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HEALTH CONSULTATION

Public Comments on the Proposed Cleanup Plan

OESER COMPANY SUPERFUND SITE
BELLINGHAM, WHATCOM COUNTY, WASHINGTON
EPA FACILITY ID: WAD008957243

February 10, 2003

Prepared by:

Washington State Department of Health
Under a Cooperative Agreement with the
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry


TABLE OF CONTENTS

GLOSSARY

BACKGROUND AND STATEMENT OF ISSUES

DISCUSSION

CONCLUSIONS

RECOMMENDATIONS/ACTION PLAN

PREPARERS OF REPORT

REFERENCES

CERTIFICATION


GLOSSARY

Acute:
Occurring over a short period of time. An acute exposure is one which lasts for less than 2 weeks.


Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR):
The principal federal public health agency involved with hazardous waste issues, responsible for preventing or reducing the harmful effects of exposure to hazardous substances on human health and quality of life. ATSDR is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Aquifer:
An underground formation composed of materials such as sand, soil, or gravel that can store and/or supply groundwater to wells and springs.


Chronic:
A long period of time. A chronic exposure is one which lasts for a year or longer.


Contaminant:
Any chemical that exists in the environment or living organisms that is not normally found there.


Exposure:
Contact with a chemical by swallowing, by breathing, or by direct contact (such as through the skin or eyes). Exposure may be short-term (acute) or long-term (chronic).


Groundwater:
Water found underground that fills pores between materials such as sand, soil, or gravel. In aquifers, groundwater often occurs in quantities where it can be used for drinking water, irrigation, and other purposes.


Hazardous substance:
Any material that poses a threat to public health and/or the environment. Typical hazardous substances are materials that are toxic, corrosive, ignitable, explosive, or chemically reactive.


Media:
Soil, water, air, plants, animals, or any other part of the environment that can contain contaminants.


Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA):
The hazardous waste cleanup law for Washington State.


Organic:
Compounds composed of carbon, including materials such as solvents, oils, and pesticides which are not easily dissolved in water.


Plume:
An area of contaminants in a specific media such as groundwater.


Remedial investigation:
A study designed to collect the data necessary to determine the nature and extent of contamination at a site.


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
Established in 1970 to bring together parts of various government agencies involved with the control of pollution.


Volatile organic compound (VOC):
An organic (carbon-containing) compound that evaporates (volatilizes) easily at room temperature. A significant number of the VOCs are commonly used as solvents.


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