites in or around the lake tested negative for Polychlorinated Biphenyls.
The Corps determined through sediment samples collected on August 28 and laboratory tested, that the lake water poses no risk to the public.
“PCB levels are at less than detection or at concentrations lower than levels of concern,” said Rose Reilly, Pittsburgh district biologist.
The sample collection sites consisted of five individual areas in different parts of the lake to ensure an adequate sample size.
Testing was initiated at the lake after state environmental agencies issued a “do not eat” advisory for all fish caught in the Shenango River downstream of the dam in Mercer and Lawrence counties.
PCBs belong to a broad family of synthetic organic chemicals known as chlorinated hydrocarbons. PCBs were manufactured domestically from 1929 until manufacturing was banned in 1979, according to the EPA.
The chemical was once widely deployed as a dielectric and cooling fluids in electrical apparatus, carbonless copy paper and in heat transfer fluids.
The zero impact results at and above the lake prompted PA Fish and Boat Commission, in cooperation with the Corps lake staff, to stock trout, originally slated for downstream release, in the upstream portion of the dam.
Please contact the Pittsburgh District Public Affairs Office with any concerns or questions at 412.395.7500/01/02 or at CELRP-PA@usace.army.mil
Release no. 17-029